The Conklin Reed Organ and Local History Museum

All events are cancelled through December 2020

105 FAIRVIEW (Parking behind on Tefft Street)
Office 517.563.8927 Tuesday-Friday 8:00 am - Noon
The museum is open every Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm May-October.
Admission is by donation.

International Reed Organ Society

The 2019 International Reed Organ Society's gathering was held at our musseum last year. It was very successful, with attendees from as far away as Europe and Japan.

Reed Organ Collection

overview of organs

The Conklin Reed Organ Museum proudly displays 99 restored and working antique reed organs in the former school's gymnasium. Some of the organs date back to the mid 1800's. The organs have beautifully crafted wood cases in many styles such as Parlor and Chapel. Visitors to the museum are often treated to the beautiful sounds of these antique instruments.

Links to Digital Media Concerning our Museum

MLive has an article on our Organ Museum's Grand Reopening "Ice Cream Social." Click the following link to open the MLive article in a separate window. ***Go to MLive*** While there, be sure to look at the eleven pictures of the organ room in their picture gallery. You don't need to wait for the whole page to load.

Mr. Rodney Jantzi's museum video documents his visit to the museum. It features Rodney playing several of the organs, footage from a restoration workshop, and footage of some of the local history exhibits. Watching it will provide an excellent introduction to the museum. ***** Rodney Jantzi Museum Video (10 Minutes) *****

[Top of Page]

Organ Music

Antique reed organs have a unique sound. Here is a selection of songs played on several of our organs. The organist is Frances Hartmann. These songs and 47 others are available on three CDs found in our gift shop or they may be ordered by contacting the HHAHS office.

[Top of Page]

Local History Displays

Zella Gilmore Classroom

classroom classroom

The Zella Gilmore Classroom is named in honor a long-time teacher in the school. Furnished with turn-of-the-century pupil desks and the original teacher's desk and chair, the room also features a recitation bench, dunce stool, schoolbooks, slates, maps and children's toys. Portraits of Washington and Linclon that always hung in the classrooms of that period and a 46-star flag help to take visitors back in time. Mrs. Gilmore's upright Steinway piano occupies one corner of the classroom.

Hanover Horton Local Press Exhibit

Also on the first floor is our exhibit of items from the Hanover Horton Local, an early mass-produced news publication.

printing press

New Exhibts

Watch here or on our facebook page for information concerning new exhibits.

The second floor hosts many exhibits of local interest such as the interior of a typical 1900's household, old record playing machines, and a large handmade rug loom among many other antiques.

1900 Dining Room and Kitchen

kitchen kitchen

Riske Room

Our recently renovated Riske Room showcases local businesses and services and includes such exhibits as a barber chair, local doctors’ equipment, a postal sorting desk, a typewriter collection, fire-fighting gear, and the Hanover manual telephone switchboard. In addition, there is a collection of photographs and memorabilia representing the Hanover-Horton area.

Riske room

[Top of Page]

Wayside Inn Post Cards

The Museum has put together a video of post cards from VanSchoick's Wayside Inn on Round Lake. The post cards are from 1905-1925. The Wayside Inn was a very popular turn of the century "get-a-away".

Wayside Inn Video

[Top of Page]

Gift Shop

The museum also boasts of a small gift shop in which the visitor can purchase a variety of quality handmade items. The songs you may have listened to at the beginning of this page, along with 47 others, are also avaliable on three CDs for $10.00 each.

gift shop gift shop

[Top of Page]

Group Tours

The tour format: A short lecture about the reed organs is followed by a demonstration of playing the different organs. Guests are invited to play and experience the special foot-work of a reed organ. Next is a guided tour of all museum exhibits and the classroom representing the old one-room school house.

Lunches are available at our Heritage Park Event Center for an additional cost and advance reservations. Wagon rides around the 82 acre Heritage Park can also be arranged in advance.

Please allow 1.5 hours for the museum tour. The buildings and restrooms are handicapped accessible except for the 2nd floor of the museum. The price for the guided tour is $5.00 per person, minimum tour is $50.00.

To schedule a tour or for further information, contact Marge Barden at 517.563.2808 or the Museum Office at 517.563.8927 between the hours of 8:00 am and Noon (EST) Tuesday thru Friday. You may also E-mail Us for information.

You may download an Educational Tour Form by clicking on this link. [Educational Tour Form]

[Top of Page]

Restoration Workshops

restoration workshop

Restoration workshops are held under the leadership of Don Glasgow of Archibald, Ohio, Larry Claus of Bellevue, Ohio, John Wise of Clyde, Ohio, and John Hastings of Ellsworth, Michigan. All are very experienced in the field of antique reed organ restoration. Workshops are held one weekend a month. There are currently approximately 45 organs in the workshop in need of various repairs. We work on several organs at a time depending on the participation that session. Typical activities include repairing bellows, replacing valve faces, tuning, cleaning, and basic case restorations. Anyone with an interest in reed organ restoration is welcome to come and learn by doing. Participation requires a Society membership.

Workshops are held on Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at the Herrick Building next to the Museum.

Please email Sharon Folkerth for more information or call her at 517.531.5005.

MLive featured this year's Organ Restoration Workshop with a nice article, pictures, and video. Click the following link to open the MLive article in a separate window. Go to MLive

Restoration Workshops 2020

[Top of Page]