Past Events

Appreciation Reception
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 6-8 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Members, supporters, and volunteers are invited for refreshments to this GWBHS appreciation reception. Complimentary drawing ticket included for choice of multiple prizes. RSVP by July 10 to rsvp@gwbhs.org or 248.518.0871.

Michigan Logging Open House
Sunday, July 9, 2017 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
As a booming industry, this open house looks at Early Michigan Logging Equipment. Focusing on some early tools recovered from Michigan logging camps, such as saws, axes, and pulling and horse equipment. Permanent exhibits will be featured interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

Lake Archaeology Open House
Sunday, June 11, 2017 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Local lakes have claimed many treasures throughout our history. Come see some long, lost treasure that has resurfaced through the efforts of local residents: jewelry, historical tokens, tools, an array of interested bottles, lanterns, artifacts. What else is buried underwater? Find out at our March Open House. Permanent exhibits will be featured interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

Volunteer Opportunities Meeting
Saturday, June 10, 2017 10 a.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Are you looking for flexible, interesting volunteer opportunities? Come learn our needs — from one-time to long-term commitments. No charge.

National Trails Day Walk
Saturday, June 3, 2017 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m., Walnut Lake Road entrance of WB Trail
Celebrate National Trails Day by walking the West Bloomfield Trail’s scenic and historic rail-to-trail path beginning at the Walnut Lake Rd. entrance. Step off the trail to the Orchard Lake Museum for refreshments. See Parks and Recreation Brochure for more information. Sponsored with West Bloomfield Parks & Recreation. No charge.

Join the Memorial Day Parade(s)
Monday, May 29, 2017 9 a.m. – noon, Keego Harbor and Sylvan Lake
Walk or bike in the Monday Memorial Day parades! Or bring your vintage car! To participate, contact DuAnne, 248.683.1542 or duannesonneville@hotmail.com.

Apple Island Tours
All tours have been CANCELLED for SUNDAY, MAY 21 due to thunderstorms. Saturday, May 20 & Sunday, May 21, 2017 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Self-paced guided tours of Apple Island. First come, first served. No reservations. 3:30 p.m. is last departure. $15 adult ticket donation, $10 child (5-12 years, no kids under 5) ticket donation.

Apple Island Docent Training
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 7 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Would you like to lead a tour on Apple Island or guide a 2nd grade class through the Orchard Lake Museum? Come see what it’s all about. RSVP by Tuesday, May 16 to Gina 248.622.7570. No charge.

Farmington Junction: A Trolley History
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 7 p.m., WB Library Main Meeting Room, 4600 Walnut Lake Road
Local historian Brian Golden explores the interurban, a light-rail system which ran from downtown Detroit, through Farmington, and then to Pontiac. Sponsored with the West Bloomfield Library. No charge.

Spring Nature Walk
Sunday, April 23, 2017 2-3 p.m., Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary, 4700 Pontiac Trail
Join Naturalist Carol Fink for a guided tour. Walk through rolling terrain and explore the breathtaking spring flowers. Sponsored with Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary. No charge.

Iraq to West Bloomfield
NEW DATE: Sunday, April 23, 2017 2 p.m., WB Library Main Meeting Room, 4600 Walnut Lake Road
Salma M. Ajo, PhD, shares her life experiences growing up in Iraq during the 1950s-60s and her life in West Bloomfield. No charge.

Lake Life: History of Our Local Lakes – Open House
Sunday, April 9, 2017 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Information and artifacts about Cass, Sylvan and Orchard Lakes will be displayed and shared by Open House hosts. Permanent exhibits will be featured interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

March Open House
Sunday, March 12, 2017, 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Enjoy temporary and permanent exhibits interpreting area history and culture. No charge.

Volunteer Opportunities Meeting
Saturday, March 11, 2017 10 a.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Are you looking for flexible, interesting volunteer opportunities? Come learn our needs — from one-time to long-term commitments. No charge.

