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.”
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 Society promotes the understanding of the history through the buildings of the Caledonia Historical Village and the artifacts within them.
The March meeting of the Caledonia Historical Society has been cancelled due to the concern for the health and safety of the members and the general public.
The guest speaker, Bill May, of Racine Area Veterans, Inc (RAVI) will be rescheduled for a later date.
Volunteers are key at the Caledonia Historical Village CHV). The Caledonia Historical Society (CHS) owns and operates the village located just east of Hwy 38 and 5 Mile Road as a 501(c)3 non-profit.
The 1877 Caledonia Town Hall is now located in the CHV, and the preservation of the Town Hall was the impetus for the origination of the CHS. Subsequently the CHS chose to preserve the 1902 Sturtevant Milwaukee Road Depot, the 1840’s Log Cabin, the 1927 Caboose, and the 1919 two story Machine Shed. All of these structures were moved to the CHV. All of the structures have been restored or are in process of being restored. There are also many artifacts stored in the structures that epitomize the life of the early settlers who lived in the Caledonia area in the mid-1800’s through the 1920’s. All of the buildings are open (except the machine shed) during the monthly open houses starting with May. The open houses are the fourth Sunday of the month through September and the hours are 12 Noon to 4:00 pm. There are many artifacts in the buildings for viewing also.
All CHS projects are completed by volunteers. Volunteers also maintain the grounds and the upkeep of the structures. The current project is the 1919 Machine Shed. Volunteers will be working on the shed once again as soon as weather permits.
The CHS meets every month on the third Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm. The location in the winter months is the Caledonia-Mt.Pleasant Park Building at 9614 Hwy K. The March meeting will be held March 19th. The April meeting will be held April 16th in the 1902 Milwaukee Road Depot at the Caledonia Historical Village. The public is welcome.
NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHS?
For more information, visit the various pages on this website or email: [email protected]
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 Society promotes the understanding of the history through the buildings of the Caledonia Historical Village and the artifacts within them. History matters. It connects people to something larger than themselves. People need history to understand the world around them and to develop solutions for the future.
The December meeting of the CHS is the CHS Christmas Potluck Dinner at the Caledonia-Mt. Pleasant Park Building at 9614 Co Hwy K . The doors open at 5:30 pm with dinner served at 6:00 pm. Please bring a dish to pass. The public is invited. For more information, view this website or email [email protected]
SAVE THE DATE!
The annual Christmas in the Log Cabin Boutique and Bake Sale in the Town Hall will be held on December 7th from Noon to 7 pm and December 8th from Noon to 4 pm each day. Visit the Caledonia Historical Village and enjoy the spirit of winter in the village. There will be a live Nativity on Saturday. Items available in the 1840’s Log Cabin include jewelry, wood carvings, Christmas decor, fiber arts, quilts, macrame, shatter glass art and much more. Items available in the 1877 Town Hall will be home made baked goods and craft items. Purchase of items supports the goals of the Caledonia Historical Society.
CALEDONIA EARLY GOVERNMENT!
Caledonia became a township in 1842 and the first meeting of the government was held April 7, 1842. The purpose of the meeting was to determine the date for the first election of town officials. The early meetings were held in individual’s homes. Caledonia got its first town hall in 1877 when a single-room, rectangular structure was built near the center of town on Mary O’Connor’s land along Hwy 38. The original Town Hall fell into disuse when the new municipal buildings were constructed in Husher. It remained standing in disrepair until the CHS moved it in 2005 to the Caledonia Historical Village and restored the building.
The restoration of the 1877 Caledonia Town Hall sparked the beginning of the non-profit, the Caledonia Historical Society. The Town Hall was the first building moved to the Caledonia Historical Village. You can learn more about the Town Hall on the CHS Building and Items pages on this website.
The Caledonia Historical Society is happy to announce that the next Fall Heritage Festival will be held on Saturday, September 7th and Sunday, September 8th from 10 am to 4 pm each day. The Fall Heritage Festival is held at the Caledonia Historical Village, 7300 5 Mile Rd (just east of HWY 38 on 5 Mile Rd). The theme of this year’s festival is “Passport to the Past.”
The admission is free, but a donation for parking is suggested. There will be heritage educational games and exhibits, food, music, pie auction, and crafts. John Deere tractors will be available for you to test your tractor driving skills and hole digging skills with a small backhoe. There will be spinning and weaving demonstrations. There will be re-enactors with a civil war demonstration battle including cannons. There is also a bake sale. All of the baked items and craft items are hand made/home made.
All of the buildings will be open with docents available to answer questions. There are many artifacts stored in the buildings as well as on the grounds of the Caledonia Historical Village.
There will be many activities that will interest children and adults. Come and join the Caledonia Historical Society in celebrating our past. Our past is who we are today.
Next Membership Meeting
The next Caledonia Historical Society membership meeting is Thursday, August 15th at 6:30 pm in the 1902 Milwaukee Road Depot at the Caledonia Historical Village. The meeting is open to the public and everyone is welcome.