Rental facilities of the Historical Village at 6190 Dixie Hwy in Bridgeport, Mi

Established in 1969, the Historical Society of Bridgeport maintains the Historic Village and provides several buildings for enjoyment by the public. The Donna Lamb Gazebo, the 1896 Town Hall and the New Children's Garden Arbor are all available for rental and may be reserved for weddings, concerts, anniversaries, birthdays, meetings, etc. The facilities are available to residents of Bridgeport and non-residents, businesses and non-profit organizations.

William W Schomaker Museum

The William W. Schomaker Museum is set up in a barn with its own history. William Holland was a wealthy man married to a German farm girl. She was homesick for farm life, so Mr. Holland had this barn built for her. Mrs. Holland kept cows in this barn in stalls at the back of the main room. The hayloft was upstairs with an upper door and a hayfork track that are still there. The loft was also used for dances, parties and roller-skating.

Then the Mihalic family owned this farm, and ran an antique store in the bam. Their sons had a basketball hoop upstairs. They raised the flood-prone property with truck-loads of old pavement, and repaired the barn's foundation.

Bridgeport Charter Township bought the property in the 1980s. The Mihalic House was used by the Bridgeport Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, and the bam was "Der Spookin' Barn" at Halloween. Wally Schomaker asked the Township to lease the Holland Barn to the Historical Society of Bridgeport. The Mihalic house was moved to King Road, and the Historical Society opened the Red Barn Museum in 1990. It was renamed in honor of William Wallace Schomaker in 1995.

Donna Lamb Gazebo

The Gazebo, in the center of the Historic Village, is dedicated to the memory of Donna Lamb. Donna was a charter member of the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, serving as its secretary from the group's formation in 1985. She was also a charter member of the Bridgeport Tourist Commission and the Bridgeport-Spaulding Arts Education Foundation. Donna and Howard Lamb were named Bridgeport Distinguished Citizens in 1991.

The Donna Lamb Gazebo is the site of many events in Bridgeport, and can be rented for concerts, weddings, and other civic and social acitivities.

1896 Old Town Hall

The original Bridgeport Town Hall has a new home. Still in Bridgeport, it was moved from its original location on State Street, near the Post Office, to a new site in the Bridgeport Historical Village, on the Dixie Highway next to the Fire Station, in December 2002.

Constructed in 1896 as the township's new center of government, the cost of building the town hall was $857.75. The move to its present position in the Historical Village cost about $56,000.
Funding for the move came through grants from several foundations: The AndersenFoundation, the Bridgeport Township Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Citizen's Bank, and the Historical Society of Bridgeport.

The renovation of the hall was under the supervision and capable talents of a group of Historical Society volunteers known as the "Close Enough Construction Company." The old 1896 Town Hall has been used as the Bridgeport Charter Township governmental center, polling-place, meeting-room, theater, church, a school, the Bridgeport Boys Band's music room, a dance hall, the public library, the V.F.W. Hall, and the Historical Society of Bridgeport's Museum.

A Genealogy Research Center has been set up in the back room of the Town Hall, in memory of Merlin Allen and Nancy Van Wormer, two longtime members of the Historical Society of Bridgeport. It contains township records and other historical data in hard copy, books and microfilm.

This building can be rented for parties, weddings, or meetings. Call the museum 777-5230.

1881/1885 Hartley Barn

The Hartley Barn has a century of history in its original location and twenty some years in the Bridgeport Historcical Village. Henry Jones received a Federal Land Grant signed by President Ulysses S. Grant for his property in Kawkawlin Township. He received his land on February 1, 1871. The barn was built between 1881 and 1885. It passed to the Hartley Family.
The tourist commission and the Bridgeport Players acquired the barn from Charles Hartley to use as a community theater and dance hall. It was not safe enough to use for that purpose.
It was then used by the Village for storage of their larger historical pieces.
David Ciolek with many volunteers from Bridgeport first disassembled the barn, moved it from Kawkawlin to the Historical Village and then reassembled it in the Village.
The barn is constructed with posts and beams with mortise-and-tenon joints. The equipment on display within the barn was used by local farmers.

Historic Firehouse

This is a replica of the 1941 fire hall built in Bridgeport. It houses the first fire engine of 1940 that Bridgeport had. It is still driven in local parades. It was and is a volunteer fire department. The sign also is a replica of the first sign made at a cost of $12.
There is many artifacts of the equipment first used and pictures of some of the fires they fought. There are also pictures of some of the first men who were part of this department.

New Children's Garden Arbor

This is the Arbor in the Historical Village next to the school house.
It has 4 raised gardens that are planted each year. One is a butterfly garden, one a herb garden, one is a Sun and Fuzzy garden and one is Bulbs and prennials.
The Arbor is a pretty place for weddings in the summer. Please think of renting it for your function.

District 6 Schoolhouse

Bridgeport's School District #6 was established in 1862. Charles Popp was the Chairman. George Ferchau and Michael Housner were Directors of the new School Board. Mrs. Abba Gibson taught about 30 students in George Ferchau's home until the school was built in 1867. Miss Lucie H. Adams was the first teacher in the new school building. Some call it the Popp School because the Popps helped organize the school and donated the lumber, while others call it the Leidline School because it was on John Leidline's property.

A basement was excavated below the Popp School in 1938. In 1953, the school was moved from 4705 South Washington Road to Brown Street, a.k.a. Bearcat Boulevard, across from the old Bridgeport Junior High, a.k.a. Schrah Elementary School, where Mrs. McNally used the school as a music classroom and it was nicknamed "Carnegie Hall."

In 1962, it was painted red, named "The Little Red Schoolhouse" and was used as a pioneer school museum. In 1970, the school was moved closer to the high school football field.
In 1987, the Bridgeport Spaulding Community Schools planned to demolish the old school because it was becoming dilapidated. The "Save the Little Red Schoolhouse Committee" was formed; they raised funds and moved the school house onto its present location in the new Bridgeport Historic Village in 1990.

Hannay House

The Hannay House was acquired in 1998 through the generous support of the Andersen Foundation. The house is in remarkably good condition for its age, and it becomes an important addition to Bridgeport's Historic Village; it represents a solid and attractive style of home architecture called Greek Revival that was introduced to our community in the middle-1800s.

Originally built by William Gilverson at 4438 Williamson Road around 1853, the house was last occupied by Karen's Bed & Breakfast, run by Karen and Stewart Dix through most of the 1990s. Prior to that time, the John Hannay family owned the structure for several generations, as it was located near the south end of the street, adjacent to the well-known Hannay Dairy. Although it is no longer around, that business was operated by the longtime successful dairyman, John Hannay, whose ice cream was a local delight for Bridgeporters for many years.

The late Helen Knodel, a daughter of the late John Hannay, was a local and active member of our society for many years. Helen grew up in this house and greatly assisted the museum in obtaining some of the important artifacts from the former Hannay Dairy.

Following the Historical Society's acquisition of the house, it was moved 400 feet, and set on a new foundation in the Historical Village. The front porch of the house has been rebuilt along with some authentic new pillars, courtesy of our volunteer "Close Enough Construction Company".