The Historic Ottawa Beach Society’s  Pump House Museum and Learning Center will open the summer season with two new exhibits.  The museum will be open 20 hours a week – a marked increase over previous years.

Holland’s iconic Big Red lighthouse will be featured in a brand new interpritive exhibit in this small museum of local history. The exhibit is arranged in four sections relating the four phases of light house and fog signal development at Holland.

The Historic Ottawa Beach Society (HOBS) has partnered with the Holland Harbor Lighthouse Historical Commission to create the exhibit.

“This exhibit tells the story of the development of Holland first as a commercial port and its evolution into a recreational destination, and the role played by the various lighthouses which safely guided ships into the port.”  says HOBS president Dan Aument

Previously unseen photographs and original historic documents were consulted in the course of the research phase.  “We found a treasure trove of documents and architectural drawings in the National Archives in Washington, DC”, says Aument

“If museum visitors have ‘aha’ moments when they learn new facts and stories about  Holland’s harbor and Big Red, then HOBS will have fulfilled its mission to bring history alive for the people of West Michigan”, says HOBS Secretary Denise Smyk.

A second exhibit focuses on the Hotel Ottawa. The only surviving guest register as well as interpreted artifacts from the hotel are on display. “People are very interested in learning about this huge hotel which thrived her for 37 years before being destroyed by fire,” says Aument.