History of the 1967 Detroit Rebellion
Sunday, February 26, 2017 2 p.m., WB Library Main Meeting Room, 4600 Walnut Lake Road
Historian and Lecturer Jamon Jordan looks at Detroit racial history, noting the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Rebellion. No charge.

Indoor Games Open House
Sunday, February 12, 2017 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Play indoor games: Shoot the Moon, Jacks, Tiddly-Winks, and Native American Skill Game. Permanent exhibits will be featured interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

Annual Meeting & This Place Matters Presentation
Saturday, January 28, 2017 10 a.m. – noon, Orchard Lake Schools, 3535 Commerce Rd., Dining Hall, Bldg. 15
Annual meeting and This Place Matters presentation by Ron Campbell. $15 includes brunch. Reservations by January 24 at www.gwbhs.org/events, rsvp@gwbhs.org or 248.518.0871. No annual meeting charge. Parking: enter from Commerce Road and park in the first west parking lot, close to this year’s dining room.

Ice Harvesting Open House
Sunday, January 8, 2017 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Prior to modern day refrigerators, ice was the only means to keep our perishable groceries cold and fresh. The area lakes provided not only local residents and businesses ice for refrigeration, but much of the ice was loaded on trains/cars and shipped to Detroit for the meat processing industry. Ron Hanson shares his family’s ice cutting saw and photos of the saws being used on Orchard Lake and Pine Lake. Permanent exhibits will be featured interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER – Open House with a Nutcracker Theme
Sunday, December 11, 2016 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
See a selection of nutcracker-themed music boxes and snowglobes. Experience permanent exhibits interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

Military Memorabilia Open House
Sunday, November 13, 2016 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Do you have military memorabilia to share during the Open House? We will exhibit some World War II relics and welcome anyone to bring in their military memorabilia from any time period. Also featured will be permanent exhibits interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

Autumn Nature Walk
Sunday, October 16, 2016 2 p.m., Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary, 4700 Pontiac Trail
Join Naturalist Carol Fink for a guided tour. Walk through rolling terrain and explore seasonal autumn beauty. Sponsored with City of Orchard Lake Village. No charge.

Antique Saws Open House
Sunday, October 9, 2016 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Come and see an extensive collection of antique saws dating back to 1890 that was started by Jerry McManus in 1976 in Iosco County (the Tawas area). That area is rich in lumbering history and a beautiful part of Michigan. A friendship formed with Neil Thornton, whose family used to own The Tawas Herald and the Oscoda Press, and the antique saw collection’s history came to life. Come learn a wealth of information about antique saws, and also experience some permanent exhibits interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

Pine Lake Cemetery Tour
Saturday, October 8, 2016 10 – 11:30 a.m., northeast corner of Lone Pine & Middlebelt Roads
Visit Pine Lake Cemetery and learn about prominent local residents buried there, from pioneer John Green to football hero Nick Pietrosante, and Detroit Tiger Norm Cash. $5. Optional restaurant stop following.

Kit Homes in Michigan
Wednesday, September 28, 2016 7 p.m., WB Library Main Meeting Room, 4600 Walnut Lake Road
Join Sears kit homeowners and enthusiasts Andrew and Wendy Mutch as they explore the fascinating history of kit and catalog homes. Learn about Michigan’s role in the kit house industry and see examples from vintage catalogs. See a photographic tour of the many kit homes located in West Bloomfield area communities. Sponsored with West Bloomfield Township Library. No charge.

Edible Wild Plants Open House
Sunday, September 11, 2016 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Learn about the edible or medicinal plants that grow wild, perhaps right in your backyard. Come and see what Jim Cherfoli has found this year. Also featured will be permanent exhibits interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

Pleasant Lake Improvement Association History Open House
Sunday, August 14, 2016 1-4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
The Lake Improvement Association (LIA) was a summer cottage community started by Eastern European Jewish Immigrant families looking for a quiet place to spend the summers away from the city.  Each member had an unobstructed view of the lake, and a similarly sized lot to bring out or build a cottage on. This year they celebrate their 75th anniversary. Come learn more about the LIA’s history at our August Open House. Also featured will be permanent exhibits interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

Appreciation Reception
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 6 – 8 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Members and volunteers are invited for refreshments to this GWBHS appreciation reception. Complimentary drawing ticket included for choice of multiple prizes.

