You can download a PDF for:
The Fife Lake Historical Society 2019 Membership Drive and Newsletter HERE

2019 Student Scholarship Program Donation Form Download: HERE

The Fife Lake Historic Walk, including a map HERE

Historic Fire Engine
Another Great Year!



Attention on Family Photos or Artifacts:

If any local families have historic photos that no one in the family seems interested in keeping, Fife Lake Historical Society would like to have them for our local family history records. They also would be placed in our genealogy collection. If you have bought a home or a building where you have found pictures or artifacts, please preserve them and donate them to our Historical Society. If we do not recognize people in the photos, we will do a little detective work and see if we can connect them to the place where they were found. Many of our ancestors were related and the more information we have, the more pieces of the puzzle we may be able to put together. This is part of our valuable history that we do not want to lose.

Please join in and contribute to our history! Contact Joyce Freiwald at 989-781-0512, or Linda Forwerck at 231-631-1750

The Fife Lake Area Historical Society and the Fife Lake Library will once again present three free programs this summer at the Fife Lake Library at 7:00 pm.


We encourage all our Great Lakes Energy customers to sign up for the Great Lakes Energy People Fund program which has awarded us a $5,000.00 grant for our new flooring project. The Round Up Program is so simple and never costs you more than .99 unless you sign up for the PLUS program. (Example: Your bill is $129.65 and it is rounded up to $130.00.) This money makes grants available to many non-profit organizations such as ours. PLEASE consider participating in this very worthwhile program. (Go to the lower right hand corner of your bill.)


Amazon users please remember to go to This automatically chooses the Fife Lake Historical Society as your recipient of a .5% rebate. After that just go to whenever you shop on Amazon. PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING US THIS SIMPLE WAY!!


Mike Fornes returns to Fife Lake to offer a thrilling presentation of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Hear the stories of the crewmembers, their families and the ironies of a doomed ship in one of the worst storms in Great Lakes history. Hear the mesmerizing song, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” sung by Mike Fornes, who performs as Lighfoot live in concerts.

As a point of information, The FIFE LAKE HISTORICAL MUSEUM, SCHOOLHOUSE, AND FIRE BARN have new hours : Saturday & Sundays; Memorial Day - Labor Day & July 4th, 1:00-4:00pm (FREE)


Schoolhouse: 3rd Monday (May – Sept), 7:00 pm

If you have any questions or need further information regarding these programs or the Historical Society please contact Noreen Broering, Program Chairman at 231-879-3940.

2018 Fife Lake Area Historical Sites’ Summer Hours:
The Fife Lake Historical Museum, Schoolhouse, and Fire Barn are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day on Fridays and Saturdays 1:00-4:00. Bring your family, friends, neighbors, and summer guests to enjoy these FREE venues. If you are interested in being a greeter, please contact Pam at 231-492-3123.

Your Membership Dues and Operations’ Donations at Work:
We are pleased to report that the final payment for the Schoolhouse has been made and that it now officially belongs to your Historical Society. To deal with the persistent battle with mildew and mold at the museum, a gas line will be installed this spring and the furnace hooked up. A thorough cleaning and decontamination of the basement is next followed by the installation of a dehumidifier. Our deepest thanks to Wayne Rowe for researching this issue and his guidance. The Village of Fife Lake also has done needed repairs to the Fire Barn.

The Forest Area Federal Credit Union awarded a grant of $3500.00 to the Fife Lake Area Historical Society to help with the painting of the Schoolhouse this Spring.

Forest Area Federal Credit Union Award

Pictured are Bob Raden: CEO of the Forest Area Federal Credit Union, Noreen Broering: Board Member, Mildred Baker; President, and Pam Wenzel, Secretary.


Fife Lake Historical Society’s Year at a Glance:

May 27, 2015: The Schoolhouse, Museum, and Fire Barn opened their doors to the 4th grade class of the Fife Lake Elementary School. The children experienced what a class in a one-room school of the 1880’s may have been like. They also had guided visits to the Museum and Fire Barn.

2015 Summer Programs: Many enjoyed our summer programs at the Library Community Room which included: History & People of the Three Fires Confederacy: Ottawa, Chippewa, Potawatomi; Reminiscences of South Town; and Looking Back at Fife Lake’s History,

July 4th: The Buffalo BBQ drew many visitors to our Historic sites and raised many dollars to help our efforts.

