Currently the exhibit area for the Museum is a small area—the display area for Battle Creek Equipment—the original owner of the building. When viewing this exhibit you can look through the double doors and see the larger area that is being prepared for displays in the future. Your support is needed to make this area a reality.
The military has been part of Battle Creek since the first skirmish between Army surveyors and local residents. Battle Creek area residents served in the Civil War including in the famed Iron Brigade. Continuous military presence on a large scale began with the establishment of Camp Custer for WW I training. Since then the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines have called Battle Creek home.
BCRHM is currently displaying artifacts, replicas, and other material related to the history of the military in Battle Creek and items related to local people and organizations.
The name Clark brings to mind one memory of Battle Creek—Clark Equipment Company. Long associated with Battle Creek and located in Springfield, Clark was one of the big companies of the area. Visit BCRHM this month for an interesting look at Clark’s history.
Come on out to the ball game! Battle Creek has a rich baseball history, from fun on the diamond through championships. From company teams to professional baseball Battle Creek has been close to the National Pastime.
Baseball in Battle Creek brought people together from all walks of life and all corporate cultures and rivalries. With a long history right up through current events in sports, Battle Creek is known for its teams.
Company teams competed with all the vigor of their corporate competition. Other amateur teams competed for top level championships in their leagues---and won!
Displayed at the museum through June are photos, descriptions, and memorabilia of this widely loved piece of living Battle Creek history.
The interurban railroad at the beginning of the 20th century was a real boon to people everywhere where it was built. It was a threat to local passenger service of major railroads, and it was no different here in southwest Michigan.
Southwest Michigan lines ran from Grand Rapids west and south. From Kalamazoo it sped passengers east through Battle Creek and all the way to Detroit. It was said if you liked to switch trains a lot, you could make it all the way to Boston!
Though it had its problems from the very beginning, it was very popular. Gull Lake, with its special line from Augusta, was a very popular
destination for local folks. Sadly, this era only lasted a bit shorter than 30 years. Many people wish it still existed today.
Sojourner Truth is best known for her extemporaneous speech on racial inequalities, "Ain't I a Woman?" delivered at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention in 1851.
Born in upstate New York circa 1797, Sojourner Truth was the self-given name, from 1843 onward, of Isabella Baumfree, an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist. Truth was born into slavery, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826. She devoted her life to the abolitionist cause and helped recruiting black troops for the Union Army. Her best-known speech on racial inequalities, "Ain't I a Woman?" was delivered extemporaneously in 1851 at the Ohio Women's Rights Convention.
Becoming a Wife and Mother
Around 1815, Truth fell in love with a slave named Robert from a neighboring farm. The two had a daughter, Diana. Robert's owner forbade the relationship, since Diana and any subsequent children produced by the union would be the property of John Dumont rather than himself. Robert and Sojourner Truth never saw each other again. In 1817, Dumont compelled Truth to marry an older slave named Thomas. Their marriage produced a son, Peter, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Sophia.
Early Years of Freedom
The state of New York, which had begun to negotiate the abolition of slavery in 1799, emancipated all slaves on July 4, 1827. The shift did not come soon enough for Truth. After John Dumont reneged on a promise to emancipate Truth in late 1826, she escaped to freedom with her infant daughter, Sophia. Her other daughter and son stayed behind. Shortly after her escape, Truth learned that her son Peter, then 5 years old, had been illegally sold to a man in Alabama. She took the issue to court and eventually secured Peter's return from the South. The case was one of the first in which a black woman successfully challenged a white man in a United States court.