Experiencing History: Chippewa County Historical Society

Bringing History to Life Through Photographs

by Cliff Duvernois

Chippewa County Historical Society

Listen On …

At the Chippewa County Historical Society (CCHS), their volunteers work hard to preserve and share the history of Sault Ste Marie. Topics discussed include the significance of historical preservation, the role of the CCHS, particularly in relation to Sault Ste. Marie’s history, Bernie’s personal interest in historical photography, and a detailed explanation about the CCHS’s unique model railroad display.

Other topics covered include Sault Ste. Marie’s past industries, military history and Bernie’s story about the Mackinac Bridge. Lastly, Bernie shares the ways for people to get involved or visit the CCHS.


Chippewa County Historical Society of Michigan Website (Click here)

CCHS Facebook Page (Click here)

CCHS Address
115 Ashmun Street
Sault Ste Marie, MI

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Preserving the Past: Exploring Chippewa County’s History with Bernie Arbic

Step into the world of Chippewa County, Michigan, and discover a rich history that shaped the community into what it is today. In a recent interview with Bernie Arbic, a board member and photography enthusiast from the Chippewa County Historical Society (CCHS), we delved into the significance of preserving and celebrating the past. Join us as we explore the importance of historical societies, the unique collections at CCHS, and the incredible stories behind them.

Uncovering Hidden Gems:
One of the highlights in the interview was Bernie Arbic’s fervor for historical photography. He stated, “I just love looking at a picture of people who are long gone but were here in this community, building a community that would not be here without them.” This sentiment encapsulates the essence of why historical societies like CCHS play a crucial role in preserving our collective heritage.

The Birth of a Society:
CCHS, founded in 1919, boasts an impressive list of founding members, including notable figures like Chase Osborne, Michigan’s only governor from the Upper Peninsula. The society’s mission is to preserve and educate the local community about the rich history of Sault Ste. Marie and Chippewa County. Despite experiencing periods of dormancy, CCHS has continuously evolved and flourished, especially in the past three decades.

A Hub of History:
Located at 115 Ashman in Sault Ste. Marie, CCHS houses numerous exhibits, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts. Its crown jewel is an astonishing model railroad display that faithfully recreates the city in the 1950s. This interactive exhibit captures the imagination of both young and old, showcasing the city’s iconic landmarks, businesses, and even the cable manufacturing process for the Mackinac Bridge.

Preserving the Visual Legacy:
With over 2,600 digital images in their database, CCHS offers a treasure trove for researchers and history buffs alike. Local businesses and establishments proudly display CCHS’s photos, highlighting the rich history of the region. Moreover, their comprehensive collection of bound volumes of the Evening News from 1900 to 1954 makes CCHS an invaluable resource for genealogy and historical research.

Engaging the Community:
Beyond preservation, CCHS actively engages with the community through educational programs and activities. Summer programs for youngsters instill a sense of appreciation for history, while open houses during the holiday season delight visitors with the captivating model railroad display. Their Facebook page and website continuously share photos, stories, and updates, ensuring that lovers of history remain connected.

The Chippewa County Historical Society stands as a testament to the importance of preserving and celebrating our history. With their dedicated team of volunteers, unique collections, and community engagement efforts, CCHS plays a pivotal role in bringing the past to life. Whether you’re a history aficionado, a student researching local heritage, or simply curious about the captivating stories of yesteryears, a visit to CCHS promises an enlightening and enriching experience.