OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY
White Pine Village
1687 S. Lakeshore Dr.
Ludington, MI 49431
Historic White Pine Village is a self-guided outdoor museum located three miles south of Ludington, in Pere Marquette Charter Township, Mason County, Michigan, containing nineteenth-century buildings and related historical items. The thirty buildings in the village contain artifacts relating to pioneer lumbering, music, farming, shipping, sports, and businesses. Occasionally performances are done with period-costumed staff employees on blacksmithing, spinning, leatherworking, candlemaking, wood carving, and basket making to show how the early settlers of Michigan in the 1800s lived. The museum’s centerpiece is an 1849 farmhouse. The Admission Building has a research library that has history material covering Western Michigan with emphasis on Mason County. The library contains old photographs, archival original newspapers, obituaries and a genealogy department. The library maintains an on-line research database that can be used to help locate the library material. The general public can use the library for a fee.
The Mason County Historical Society that owns the village was formed in 1937. The Historical Society acquired the property land in 1967. The original Pioneer Village outdoor museum of twelve buildings on twenty-three acres opened in 1976 on the weekend of the Fourth of July to thousands of local residents. The first buildings to be reconstructed were the first Mason County Courthouse, Marchido School, Pere Marquette Townhall, Trapper’s Cabin (Mason County’s first post office), General Store, Fire Barn, Abe Nelson Blacksmith Shop, Abe Nelson Lumbering Museum, The Livery exhibit building, the future Maritime Museum, the Village Chapel, and a barn. The Mason County, rural, one-room Marchido School was built in the 1890s. It was relocated to White Pine Village in 1973. The exhibit was prepared by the Retired Teachers of Mason County with the help of volunteers and represents a typical Michigan school of the late 1800s, where it was common for children to walk two miles to attend school. School children groups often experience the school for the day and do activities that their nineteenth-century contemporaries would have done. The school is completely restored to its original condition.