Source: Sherman Publications

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Historical museum: New hours, new display, new website

by CJ Carnacchio

June 20, 2012

On display at the Northeast Oakland Historical Museum is a Dolecek toy tractor. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.
The Northeast Oakland Historical Museum is on a mission to attract more visitors and increase the public's accessibility to this repository of local history and artifacts.

Folks wishing to visit the museum, located at 1 N. Washington St. in downtown Oxford, will be pleased to learn it's now open three days a week for the summer.

Visitors will be able to soak up all the knowledge this institution has to offer from 12 noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted.

Right now, the museum has a terrific little collection on display containing a variety of interesting and unique local artifacts from Oxford and the unincorporated communities of Thomas and Oakwood.

Included in the display is a Dolecek toy tractor. Only about 100 or so of the little red metal windup tractors were produced in Oxford in the early 1950s by John and Albert Dolecek, a father-son team of tool and die makers who operated a factory on Metamora Rd., west of M-24.

Another unique pair of items are a photograph of William H. Blanchard, an Oxford man who served in the infantry during the Civil War, and a 1903 ribbon commemorating his life for the 7th Michigan Infantry's 17th annual reunion. He was remembered as "an honest man" and "a faithful soldier."

Other items of interest include souvenirs from Oxford Village's centennial celebration, advertising items from past local merchants, photographs and Oxford High School graduation programs from the early 1900s.

The museum also has a brand new website created locally by OCS Design, which is owned by Michelle Overton.

The website features beautiful photos of the museum's exterior and interior; information on exhibits, volunteer and membership opportunities; historical photos; hours of operation, contact information to arrange field trips and group tours; the museum's history; and a catalog of items for sale in the museum's gift shop.

"A lot of the information is the same, the website just looks better," Overton explained. "It got upgraded, so that people can see what's going on (inside the museum) and the neat things that are available there."

To reach the museum by telephone, please call (248) 628-8413.