Preserving a Legacy
The Museum has kept its primary strategic emphasis on the Museum’s programmatic mission of education, preservation and interpretation as it developed a master plan for expansion. The acquisition of the adjacent Jensen Property could not have been a better fit for that plan. The location of the former Jensen’s Fishery, the Jensen Property has a long history of Great Lakes maritime heritage. That property along with the existing Museum campus boasts a history that goes back at least 150 years. The expansion of the Museum property and proposed development/restoration of the shoreline is a major step forward for the growth of the Museum, but also for the guaranteed preservation of historically significant waterfront.
The history of South Haven harbor is a microcosm of small ports all over the Great Lakes. The Museum’s linchpin position in the Maritime District to showcase the rich history of the Great Lakes through exhibits, artifacts, historic vessels, and living history in an authentic harbor setting already make it a unique destination. The expansion of property and spaces will allow visitors, students, researchers, collaborators, and the community to become stewards of history–preserving heritage for generations to come.
Protect valuable harbor real estate and navigational infrastructure as “working waterfront.”
Increase public access to this historic waterfront and related exhibits and artifacts.
Restoration of historic fisheries buildings for the purpose of preservation and exhibit space highlighting commercial fishing and recreational boating activities.
Boost the Museum’s mission to preserve and interpret South Haven’s rich maritime heritage as a busy commercial shipping port for Great Lakes passenger and freight movement, a Lake Michigan commercial fishing base, and a favored port for recreational boating and fishing.
Strengthen the Museum’s role as a steward of Great Lakes cultural and natural coastal resources.