Each month, 517 will take a look at different locations in the region to consider exploring. We hope to introduce you to places you may have heard of but haven’t seen along with a few reasons why you should.
Within the heart of Meridian Township at Central Park lies a small, picturesque village that will take you back in time.
Meridian Historical Village, 5151 Marsh Road in Okemos, features buildings that have been relocated and restored to their original 18th century style.
Among the historical transplants is the Randall School, which was used until 1975. The Friends of Historic Meridian rescued the building and moved it to Central Park, where it is now used to teach kids about life in the 1800s. A 19th century-inspired chapel, a newer structure built using historical blueprints, also sits on the grounds and is available for weddings, musical programs, memorials and other events.
Visitors to Meridian Historical Village will also enjoy the general store, the Grettenberger farmhouse, the Barnes house, the log cabin and more.
Meridian Historical Village Executive Director Patrick Edmond Reynolds often gives tours and has fascinating stories about the history of each building.
“It’s just a great little place to experience local history in a more physical way than books or the internet,” Reynolds said. “It’s something I wish people were more aware of and felt free to visit more often.”
The Meridian Historical Village buildings are typically open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. This year’s schedule may be adjusted due to current and future COVID-19 guidelines. Visitors who would like to see inside the buildings are encouraged to check ahead for hours. Visit meridianhistoricalvillage.org for more information.
Meridian Historical Village is a great place for kids to learn about Michigan’s history. Tours and “Big History” lessons are available.
Getting married? Scout out the village as a potential backdrop for your ceremony.
Photographers are welcome at the village. There is no fee for photo shoots on the grounds. Meridian Historical Village appreciates donations to support preserving the grounds and maintenance. Photographers should always give the photography right of way to booked events like weddings.
You’ll often spot avid “Pokemon Go” players at the park, as well as those who enjoy fishing and the surrounding trails.