Heritage Award

Eaton County Heritage Award

January 23, 2013                           

Contact: Julie Kimmer  517-543-6999


Commission Seeks Nominees

For County History Awards

The Eaton County Historical Commission is looking for individuals, groups and organizations who have made worthwhile contributions to the county’s historical heritage.

Up to three of them will receive the commission’s Heritage Award, given annually by the commission for significant work in the preservation, restoration or public awareness of the county’s rich historical heritage.

Representatives of the commission and county historical organizations select winners of the award, which are typically made during the Heritage Conference co-hosted by the Eaton County Historical Commission each fall.

Nomination forms may be obtained from the Courthouse Square Association at the 1885 Eaton County Courthouse in downtown Charlotte, (Phone 517-543-6999) or at The deadline for nominations is April 15.


Click here to obtain the Heritage Award Form



The Mission of the Eaton County Historical Commission is to foster public awareness of the county’s rich and varied historical heritage, to encourage organizations and individuals who work to restore and preserve its historic sites, structures and artifacts and to document and display them for the education and enjoyment of all its citizens.


Who makes the selection? -- The commission makes the selection based on the recommendation of a five-member committee. The committee is made up of three commission members and one representative each from two organizations in the county whose main purpose relates to our historical heritage.

How many awards are given? -- As many as three awards may be made in any one year. They are attractively framed metal certificates presented each May at a ceremony during or near Michigan Week.

How is an entry submitted? -- Nomination forms are available throughout the year in the offices of the Courthouse Square Association in the 1885 county courthouse in downtown Charlotte.





Paul Dave Arnold - Lansing

Forest Allen Gardner - Vermontville


Bernard Geyer - Bellevue

Potterville Public Library - Potterville


Sherry Copenhaver - ECGS

Roger Millbrook - Grand Ledge


Jim Zemke-Vermontville

Sunfield Historical Society


Joyce L. Miller-Bellevue

Eaton Rapids Area Historical Society

John Hall-Delta Township

Tom Shawver-Lansing


Wendel Peabody-Sunfield

Betty & Harlan McDowell-Grand Ledge

Tom Shawver-Lansing

John Hall-Dimondale


Neil & Helen Holihan-Grand Ledge

Bismark Community Boosters-Bismark


Cathie Falk-Charlotte

Marilyn Smith-Grand Ledge


Olivet College-Olivet

Marian Trombley-Watson Country School


Lorabeth Fitzgerald-Grand Ledge

Jean Kline-Eaton Rapids


Shirley Hodges-Charlotte

Maple Syrup Festival-Vermontville


James Woodruff-Delta Township

Tent #30-Sunfield

(Daughters of Union Veterans of Civil War)


Courthouse Square Association-Charlotte

Gladys Hummel-Susan Hinckley-Kalamo Twp.


Museum of Grand Ledge-Grand Ledge

Jack Rathburn-Vermontville


Thelma Caruss-Dimondale

Leila Klaiss-Charlotte


Curtenius Guard Camp #17-Sunfield

Suzanne Schramski-Grand Ledge

Vermontville Historical Society


Grand Ledge Opera House-Grand Ledge

Gaylord Edgerly-Charlotte


Elizabeth Rogers Kellogg-Dimondale

Grand Ledge Historical Society

Vermontville Historical Society










Grant Program

Eaton County Historical Commission

Historical Grant Program


The Eaton County Historical Commission will be awarding grant monies to individuals or organizations that show or communicate historical elements through film, oral records or printed material to the citizens of Eaton County and beyond. Consideration will also be given to the restoration and preservation of historical sites, structures and artifacts of Eaton County. Awards will be given to the projects with greater long term historic value and those that most benefit the community.



The purpose of this program is to award public funds, budgeted by the Eaton County Historical Commission, to citizens and organizations within Eaton County to promote, restore or preserve the heritage of Eaton County, Michigan.



Any citizen or group of citizens from Eaton County, Michigan, and non-profit organizations registered to operate within Eaton County, Michigan, may apply for a grant from the Eaton County Historical Commission.



The commission will award up to $3,000 in 2013, with individual grants not to exceed $1,000. Awards can only be made during and for the current fiscal year; they can not be made for past or future years. Grants must be used to complete the proposed project within one year. If the proposed project can not be completed during that time period, an extension may be awarded with a written request from the applicant. If the grant award does not cover the total cost of the proposed project, applicants must raise the needed funds prior to any cash award from the commission. A follow up report must be given to the commission outlining the completed project. If the commissions funded portion of the project is unable to be completed in one year, the recipient must apply for an extension or return the original grant allocation.



Application Deadline- The deadline for submitting grant applications is April 15. Each grant applicant must submit a completed, original, signed copy of the application to the Eaton County Historical Commission by the deadline to be considered for the current fiscal year. Grant applications not approved and those not received by the deadline must be resubmitted if they wish to be considered the following year. All submitted material will become the property of the Eaton County Historical Commission and will not be returned.


Review Period- A grant program subcommittee, consisting of at least two members of the Historical Commission, will be appointed during March meeting of the Historical Commission. The subcommittee will review all applications and submit recommendations to the commission at the May meeting.


Approval Meeting- The Grant Program subcommittee will give their recommendations during the May commission meeting. Each application will be individually discussed and voted on. Approval for a grant will be determined by a majority vote of the commission members present. If a quorum can not be established at the May meeting, the vote will be rescheduled for the next regular scheduled meeting.


