Learn the history of Caledonia. Preserve the history of Caledonia. Share the history of Caledonia. The Caledonia Historical Society (CHS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and sharing materials and information relating to the history of Caledonia. The CHS promotes the understanding of the history through the buildings located in the Caledonia Historical Village(CHV)and the artifacts contained within them.
The grounds of the CHV are open from dawn to dusk, but the buildings will not be open. Please observe safe distance practices while enjoying the CHV environs. The CHS is a 501(c)3 non-profit and donations are welcome. There is a donation box on the east side of the 1902 Depot.
THE 2021 FALL FESTIVAL IS SCHEDULED
The CHS has scheduled the 2021 Fall Festival for the weekend of September 11th- 12th. There will be more hands on activities than previously. The Botting Machine Shed has an occupancy permit so the Festival will be everyone’s chance to step inside and see the progress that was accomplished. More information about the Fall Festival will be provided as arrangements are finalized.
WHERE DID THOSE CREAM CITY BRICKS COME FROM?
The heavy clay soil of the southeastern portion of Caledonia was a curse to the farmers of the region, but it was a boon for George Erskine who lived in the Wind Point area in the 1870s. The nature of the soil, just inland from the shore of Lake Michigan, provided Erskine with the raw materials needed to make excellent bricks. Later in the century Adolph and William Hilker would purchase the Erskine property which included the brick factory. The brothers used a large, cream-colored stain of the clay to make bricks there for many years.
Towards the end of the 19th century many of Caledonia’s and Racine’s public buildings were being remodeled or rebuilt in brick. The Wind Point clay was excellent raw material for the production of large quantities of bricks, most with he distinctive yellowish cast that became known as “Racine” or “Cream City” brick.
The information provided here was taken from the book, “Journey to a Village, Caledonia 1835-2008.”