Antique Kitchenware Open House
Sunday, July 10, 2016 1 – 4 p.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Imagine what food preparation tools would have been used in the kitchen in the late 1800s. See a original collection from our presenter, Gwynne Cherfoli, and her Iowa family with kitchen tools over 100 years old. Also featured will be permanent exhibits interpreting local area history and culture. Hands-on activities. No charge.

Volunteer Opportunities Meeting
Saturday, June 11,2016 10 a.m., Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Are you looking for flexible, interesting volunteer opportunities? Come learn our needs — from one-time to long-term commitments. 2017 events are being planned now! No charge.

National Trails Day Walk
Saturday, June 4, 2016 8:30 – 11 a.m., Walnut Lake Road entrance of WB Trail
Celebrate National Trail’s Day by walking the West Bloomfield Trail’s scenic and historic rail-to-trail path beginning at the Walnut Lake Rd. entrance. Step off the trail to the Orchard Lake Museum for refreshments. See Parks and Recreation Brochure for more info. Sponsored with West Bloomfield Parks & Recreation. No charge.

Join Us In a Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 30, 2016 9 a.m. – noon, Keego Harbor and Sylvan Lake
Walk or bike in the Monday Memorial Day parades! Or bring your vintage car! Contact us to participate.

Apple Island Tours
Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22, 2016 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Orchard Lake Museum 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Semi-guided tours of Apple Island. First come, first served. No reservations. 3:30 p.m. is the last departure. $15 adults, $10 children 5-12 years (no kids under 5). $5 GWBHS and Time Travelers members. Sponsored with West Bloomfield School District, West Bloomfield Library, City of Orchard Lake and Orchard Lake Schools.

Docent Training
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 7 p.m. Orchard Lake Museum 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Would you like to lead a tour on Apple Island or guide a 2nd grade class through the Orchard Lake Museum? Come see what it’s all about. RSVP by Tuesday, May 17 to Gina, gina@gwbhs.org or 248.622.7570.

History LIVES in Grandma’s Button Basket
Wednesday, April 27, 2016 7 p.m. WB Library Main Meeting Room, 4600 Walnut Lake Road
Michigan Button Society garment fastener collector-historian Chris Parham shares her buttons and extensive knowledge. Q&A. Bring your family buttons for identification and care suggestions. Sponsored with West Bloomfield Township Library. No charge.

Spring Nature Walk
Sunday, April 17, 2016 2-3 p.m. Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary, 4700 Pontiac Trail
Join Naturalist Carol Fink for a guided tour. Walk through rolling terrain and explore the breathtaking spring flowers. Sponsored with City of Orchard Lake Village. No charge.

April Open House: Our School History
Sunday, April 10, 2016 1-4 p.m. Orchard Lake Museum 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Our School History is a project of Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society to document the history of West Bloomfield School District. Project Chair, Christy Forhan, will share what she has learned during her research to create school history panels for each of the district’s schools. No charge.

Celebrating Our School History with West Bloomfield Schools
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 7 p.m. WB Library Main Meeting Room, 4600 Walnut Lake Road
Celebrate the unveiling of each of the West Bloomfield Schools historical information exhibit panels with WBSD. Brief presentation. Sponsored with West Bloomfield School District and West Bloomfield Township Library. No charge.

March Open House: West Bloomfield Tornado 40th Anniversary
Sunday, March 13, 2016 1-4 p.m. Orchard Lake Museum 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Learn about the F4 tornado that damaged dozens of West Bloomfield homes and businesses on March 20, 1976. No charge.