October 10: The Color Train from Petoskey stopped in Fife Lake and hundreds of people enjoyed the food and hospitality of our village along with visiting our historic venues and following our walking tour of Historic Plaques.

October 13: The Fife Lake Historical Society hosted members of the Area Museum Network. Tours of our historical venues were given and guests strolled our streets learning from our Historic Plaques. Dinner and viewing of the Historic Fife Lake DVD followed. Our guests were impressed by what our “little community” had to offer.

Dr. Wayne Rowe Tribute (Emeritus Professor of Oklahoma University):
Last Fall the Fife Lake Historical Society honored Wayne Rowe, a longtime Board member, for his many contributions. During his many years of dedicated service he has served in multiple roles. Although his title was Secretary, he was the key person in planning, finances, many programs, and securing volunteers for activities at the 3 historical sites. He was an inspiring source of knowledge and vision with a deep desire to involve the public in varied activities of the Historical Society. Among other contributions he made were the establishment of the high school docents program leading to scholarship grants as well as to the preparation of the annual Newsletter/Membership drive. Wayne was also honored by Friends of the Fife Lake Public Library for his contribution in establishing that organization.
Wayne, and his wife Joan who has also devoted endless hours to the Historic Society, have lived during many summer months in a historic, ancestral home on Marsh Road in Fife Lake Township. No words can communicate our thanks to Wayne and Joan for their dedication to our community and the Fife Lake Area Historical Society.

Community Service Scholarship Update:
This program is designed to provide $1000 scholarships for further education or training to Forest Area High School students in return for community service with the Historical Society. Haley McNamara and Jacob Chase are preparing to work 60 hours at our 3 historic venues for their second summer in order to qualify for the $1000 scholarships. Janay Smith and Cody Kammeraad qualified for the 2015 scholarships and are continuing their educational pursuits. Former scholarship winners include Travis Birgy, Emma Durfee, and Dani Johne. We wish all these talented young Fife Lake students much success in their chosen careers.

Genealogy Records:
The Historical Society now has its Family History information available on CD’s at the Fife Lake Library (Julie at 231-879-4101). Additional research records are available at the Schoolhouse or by calling Linda at 231-631-1750. Cemetery records are also available at the Township Hall by appointment or by calling John at 231-384-2820.


In the Spring we selected four students from Forest Area High School to take part in our Community Service Program. In return for volunteering to work in the Historical Museum, Old Schoolhouse, or 1876 Fire Barn for 30 hours during the summer, these students will receive a certificate from Fife Lake Village and a letter from the Historical Society commending them for their service to the community. These rewards will be useful as the students apply for grants and other financial aid to support their quest for post high school education.

One of the students who participated last summer was selected for a $1000 scholarship for which she will do 75 hours of service this summer. We do not have sufficient income to fund this program, but we administer it and solicit support from the community to support the scholarship program.

We mailed out the requests to individuals and organizations in February and were stunned by the response. Over $2000 was received from far and wide. As a result we are now considering whether we should grant one scholarship of $1000 and two of $500 or offer two scholarships of $1000.

Such, is small town generosity!!


We are actively cooperating with the Fife Lake Village Council, Fife Lake Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Development Authority, and others in building an identity of Fife Lake as something unique, a historic village. Here are some of our activities.

In May the 4th grade students spent the morning experiencing old time education in the historic schoolhouse, then toured the historical museum and old fire barn, and finished up with the historical walking tour.

In July we had the 1937 fire engine up and running for the parade. Thanks to the extended Kyselka family for the necessary funds.

Our summer programs are co-sponsored with the Fife Lake Library. In June we presented a slide show about the rise and fall of local lumbering communities. In July we had a massive turnout at the program on Fife Lake families. And in August we had a program about the ancient Ah-go-sah trail, which was nearby Fife Lake.

On December 11 the Old Schoolhouse was open for the community Christmas celebration with visits with Santa, ornament making, Forest Area student art show, and caroling at the old pump organ. Activities such as these help make us proud of Fife Lake.

addition to the times that the Historical Museum and Old Schoolhouse are open to the public, we plan to include a display at the 1876 Fire Barn. Two things will be necessary to accomplish this. First, we hope to develop a community service program with Forest Area high school students by which they would serve as volunteer helpers.

Second, we have an urgent need for adult volunteers. No special skills or knowledge is necessary; we will show you what to do. If you could spare 3 hours in the afternoon even just once a month, please contact Linda Bridson at the Credit Union, or Wayne Rowe ((231) 879-4594).