Accomplishments and Awards
River Raisin Heritage Trail
The Society partnered with the Community Foundation of Monroe to create and complete a wonderful connection between the City and Wm. C. Sterling State Park.
This trail is unique in that it gives people access to the Wildlife Refuge, a national park, a state park, and historic Monroe.
In 2010, we were privileged to orchestrate its dedication. Guests included Senator Carl Levin, nature conservationist Jeff Corwin and many local VIPs and dignitaries.
Monroe County Historical Museum
126 South Monroe St., Monroe, MI 48161
The building that today houses the Monroe County Historical Museum served as the Monroe Post Office from the early 1900s to the 1970s. When the Museum realized it needed additional office space, the Society undertook fundraising efforts to assist. We raised $1.8 million and used that money to enlarge the basement, install an elevator and create a second floor. Over the years, in addition to this major restoration, the Society provided for incidental improvements in excess of many thousands of dollars. Said improvements included tuckpointing the exterior, installation of new windows, membrane roof repairs, construction of exterior steps and ramps, and new landscaping.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent Motherhouse
610 West Elm Avenue, Monroe, MI 48162
When the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent Motherhouse embarked on their huge restoration project, the Society gifted $25,000 and partnered with them for the redecoration of their lobby.
River Raisin Center for the Arts
114 South Monroe Street, Monroe, MI 48161
The RRCA is an historic landmark in Monroe with many memories for citizens both young and old.
The Society was pleased to help on a number of projects and gave some $25,000 to assist with interior and exterior preservation.
Throughout the City of Monroe
In 2008, The Monroe County Historical Society partnered with the City of Monroe to move the stone Cairn from the south side of Elm Avenue to the present location on the north side.
Woodland Cemetery is the burial site of many of Monroe’s earliest settlers, politicians and war combatants, including some of those killed during the Battle of Frenchtown in 1813. In early 2000, the ownership of Woodland Cemetery was in jeopardy. Again, the Society partnered with the City of Monroe to ensure the future of this historic site.
Sculpted by Edward Clark Potter, the Equestrian Statue “Sighting the Enemy” that depicts General George Armstrong Custer was unveiled in Monroe on June 4, 1910. On three occasions, the Society has underwritten the cost of restoring, cleaning and preserving the Statue. The last occasion occurred in 2010, on the statue’s 100 year anniversary.
Arrangement of the Presidential Wall in Monroe City Hall lobby was, again, underwritten by the Society.
In total, the Society contributed some $40,000 for completion of these projects.
Monroe Trading Post Ledger
The Society purchased the Monroe Trading Post Ledger, dated from 1827 to 1831, in 2012 and proceeded to conserve it for future prosperity. Restoration and rebinding services were provided by the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library in Ann Arbor. Some 600 references to Monroe residents and their mercantile purchases are contained within the ledger.
Raising the Bar of Volunteerism
The Society has been blessed with energetic, enthusiastic volunteers.
Steve Alexander exemplifies the dedication and character it takes to bring legends to life. His portrayal of General George Armstrong Custer is uncanny and has delighted thousands throughout the years.
Looking forward, we see a fast-growing legion of youth carrying the flags of history into the future, helping us ensure the preservation and dignity of Monroe County.
Major Muskrat is the official mascot of the River Raisin National Battlefield Park. Conceptualized in 2011 and brought to fruition later that year, Major made his debut life-size appearance at the 199th commemoration of the Battles of the River Raisin Dance Through Time event.
MCHS put forth the money necessary for the creation of Major Muskrat's costume. With our help, the life-size rendition has become a staple at most RRNBP events.
In 2007, the Society sponsored the visit of the U.S. Brig Niagara to the Port of Monroe. Attendance was enthusiastic and in excess of 10,000 persons. Friends and partners participated in the organization and financial planning, while the Society expended some $70,000.
The Society has partnered in numerous events and projects throughout the County, including:
Fife & Drum Muster
Dance Through Time
Educational programs at the Monroe County Historical Museum
Honoring the memory of General George Armstrong Custer
Entertaining superintendents of Michigan and neighboring state personnel
Sponsoring educational luncheons, dinners and programs throughout the County
In 2013, the Society partnered with the Monroe Community Players in the production of the play Reunion, a post-1812 veterans’ reunion.
May 20, 2011
Cultural Landscape Award from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network for Contribution to Historic Preservation in Michigan, in recognition of the Rivre Raisin National Battlefield Park and the River Raisin Heritage Trail
Certificate from the River Raisin National Battlefield Parkfor being A National Park Service 2013 Outstanding Supporter
January 19, 2013
Certificate of Appreciation from the Royal Canadian Legion in recognition of 200 Years of Friendship and the War of 1812 Bicentennial Celebrations
June 8, 2013
Special Tribute from the State of Michigan for 75 years of service to Monroe County.
June 8, 2013
Special Congratulations from the U.S. House of Representatives for 75th anniversary
September 12, 2013
Merit Award for the River Raisin Heritage Corridor East Master Plan from the Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects