Historical Society presents Christmas at Ye Olde Courthouse
OMER — The Arenac County Historical Society (ACHS) is hosting its third annual Christmas at Ye Olde Courthouse in Omer during the first two weekends in December.
ACHS Member Joann Gulau says the courthouse, which was constructed in the 1880’s and once used as the county’s main courthouse, will host the ACHS’s annual silent auction that features decorated Christmas trees and wreaths. She says there will also be centerpieces and homemade candy.
“We (ACHS) purchased the building on a land contract about five years ago,” Gulau said. “All of the proceeds we earn from this fundraiser, and other fundraisers, go towards making our monthly payment on the building.”
She says the Standish Masons bought the building in its early years after Standish had constructed a courthouse and had won the vote to host county operations. The Masons used the building for their lodge until 1995, when most of the areas members became elderly and new membership had dwindled, where it sat until the ACHS purchased it, she added.
According to Gulau, the courthouse will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6 and 13 as well as 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 7 and 14.
“We hope everyone comes to see the different rooms and all of the neat Christmas crafts,” Gulau said.
She says the courthouse has a Masonic room upstairs, which features original antique furnishings from early on, a baseball museum downstairs, featuring old pictures and memorabilia from the Northeast League that stretched from Alpena to Bay City circa the 1920’s, and a scrapbook room, which features Standish Mason records and original applications along with over 20 books.
Gulau says there will be a Christmas program for children at 2 p.m. on Dec. 6 as well as a few vendors who’ll be selling decorated crafts and cookies on the weekend of Dec. 13 and 14.
“The second weekend we’ll also be doing a partnership prize raffle with the Arenac County Historical Museum during their Christmas walk-through,” Gulau said. “When you visit one of the places that weekend, we’ll give you a ticket and when you go to the other one, you give them the ticket and you’ll be entered into the drawing.
“We’re going to have two prizes, although we’re not sure what they’ll be yet.”
She says the ACHS opened the courthouse a few other times throughout the year, including the Omer Sucker Derby, Memorial and Labor Day weekends and during the ACHS junk sale in June. The ACHS also allows touring of the courthouse by appointment.
She also says the ACHS is currently holding a penny drive in which they are trying to collect 1,000,000 pennies. Gulau says they’ve reached a quarter of that goal so far and donations may be made at Ma’s Girls Café in Omer as well as PQ’s, Wheelers, Standish Bakery and Arenac Abstract and Title in Standish.
For more information about the Arenac County Historical Society, Museum or Ye Olde Courthouse, contact Gulau at 989-876-6468.