History in the making

The Boyne Heritage Center is a new nonprofit poised to become a flagship attraction and history hub for Boyne City Michigan and the surrounding area. This new historical interpretive center will be the living voice and collective memory of those who came before us and those who will come after us.


Our heritage can be our legacy!

Where we were

Decades ago, there was a strong and active historical society in Boyne City that helped and supported the City’s Historical Commission. The two groups accomplished a tremendous amount over the years, even working to pass a millage to fund an addition on the old City building to house the museum. Volunteers were passionate and devoted, but like most small town museums, the result was more like an antique store — shelves and shelves of old and interesting objects, but no overarching storyline to tell the fascinating history of the Boyne area.

Eventually, the energy fizzled out. The system just wasn’t sustainable. All responsibility for museum maintenance, management and promotion was

square on the shoulders of volunteers and City staff, who had their own full-time jobs to do. Many key volunteers died, with too few new members joining to pick up the torch. To complicate matters, only Boyne City citizens were eligible to serve on the Historical Commission, leaving those who were

passionate but outside of the city limits under-utilized. Other volunteers felt burnt out and unsupported. A mire of apathy, frustration and division grew instead of a focused, unified effort. Straggling groups tried to rejuvenate the museum, but the momentum never gained any lasting traction.

Interest waned, tasks went undone, artifacts piled up in stacks and boxes, some became damaged and others feared lost. Attendance dropped and the space grew musty and dark. When the rare visitor did wander in, a City staff member would take them back to the museum space, turn on the lights, then return to their job, leaving the visitors to wander through on their own. Most people visited only once, since there was rarely anything new to see. Many never even knew there was a historical museum in town.









Dreaming big


When blueprints for a beautiful new municipal complex on the waterfront included a large space dedicated for the museum, a handful of history lovers in the community saw a golden opportunity. They met with City officials to share their vision for a vibrant new heritage center for the entire area. The City immediately saw the potential as well and gave an enthusiastic thumbs up for the group to research other museums to form a plan forward.






With community input, the needs became clear

• A professional museum designer to develop the new exhibit space

• A new nonprofit organization with a board of directors to assume governance, management, strategic planning, fundraising and promotion

• A new name to reflect the transformation

• A paid director, curator and support staff

• The funding to make it happen

The dream is underway!

Community meetings were held and input gathered. A museum designer was hired and the first two of four phases of the exhibit space has been designed. A board of directors was formed and bylaws written. A new name was chosen, strategies planned, branding developed and nonprofit status approved by the IRS. The colossal job of inventorying, photographing and cataloguing the collection of historical artifacts has begun. 

No longer a dark, musty museum waiting for the rare visitor. The Boyne Heritage Center is poised for launch. It’s an ambitious dream, but dreaming big is Boyne’s heritage!

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The old museum was full of interesting artifacts, but it did not tell our story.

We envision our community gaining understanding, enthusiasm and an appetite

for history and in turn, becoming more engaged in building a more vibrant region.

Our mission

To be the expressive living voice

and collective memory of

those who came before us,

stewards of artifacts and

an engaged, collaborative

historical hub for our region.

Our values









Our purpose &

pledge to do it right

The purpose of the Boyne Heritage Center is to promote the collection, preservation, educational interpretation and display of the Boyne City area’s artifacts, documents, events and history, its people and institutions, its cultural and economic development. Likewise, the primary goal of the corporation is to preserve the Boyne City area’s heritage for the benefit of present and future citizens.

The Boyne Heritage Center takes very seriously our commitment and responsibilities of being a good steward of the resources we hold in public trust. We pledge that, in fulfillment of our educational mission, we will strive to operate according to national standards and best practices to the best of our abilities and in accordance with our resources.


The Boyne Heritage Center will follow the Ethics, Standards and Best Practices of the American Alliance of Museums.

Dreaming big is Boyne’s heritage.