The Hanover-Horton Area Historical Society was formed and incorporated in 1977. Its purpose was to care for and preserve a unique and extensive collection of antique reed organs belonging to a local resident. They also decided to preserve local historical artifacts.
In 1977, the society contracted with the local school system to lease the old Hanover High School building, built in 1911 on the original 1874 school site. The Conklin Reed Organ Museum opened in December of 1977 with Mr. Conklin's 73 organs. They subsequently purchased the school building and an adjacent school bus garage. In 2000 the old school building was designated a State of Michigan Historic Site. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in December of 2012. The organ collection has grown to 99 working organs that are displayed in the gymnasium which was added to the original school in 1933 as a WPA project using mostly area recycled materials. Five classrooms now showcase local history.
In 2000, the community undertook the formidable task of raising $180,000 to purchase 82 acres of farmland adjacent to the museum. They achieved that goal and are now developing a historical agricultural park, Heritage Park, which hosts many Historical Society events and also provides a location for community events.