Volunteer Opportunities Meeting
Saturday, March 5, 2016 10 a.m. Orchard Lake Museum 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Are you looking for flexible, interesting volunteer opportunities? Come learn our needs — from one-time to long-term commitments. Learn about Apple Island Tours volunteer opportunities.

The History of African Americans in the US Marine Corps
Sunday, February 28, 2016 2 p.m. WB Library Main Meeting Room, 4600 Walnut Lake Road
The Montford Point Detachment, a Detroit-based, nonprofit veterans’ organization with the first African Americans to serve the Corps, share their history. Sponsored with West Bloomfield Library. No charge.

February Open House: Vintage Valentines
Sunday, February 14, 2016 1-4 p.m. Orchard Lake Museum 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Valentine cards reflect the times, through popular themes, poetry, humor, art and cultural values. Come and see a collection of 1930’s Valentines and experience nearly 100-year-old love stories. No charge.

Annual Meeting and Presentation: Historic Photos of the Area
Saturday, January 30, 2016 10 a.m.-noon. Orchard Lake Schools, 3535 Commerce Rd., Dining Hall, Bldg. 15
Annual meeting and photo presentation of 1900s West Bloomfield area by Dave Walls. $15 includes brunch. Reservations by January 26 at gwbhs.org, rsvp@gwbhs.org or 248.518.0871. Call with questions. No charge for annual meeting only.

January Open House: Sylvan Lake Inn and the Pewabic Pottery Connection
Sunday, January 10, 2016 1-4 p.m. Orchard Lake Museum 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Learn about how the Sylvan Lake Inn, designed by William Stratton in 1893, is connected to Pewabic Pottery (Mary Chase Perry Stratton). This interesting connection and the vast history of this building, now the Sylvan Lake Community Center, will be explored at the GWBHS January open house. No charge.

December Open House with Spinning Demonstrations
Sunday, December 13, 2015 1-4 p.m. Orchard Lake Museum 3951 Orchard Lake Road
You are invited to hear docent DuAnne Sonneville talk about spinning. Besides a brief history, she will demonstrate how to turn sheep’s wool into yarn using a drop spindle, a Saxony wheel, and GWBHS’s recent addition, the Bryce Wheel. You will also learn many other things associated with this craft, including the original meaning of the many words, phrases, and adages that started as part of the lexicon of spinning. No charge.

November Open House
Sunday, November 8, 2015 • 1-4 p.m. • Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Enjoy Orchard Lake Museum’s temporary and permanent exhibits interpreting area history and culture. Speaker Gina Gregory will share her great-uncle’s mementos from World War I. See the photos, souvenirs personal notes and songs of a soldier from the Army 321 Supply Company unit from his time in France, as the war ended (1918-19). No charge.

Autumn Nature Walk
Sunday, October 18, 2015 • 2 p.m. • Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary, on Pontiac Trail west of Old Orchard Trail
Join Naturalist Carol Find for a guided tour. Walk through rolling terrain and explore autumn seasonal beauty. Sponsored with the Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary and Orchard Lake Village. No charge.

Michigan Military Academy Morning*
Saturday, October 10, 2015 • 9 a.m.- noon • St. Mary’s Dining Hall, Bldg. 15, Commerce Rd.
MMA author Brian Bohnett and St. Mary’s historians, Marcin Chumiecki and JJ Przewozniak, share their perspectives and recently found artifacts from the 1880-1905 military prep school, known as the “West Point of the West.” Event includes brunch, presentations, artifacts exhibits, and MMA focused guided campus tours. $15 per person.

Vintage Fashions*
Saturday, September 19, 2015 • 1-3 p.m. • Recreation Activities Center, 4640 Walnut Lake Road
The Questers historical organization volunteers model elegant authentic 1860-1940’s garments. You’ll gain awareness of what it was like to dress during the Victorian era and why fashions changed so dramatically during the 1900’s. $10 per person includes refreshments.

