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Reader Spotlight 

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Every month we'll highlight a reader in the Great Lakes Bay region and learn more about them, their work, and their reading life. We'll also discuss books and share a conversation about their journey.

Read on to learn more about Jill Pfeiffer and her role at the Historical Museum of Bay County and what she's reading. 

Jill with her kids - 

Clara, Jack, Loren

Tell us about your family including pets.

I have been married for almost 19 years to my best friend, Christopher, and I am a mom of three kids - Clara, Jack, Loren - and one dog.

Where are you from originally? Where do you now reside?

I was born and raised in Ontario, Canada and moved to Michigan 24 years ago.  I have been living in Bay City for the last 17 years.

How long have you worked at the BCHS?

I started working at the BCHS in October of 2022.

How many others work here?

The museum staff includes Jamie Kramer, Research Library & Education Manager, and Claire Clark, Business Manager.  We also have many volunteers who help in the store, exhibits, special events, education research, and maintenance.  The museum is managed by the board.

How would you describe what readers can find at the museum?

The Bay County Historical Society is home to the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame. Visitors can view our galleries both in-person and virtually to learn about Bay County history, including logging, ship building, marine history, industrial history, Bay County’s Black History, and of course Michigan rock and roll. 

 

The Robert & Ann Hachtel Theater shows daily matinees: Delta College Public Media history documentaries, Rock and Roll documentaries, and recordings of our Second Saturday programs. 

 

Families with preschoolers are invited to utilize the Delta College PBS Raising Readers Room with books supplied by the Bay County Library System, and learning toys donated by the Bay-Arenac Great Start.

Who decides what is exhibited?

The staff decides on the exhibits.  They design, research, build and install each exhibit.

How many are permanent exhibits?

There are five permanent exhibits: Bay County – Trail Through Times, Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy, Bay City – Seaport to the World, Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame, and Bay County Black History

What is your current favorite exhibit - for adults? for kids?

Adults: The temporary exhibit “Window Shopping in Bay City” has been up for the nine months and features different Bay City’s early business.  The artwork was created by a past employee David Hohenstein and is beautiful.  This exhibit really gives visitors a feel for the type of community that Bay City was at that time. The exhibit will be up until the end of October.

 

Kids: The Preschool Room is amazing for young families.  Families are given a scavenger hunt which allows them to explore the whole museum to find specific items.  They end up in the Preschool Room which was a multi-organization collaboration including Bay-Arenac Great Start, Delta College Public Media, Bay County Public Library, and the museum.  It was funded through a grant from Parents as Teachers National Center.  I love that it gives young families a safe place to visit and hopefully, inspire a love for museums from our youngest visitors.

What special events do you have going on this summer or early fall?

Tuesdays, 10 AM - 4 PM:  Preschool Tuesday – Family Playtime

Preschoolers + adult are invited to stop by the Museum any time from 10 AM - 4 PM to complete the PRESCHOOL MUSEUM CHALLENGE - MUSIC.

Together you can explore the galleries for clues to complete the challenge, discover Delta College’s PBS Raising Readers Room with books supplied by the Bay County Library System, and play at the activity table. Stop by the Museum Store for a to-go activity and a coupon for a treat from McDonalds.

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Thursdays, 1 PM: Museum Fun Days

Join the visiting organizations at the Bay County Historical Society for family-friendly events.  
Today the Castle Museum of Saginaw will be visiting with their Jr Archaeology program.  Come and learn about archaeology from Miss Kristi. Kids will learn all about what archaeology look for, see tools they useand get to participate in a "dig". Spaces are limited to 24kids.      

Then complete a scavenger hunt to receive a coupon for a FREE small Slurpee from 7 Eleven or a mini-scoop from Michigan Cream & Sugar. 

Schedule of organizations: 

July 11 Saginaw Castle Museum

July 18 United We Go

July 25 Delta Kids

August 1 TBD

August 8 Delta Kids

August 15 Antique Toy & Fire Truck Museum

July 31 & August 28, 9:30 AM: Storytime at the Trombley House

Children ages 12 and under with family are invited to join us at the Trombley House Historical Museum to celebrate history with stories, songs, dance and activities.

Registration is not required but available if you would like a reminder for the program. Please call 989-892-8555 opt 4 or go to this link.

July 26, 5:30 PM & 7 PM: Great Affection: A Video Tour of Bay City Sites Related to Madonna

The Bay County Historical Museum and Delta College Planetarium will host Great Affection, an entertaining documentary that highlights Madonna's connection to Bay City. The curator of the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame exhibit, Gary Johnson, will make a special introduction. Director and Co-Producer, Malcom Cottle, will be available for a Q&A session following the showing. 

Tickets are $10/person.

Purchase tickets through DELTA COLLEGE PLANETARIUM.

August 24, 10 AM – 4 PM: Summer Bay City Maker's Market!

Immerse yourself in the fusion of history and creativity and vibrant energy of our local community as we bring together 50 talented local makers and artists for a unique shopping experience.

With the $2 per person admission, each person will receive one raffle ticket to our local makers' giveaway baskets!

Bring your friends and family for a day filled with unique finds, fascinating stories, and the joy of supporting local talent. Don't miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience that blends the past and present in a celebration of Bay City's heritage and artistic spirit. See you at the Summer Market – where history meets handmade!

 

The museum has a small gift shop. What types of items are available?

Bay county history books, children’s books, mugs, postcards, t-shirts, and gift items.

The museum is somewhat a hidden gem in the area. What other Bay City place(s) do you enjoy visiting that you think others might also enjoy?

I love the Bay City State Park, Studio 23/ The Art Center, walking along the waterfront, and shopping/ exploring the shops in downtown.

What's your go-to genre?

I have a book or two on hand at all times.  Right now I am reading a book by Louise Penny who is a Canadian author that writes murder mysteries. It is called The Brutal Telling

 

What’s your favorite thing about reading?

As I grow older my favorite thing about reading has changed.  I always loved being transported to a different place and time.  Since I had children, it has become more emotional for me.  I have to be careful what I read because I take on the emotions in the book. It amazes me that the written word can make me feel so much.   

To find out more about the museum, visit the website, Facebook page or Instagram account

Jill with her family in Chicago earlier this year. 
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