Imlay City Historical Museum
77 Main Street
The Imlay City historical museum is owned and operated by the Imlay City Historical Commission, which collects, preserves, and interprets the heritage of Imlay City and the surrounding area, and instills an appreciation of local history through exhibits and educational programs. It is located in the historic Grand Trunk Railroad Depot at 77 Main Street in Imlay City. The museum is open April through December on Saturday afternoons and staffed by volunteers.
The museum is divided into thematic sections that transport one to different segments of the area’s history. Whether it is doctor’s office equipment, memorabilia or vignettes of bedchambers, or a sample parlor filled with period furniture, visitors have plenty to peruse. Other sections are devoted to everything from music ephemera, to kitchen goods to radios, and personal grooming items.
Another fascinating area brings local soldiers up close and personal. Veterans from various armed services and wars are presented through mannequins wearing their uniforms. Visitors can also examine the personal items and equipment the soldiers used. Visitors have the chance to delve deeper into the history of the area through detailed panels that highlight various people and events. The museum honors the area’s agricultural heritage with a display of hand tools in an annex building. Through that exhibit visitors can truly understand and appreciate the hard work and sweat that it took to build Michigan’s farms.
Although open only on Saturday afternoons, the Imlay City Historical Museum is worth a stopover. Nearby is a restored Grand Trunk Railroad caboose and dining car. The depot museum still welcomes visitors today, as it did during the heyday of passenger railroading, but in a different sense—it is now a place remembering history instead of making history.
The depot is listed on the State Register of Historical Sites.