Battle Creek Regional History Museum

Preserving our past to give our history a future...


The RHM Battle Creek (RHM) is a regional history museum displaying the rich and wonderful history of the region. We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, which allows you to take a tax deduction for any contributions.

Governed by a Board of Directors, we have been in the process of developing this museum for over 10 years. At the present time we have open our “Museum Lite” space, the front room of the building, with small regional exhibits as well as a small gift shop and a wool room that help add support while we work on our larger space. Our main goal is to preserve the region’s rich and diverse history.

Our website will keep you informed of our progress so check in with us often. A great way to receive information is to join our mailing list so we can send you updates on events, speakers and programs. The RHM operates solely with volunteers. If you have a passion for history and would like to get involved, visit our get involved page or talk to one of our volunteers when you visit the Museum.

R.H.M. Capital Campaign   
The Battle Creek Regional History Museum, now known as the R.H.M., is led by a board of directions that want to develop its vision of the fledgling venue as a first class, high tech experience for future generations.

And, that is why we are launching a $3 million fund raising campaign. 

The plans are to develop exhibits and displays that tell the story of Battle Creek and the surrounding areas: to conduct "vibrant history and social educational programs for pre K-12 students in line with current curriculum

We also plan to develop a robust membership support program to market the city of Battle Creek by creating a tourist destination, fostering the "Believe in Battle Creek" message, and by having a positive economic impact on the downtown area.

Please help us reach our goal by either donating online or downloading our donation form.

we can do it!

You can download the Capital Campaign form below and mail in your donation.

The Battle Creek Community Foundation is handling the fundraising. You can also donate online by clicking the button below. 

2019 BCRHM Calendar

The Battle Creek Regional History Museum's 2019 Battle Creek History calendar, featuring photos and history of the BC Sanitarium is now available at the museum's gift shop, and will soon be available at Lakeview Card and Gifts on Columbia Avenue, downtown at Battle Creek Books and possibly the Federal Center's gift shop. The price is $10 each.

BCRHM  Location: 
307 W. Jackson Street
Battle Creek, MI. 49037
Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday Noon. - 5 p.m. 

December 15th Third Saturday Program

Kurt Thornton

Local historian and artist Kurt Thornton will present a program featuring some of his drawings at the Battle Creek Regional History Museum (BCRHM).

As a child, Thornton was inspired by his father, Junior Thornton, and his talent in art. As he became older, the subjects for many of his drawings were local sites, whose interest in them came from his mother’s (Frances), love for local history. She was a well-known local historian.

Thornton gives credit for his striking architectural renderings to his seventh grade art teacher, Jan Smith, who taught him basic perspective drawing.
“I have searched for Miss Smith for many years,” said Thornton, “I’ve wanted to thank her for the artistic gift she gave me.” His search for Smith has come to dead ends, because, “I only knew her maiden name ‘Smith’, and the Battle Creek Public School records are in boxes stored in the attic of Willard Library.”

Thornton’s illustrations have been featured by, the local Red Cross, the Historical Society of Battle Creek, the City of Battle Creek, the State of Michigan and many other organizations.

Along with other artwork, he has created a personal calendar, named ‘Kurt’s Calendar’ that has featured Battle Creek area themes for over thirty years. Those calendars and the history they contain, have earned him recognition with a Community Achievement Volunteer Leadership Award from the Michigan State Historical Department in 2005, along with being inducted to the Battle Creek Central High School’s Hall of Fame, and a local George Award. 

“Through my drawings, I try to point out some of the beautiful buildings we have in our community,” said Thornton, “I’ll be showing a wide variety of my Battle Creek drawings, along with artwork that will include ‘Santa Claus images’, Star Wars, Star Trek and more.”

He also enjoys learning and sharing information about our area’s history. He has written four visual imaged books featuring some of his mother’s vast collection of local photographs and post cards.

“Mom obtained some amazing pieces of Battle Creek’s history…sometimes just by being someone that people felt confident that there ‘piece of history’ would be preserved,” said Thornton, “she collected many ‘one-of-a-kind’ items that were connected to our community.”

Most of that vast collection has been donated to the BCRHM.
Thornton combines his passion for art and photographic history, by creating an annual Battle Creek Regional History Museum Calendar. He has taken images from the Thornton Archives and chosen some of the best to place in the calendars.

“This year, I am featuring local schools,” said Thornton, “I’m trying to really make this a regional history calendar. Along with Battle Creek, I also have photos from Homer, Lakeview, Marshal, and Camp Custer.”

The calendars can be purchased at the museum and the Happy House Gift Shop at 100 East Columbia Avenue.

Come join us at RHM Saturday, December 15, at 3:00 PM. There is no admission fee for the program, but donations are appreciated. The museum is located at 307 West Jackson Street, where light snacks will be served before and after the program.

Our Mission

Preserving our past to give our history a future...

Featured Museum Exhibit

Doing manufactured-in-Battle-Creek

It wasn't all cereal.
Battle Creek was a significant producer of other products.
They ranged from small exercise items up to jet bomber sections, threshers, pumps, and many other items.

Visit the Battle Creek Regional History Museum now for a view of what Battle Creek produced.

Join Our Mailing List

If you would like to keep informed of upcoming exhibits, events and RHM Battle Creek announcements please join our mailing list. To join please click the link below and fill out the short form. Once you hit send you will receive a conformation email that you will have to confirm before being added to the mailing list. This is done for security reasons. Our mailing list will not be shared with any third parties. Your privacy is important. 

The RHM Battle Creek operates completely with volunteers. Help is always appreciated in many areas: volunteering your time and talent, donating funds to further our mission of preserving our rich history and even donating items related to our area. Click Get Involved Now to learn more.

Explore Museum

RHM will be posting exhibits that are at the museum. These exhibits will feature a wide range of the area's history and cultures. If you have any suggestions please contact us. To view the exhibits click the link below.

Event Schedule

The museum will also be hosting educational presentations on the third Saturday of every month at 3:00 p.m. Working With Wool classes will be held on the 2nd Saturday at 2:00 p.m. To view the events click the link below.