Visitors at the Michigan History Museum got to go back in time on Saturday, specifically to the year 1837 when then-President Andrew Jackson officially declared it a state.
It took museum volunteers months of research and multiple dress rehearsals to make the experience authentic for the hundreds of people who came out to celebrate.
“A lot of the costumes are hand-sewn,” engagement specialist and event coordinator Sara Gross said. “We have volunteers that sew the costumes, research the patterns, they do all that in months leading up. They develop new activities, they go out to living history shows and buy new activities and then we do start having dress rehearsals and training session and all that in the weeks leading up to the event.”
Gross says all the hard work and months of preparing are worth it once people start experiencing Michigan history for themselves.
“You can really just see it in their faces, the kids’ faces and the parents’ face when they play with an old-fashioned toy or they get a slice of birthday cake or they get their photo taken as a daguerreotype,” Gross says. “They’re so happy to be participating in Michigan history.”
Some people came back on Sunday for a euchre tournament, a card game that Michiganders would’ve played in the 1800’s. By the end of the weekend, everyone walked away with a better understanding of Michigan’s history.