March 1, 2024

Peek Inside Boyne Heritage Center Sept. 3

"Unearthing Treasures: Life in a Lumber Camp" exhibit and more
By Lynda Wheatley | Aug. 28, 2021

Once upon a time, a team of active and passionate Boyne City volunteers painstakingly assembled the artifacts and documents that told Boyne City’s rich history.  They even helped bring about a millage to fund an addition to a city building to house the stuff. As some volunteers died and others moved on, support and momentum faltered, and what was intended to be a museum became a kind of unmanned antique shop with a hodge-podge of interesting objects, photos, and papers — but few visitors.

The coming Boyne Heritage Center aims to pick up that flickering torch. With a new nonprofit, an expanded geographical focus (Boyne Falls, Horton Bay, and other historic towns), and two of four phases of planned exhibit spaces underway (by a Dearborn designer with Henry Ford Museum cred!), the new Boyne Heritage Center is taking shape inside the city’s new waterfront municipal building.

Want a sneak peek? You’ll have your chance during downtown Boyne’s upcoming Stroll the Streets event, 6pm to 9pm Friday, Sept. 3.

The BHC’s “Unearthing Treasures: Life in a Lumber Camp" exhibit showcases images and written remembrances left behind by a family who lived in a Boyne lumber camp more than a century ago.  

Visitors can see the city’s painstakingly restored 1905 town clock, and kids can climb aboard the American LaFrance fire engine — and hand crank its siren, just the way Boyne firemen did when the department bought it new in 1917.  

“We’re in the early days still, taking inventory and high-res scans of our collection,” Keecia Freed, board president tells Northern Express. “These open houses are kind of like a show-and-tell of some of the cool things we’re finding along the way … we have the design, thousands of artifacts. Now it’s which stories can we bring to life?” Learn more about what’s in store at


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