 Click Here to obtain the Grant Application




Eaton County Genealogical Society

Bellevue Historical Society

SUVCW Curtenius Guard Camp 17


Grand Ledge Historical Society

Bellevue Historical Society


Eaton Rapids Historical Society

Vermontville Historical Society


Friends of the Sunfield District Library

Vermontville Historical Society

Bismark Community Boosters

Grand Ledge Area Historical Society

Eaton County's Museum at Courthouse Square

Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, Curtenious Guard Camp #17


For more information contact the
Eaton County Historical Commission
PO Box 411
Charlotte, Michigan 48813.



About Us

All meetings are held on the ground floor of the 1885 Courthouse
100 W. Lawrence - Charlotte, MI 48813 at 7:00 pm
Questions please conact Julie Kimmer at 517.543.6999

Read our 2009 Annual Report

The Commissioners

Randal Tooker   Chairman
Randy is a life-long resident of Eaton County, attended country school to the 8th grade and graduated from Charlotte High School. After attending Lansing Community College, he served in the U.S. Army with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam as a combat engineer. Randy has worked for the Lansing Schools and the Eaton Intermediate School District, and is a highly certified electrician. Randy is a member of many organizations, including veterans' groups, historical organizations around mid-Michigan, and other archaeological and genealogical societies. His interests include local history, as well as the "Old Northwest" with special emphasis on the fur trade, Indian inhabitants and the logging era.

Larry Ballard   Treasurer
Larry Ballard has been a resident of Eaton County his entire life. His dedication to the preservation of county history has led him to serve on the boards of the Eaton County Historical Society and Courthouse Square Association and as an Eaton County Historical Commissioner for many years. On these boards he has filled the capacity of Chairman, Vice- Chairman and Treasurer. His interests include genealogical research, collecting Eaton County history and preservation of the county’s many buildings and written materials.

Darrell Baker   Appointee from Eaton County Commission

Jan Sedore   Member

Jan Sedore has been a resident of Eaton County since 1957 moving to Sunfield from Lansing and graduated from Sunfield High School. Jan and her husband Leslie served as Foster Parents for mentally and physically challenged young children and adults for over 30 years, retiring in 1994. Jan’s love of family and local history has always been strong and she takes every opportunity to research in dusty attics, musty basements of old court houses and beautiful cemeteries.  She is presently the Coordinator of three MIGenWeb counties (Eaton, Barry, & Grand Traverse) and also two MNGenWeb counties in Minnesota (Otter Tail & Douglas). Jan is also currently the President of the Sunfield Historical Society and curator of the Welch Historical Museum located at 161 Main Street, Sunfield. Her love of local history and the knowledge that history needs to be preserved has led her to encourage the Sunfield Historical Society to publish many books on local subjects in the past and she is currently working on several to be published soon.

Joe Ann Nehmer   Member
Joe Ann Nehmer, currently the Vermontville Township Treasurer has had a long standing interest in history. From genealogy research to her memberships in the Greater Federation of Women’s Club-Vermontville and the Vermontville Historical Society she is active in promoting and preserving the history of Eaton County. Joe Ann joined the Historical Commission in 2007 replacing Tom Shawver upon his retirement. She was reappointed in January 2008 for a three year term.

Thomas Raymond   Member
Tom is a resident of Eaton Rapids and employed as a Transportation Planner for the Michigan Department of Transportation. He graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Community Development. Tom previously spent over 20 years with state and private firms surveying land and loved the historical research required in boundary surveys. He served this commission in the mid-1990’s and is back for his second term.

Richard Rybicki   Member
Richard Rybicki has been a resident of Eaton Rapids since 1987 moving here from Detroit.  He is employed by the State of Michigan working for the Michigan Public Safety Communications System, (MPSCS). His love of history reflects in his volunteer work for the Associated Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) as a member of the Historical Committee.  Along with being the Michigan Chapter historian, he was appointed the National Committee Chair in 2007.   He was instrumental in having a Michigan historical marker erected to honor 80 years of Detroit Police dispatch.

Deb Malewski Member

Deb Malewski has lived in Eaton Rapids since 1982. She holds a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from MSU.  She is self-employed as a decorative artist/designer, and teaches her painting techniquesinternationally. She has organized and participated in projects involving art with the White House, the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery, and the Library of Congress. She serves as chairperson of the Eaton Rapids Planning Commission and is on the Board for the Eaton Rapids Area Historical Society, where she manages the 1870 Wright School house and helped develop a historical cemetery tour. She also serves as Vice President of the Michigan Historical Museum's Docent Guild, and is actively involved with the staff there in developing and conducting educational programs for visitors.

Pat Tirrell  Member

Pat Tirrell married into the Tirrell Centennial Farm family in 1978 and immediately moved into the family's vacant brick home built in 1873. She and her husband, Duane, restored and updated the home only enough to raise a modern family, but not enough to change the character and charm of this historic home. A respect for history is a way of life for Pat and she has experimented with and practiced colonial skills such as spinning and weaving for many years. She is dedicated to educating young people about history. Pat is a member of Courthouse Square Association, has demonstrated at the Frontier Days encampment, Ella Sharp Park, and has been a 4-H leader for many years.

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