Pentwater museum offers audio narration.

June 22, 2019

Pentwater museum offers audio narration.

PENTWATER — A new tech tool has come to the Pentwater Historical Society Museum, located at 85 South Rutledge. 

Imagine spending a few hours at the Museum learning about the shipwrecks off the shores of Pentwater, or trying your hand at the old walnut pump pedal organ donated by a Pentwater resident.  Do artifacts from the Native Americans who lived in this area interest you? Or finding a photo of your dad or granddad playing basketball for the Pentwater Falcons in the ’40s? You can discover all sorts of keen information, and all you need is your cell phone.  It’s like having a Pentwater historian whispering in your ear as you walk around the Museum.

“We’ve acquired an innovative and engaging method of bringing information and short stories to all of our visitors,” said Nancy Zielinski, museum director.  “You first dial a special access number on your cell phone.  Then, as you browse the museum, you’ll notice that we’ve numbered various artifacts and exhibits.  Enter on your cellphone any of the numbered artifacts that interest you, and you’ll learn more about that topic.  You can do this at your own pace.” 

The technology is called Guide by Cell, and the Pentwater Historical Society leadership is very excited to bring it to visitors beginning this season.  Zielinski said that visitors using Guide by Cell will come away knowing the answers to questions like these:  Why did Native Americans come to settle in Pentwater?  Did Pentwater have more year-round residents in 1871, or today? Was Pentwater Channel always where it is today?  A quarter-million WHAT per day were manufactured in Pentwater in 1872?  How did Birdland get its name?  How many movie houses have there been in Pentwater? Where was the roller rink?  Where was the Pentwater Bedstead Company located? Who from Pentwater fought in Company K during the Civil War?

“We think that those who’ve visited the Museum before will learn about interesting topics overlooked the first time, or items we’ve added since they last visited.”  Zielinski added.  “We have so much on display.  Guide by Cell really makes it easier for visitors to come away with a better understanding of how and whyPentwater evolved over the past 164 years.” 

The recorded narratives are each about a minute in length, and include some interesting anecdotes about Pentwater, its people and landmarks.  Zielinski continued to rattle off questions that are answered in the Guide by Cell narratives:   What’s so special about the tower at Channel Lane Park?  How did the Pentwater Ferry get across the channel, and how many years did it run?  Where was the Pentwater Railroad Depot?  What was called “Pentwater’s greatest civic improvement of the 20thcentury”? Where was “The White Elephant”? How many guest rooms did the Hotel Valeria have?  What two downtown locations were first considered to become the home of the Pentwater Yacht Club?  What stood on the grass parcel next to the Township and Village offices?  The original Nickerson Inn had 14bedrooms, but only how many bathrooms?  Who was the Janet Theater named after?  Where was Pentwater’s first cemetery located, and how was the site usednext? 

Visitor days of the week vary:  June – August, the museum is open Tuesday through Saturday.  During September – October, the museum is open Thursday – Saturday.  Visitor hours also vary:  June hours are 1 – 4 p.m.  July 2 – August 10 hours are 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  August 13 – October 31 hours are 1 – 4 p.m.  Admission is free.  For more information, see the pentwaterhistoricalsociety.org Website, or the Pentwater Historical Society Museum page on Facebook.

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