About the Homer Historical Society

Main Street, ca 1963

First Organized

The Homer Historical Society was organized as a bicentennial project in 1974 to preserve and protect Homer history, to educate people about the significance of local history, and to establish a museum.

The dream of a museum was realized sooner than anticipated when in 1974 Maude Blair donated her family’s farm for that purpose. Lots of work had to be done on the house and barn to make them useable as a museum, always with the focus of preserving local history. Maintaining the original buildings and grounds, and meeting museum needs has required fund-raising projects and lots of volunteer efforts.

Blair Historical Farm

The Blair Farm House Today

The Blair Historical Farm—at 26445 M-60 East, one mile east of Homer on M-60—is a pioneer family farm built on land owned by Maude Blair's grandfather, Dr. George Blair, Homer’s first doctor. Miss Blair, a long time Detroit schoolteacher and administrator, was especially interested in having children learn about Homer history. Her sister, Miss Bess Blair, was also a teacher. Now, elementary school students visit Blair Historical Farm every spring to learn about local history and see how people used to live on a farm.

The Albert Blair family in the peach orchard of their much loved farm; date unknown

Renovating the farm is an on-going project. The farm house reflects the way people lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Renovation work in the old barn has provided an office, a display area, and a serving kitchen used during the Society’s annual Fall Festival that began in 1976. One outbuilding houses a working sawmill donated by Robert Ackley. The old Albion Town Hall was moved to the Blair Historical Farm in 2006 from its original location on the corner of F Drive South and M-99. It provides additional exhibit area and space for meetings and programs. The farm's new 40-foot by 64-foot barn built in 2015 showcases large, antique farm machinery including a 30-foot long Birdsell clover huller. This barn holds large farm equipment and other items. The Grover railroad crossing depot has been moved to the farm to commemorate the once active railroad whistle stop used by people to access the railroad southeast of Homer.

Supporting the Society

The Society raises funds for the museum with its annual Fall Festival, an Herb Luncheon in the spring, the Bruce Miller Vintage Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show at the farm in July, memberships, and other donations.

Learn more about the Homer Historical Society Endowment Fund. Donations to it can be made through the Homer Area Community Foundation at (517) 568-3495. The fund is an ongoing commitment to the Historical Society’s purpose.

Sawmill Grover Depot
Sawmill Grover Depot Birdsell Clover Explanation Photo
Kalamazoo River park Kalamazoo River park
Birdsell Clover Huller Large Barn Photo Hand Pump Orchard Sprayer
Kalamazoo River park Todd Wildt Tractor Collection  
Fall Festival Display Todd Wildt  

Detailed Photo Explanations

  1. Sawmill: The working sawmill donated by Robert Ackley.
  2. Grover Depot: Saving the Grover Railroad Depot in 2008 preserved the last of its kind in the area. It was originally located at 29 Mile Road southeast of Homer where people could wait for the Detroit, Toledo, and Milwaukee trains.
  3. Birdsell Clover Huller Explanation Photo: The Birdsell Clover Huller, patented in 1855, was invented by John C. Birdsell of New York and was donated to the Homer Historical Society by John Pardee of Concord.
  4. Birdsell Clover Huller: A 14 by 10 foot Birdsell Clover Huller
  5. Large Barn Photo: The large barn was built in 2015 to store and display farm items and other historic things for museum display.
  6. Hand Pump Orchard Sprayer: Many different types of antique farm tools and equipment, like the hand pump orchard sprayer, illustrate how farm work has changed.
  7. Fall Festival Display: Many interesting things, like the stage curtain from Homer’s True Grist Ltd. Dinner Theatre, are displayed at the Fall Festival.
  8. Todd Wildt: Todd Wildt with his impressive John Deere tractor collection at the Fall Festival.


Society Meetings

Meetings are held the last Thursday of the month from January through October. Meetings will be at the Homer Library in the winter and at the Blair farm in spring and summer. For up-to-date information on meeting dates, times, and locations, visit the Homer Index website or contact Dee Camp by phone at (517) 524-7348.