The Hamtramck Historical Museum opened in September, 2013, after 15 years of planning and preparation.
The roots of the museum go back to the formation of the Hamtramck Historical Commission, which was created by city ordinance in 1998. The Historical Commission is a seven-member body appointed by the Mayor and City Council that seeks to preserve the rich history of Hamtramck through the collection of material, establishment of historic districts and acquisition of historical markers, and presentation of programs on different aspects of Hamtramck’s history.
In 2004 the Friends of Historical Hamtramck was established. This 501-c-3 non-profit corporation is the fund-raising and financial affiliate of the historical commission. The Friends owns the Hamtramck Historical Museum and all it contains and it operates the museum. Membership in the Friends is open to all. See the “Join” tab on the home page.
When the Hamtramck Historical Commission first met in 1997 it did not have a single document or item in its collection. Today it has thousands of items, including documents, photos, political memorabilia, medical records, films and videotapes, maps, books and miscellaneous other items. Its archives are growing almost daily and now form a vast chronicle spanning Hamtramck’s entire history.
In addition the Friends have been conducting walking and bus tours of the city, which have introduced many people from as far away as Ohio, Indiana and Ontario to Hamtramck.
The Hamtramck Historical Museum, at 9525 Jos. Campau, also is a growing entity. Housed in what was once the first department store to open in the city about a century ago, the building is being completely renovated in stages that will transform it into a state-of-the-art facility. And it is the Friend’s plan to have the museum be more than just a building – it is a community center where a wide range of programs is being held.