Archaeology for Adults*
Saturday, August 8,15, 22, 29., 2015 • 9 a.m.-noon • Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Detroit Center of Public Archaeology offers in-depth learning about archaeology in your community; the convergence of archaeology and historic preservation; including visits to archaeological sites. Up to 18 adults, ages 14+. 1:10 ratio. $50 per person.

Archaeology for Tweens*
Saturday, July 11,18, 25, Aug. 1, 2015 • 1-4 p.m. • Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Learn about the science of archaeology through hands-on, interactive projects, outdoor activities, and visits to a local laboratory and an archaeological site with Detroit Center of Public Archaeology. Up to 18 students, ages 10-13. 1:6 ratio. $40 per person.

National Trail Day Walk*
Saturday, June 6, 2015 • 8:30-11 a.m. • Park at Walnut Creek Middle School, 7601 Walnut Lake Rd.; shuttle returns you to your car.
Celebrate National Trail Day by walking the West Bloomfield Trail from Walnut Lake Road, along the historic rail-to-trail path, to Sylvan Manor Park. Step off the trail to the Orchard Lake Museum for refreshments. See Pathways for more information. No charge.

Apple Island Tours
Saturday, May 16 & Sunday, May 17, 2015 • 11-5 p.m. • Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Guided tours of Apple Island. First come first served. No reservations. Last departure at 3:30 p.m. Sponsored with West Bloomfield Schools. $15 adults, $10 children 5-12 years. $5 GWBHS and Time Travelers members.

Docent Training
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 • 7 p.m. • Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road
Would you like to lead a tour on Apple Island or guide a 2nd grade class through the Orchard Lake Museum? Come see what it’s all about.

Spring Nature Walk
Sunday, April 19, 2015 • 2-3 p.m. • Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary, Pontiac Trail west of Old Orchard Trail
Join Naturalist Carol Fink for a guided tour. Walk through rolling terrain and explore the breathtaking spring flowers. Sponsored with Orchard Lake Village. No charge.

Apple Island Spring Forum*

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 • 7-9 p.m. • Orchard Lake Community Church, 5171 Commerce Road
Anthropologist LouAnn Wurst, Ph.D., shares 2014 Western Michigan University Apple Island Archaeological Dig Project findings and MI and National Register of Historic Places designation progress. Sponsored with West Bloomfield Schools. $5 donation.

Dear Friend, A Romance Through Words
Sunday, March 29, 2015 • 2 p.m. • WB Library Main Meeting Room, 4600 Walnut Lake Road
Journalist Hildred Corbett recounts the 1913-1914 correspondence courtship of her grandparents and how this became a book. Sponsored with West Bloomfield Library. No charge.

Heart Basket Class*
Saturday, March 14, 2015 • 10-12:30 p.m. & 1 – 3:30 p.m. • Schulak Farm, 6889 West Maple Road Participants will make an 8” reed heart basket with professional crafter DuAnne Sonneville and learn techniques involved in making a spoked basket. Class size limited to eight. $20 includes materials.

Volunteer Opportunities Meeting
Saturday, March 7, 2015 • 10 a.m. • Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road Are you looking for flexible, interesting volunteer opportunities? Come learn our needs — from one-time to long-term commitments. Planning begins now for Apple Island Tours and Vintage Fashions.

The Underground Railroad Michigan Connection
Sunday, February 22, 2015 • 2 p.m. • WB Library Main Meeting Room, 4600 Walnut Lake Road Former Pontiac Mayor Willie Payne highlights southern fugitive slaves and the Michigan abolitionists and free Blacks that assisted them via the Underground Railroad. Sponsored with West Bloomfield Library. No charge.

Annual Meeting and Presentation: Farmington Junction – A Trolley History
Saturday, January 31, 2015 • 10 a.m.-noon. • St. Mary’s Dining Hall, Bldg. 15, Commerce Rd.

Annual meeting and presentation by historian Brian Golden about the Detroit United Railway interurban system. $15, includes brunch.

*Sponsored with West Bloomfield Parks & Recreation Commission
†Prepayment at www.gwbhs.org/events