Gratiot County Historical and Genealogical Society

Ithaca, Gratiot County, Michigan

Past Exhibits

2015

Weddings of the Past and Our Immigrant Heritage

2014

The Museum’s Hat Collection and One-Room Schools of the Past

2013

Exhibit featured the museum’s antique quilts, sewing machines and sewing related items; also area businesses of the past.

2012 – World War II Exhibit

Invitation to the WWII Exhibit

WWII Exhibit Brochure

Opening Day!

PowerPoint Presentations (clicking on the link will initiate a download)

WWII Exhibit – Items Solved

Army Air Corps

Army Air Corps

At the beginning of World War II, the United States Air Force simply did not exist. Instead of being a separate branch, pilots trained and flew missions under the orders of the Army Air Corps. Thanks to an extensive collection... Continue Reading →
Fortney Sisters’ Journals

Fortney Sisters’ Journals

The entire nation of these United States mobilized to defeat tyranny in WWII.  Of course, the war effort redirected the paths of the young men who served in the military.  However, without active support from nearly every other part of... Continue Reading →
Lee Chaffin’s Letter

Lee Chaffin’s Letter

As WWII ground on through the 1940’s, no one could take the final outcome for granted. The Nazis and their allied regimes in Italy and Japan were a powerful enemy. Many young people found it necessary to put their hopes... Continue Reading →
Duane Rench’s Bible

Duane Rench’s Bible

The fall and early winter of 1944 marked some of the most critical and dangerous bombing missions of the entire conflict. The Allied ground forces in Europe pushed hard to solidify the progress they had made across the Continent since... Continue Reading →
Jack Ginther’s Dinner

Jack Ginther’s Dinner

Jack Ginther will tell you that two of the darkest days of his life were 1)when he heard President Roosevelt had died in 1945 and 2)when he learned that his basic training had been extended 2 weeks, causing him to... Continue Reading →
John Barden’s Bullet

John Barden’s Bullet

A secretary for the tire rationing board on April29, 1944, young Lois Barden sat in Ithaca’s Courthouse basement, busy at her work. She looked up to see the face of the gentleman who ran the telegraph office in the train... Continue Reading →
Red Ingalls’ Knife

Red Ingalls’ Knife

Red (Leman) Ingalls joined the U.S. Navy in August, 1944 – even though he was too young. At 17, his mother had to sign his enlistment papers. Sailors earned $17 a month, but with WWII at its height, pay was... Continue Reading →
Duane Beard’s Mail

Duane Beard’s Mail

Duane Beard was a sonar man in the U.S. Navy, posted to the island of Tinian in the Pacific. From that island, one August day, he mailed a letter to his sweetheart Joyce in St. Louis, MI. Of course it... Continue Reading →
Milkweed

Milkweed

The Gratiot County Herald in its August 31, 1944 issue printed directions for gathering and preserving milkweed pods. It noted that “when the Japanese captured the East Indies, our supply [of material normally used for life preservers] was cut off.... Continue Reading →
Romaine Flegel

Romaine Flegel

It is thanks to Romaine Flegel’s daughter Barb Flegel, that we have on loan the items displayed as part of our spring WWII exhibit, along with a bit of their background story.  However, Romaine found it difficult to talk of his... Continue Reading →
Ration Tokens

Ration Tokens

When America entered WWII after Pearl Harbor, the war reached into almost every part of life. In order for the war effort to be successful, people at home had to make changes. One of the biggest was rationing. Rationing limited... Continue Reading →
Earl Wickman’s P-38 Model

Earl Wickman’s P-38 Model

Earl Wickman graduated from Alma High School’s class of 1940.  By 1943, he was serving in the U.S. Army’s Pacific theater of WWII.  His active duty in New Guinea and the Philippines left him with thrilling tales and fascinating artifacts. ... Continue Reading →
Robert Tedham’s Kit

Robert Tedham’s Kit

In an effort to show off some of the great memorabilia that will be displayed at the Gratiot County Historical Museum’s spring exhibit, we issued a challenge to identify the item in the accompanying picture.  This sturdy canvas sack belonged... Continue Reading →

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