The Mason County Historical Society was formed in 1937. Today a nine member Board of Directors meet once a month, primarily to oversee the operations of Historic White Pine Village and The Port of Ludington Maritime Museum.


Historic White Pine Village is a community of 30 buildings/sites of history uniquely located on 23 acres of land, which depicts the history of Mason County through the use of artifacts and archives appropriately displayed in each building. The village provides a historical and educational experience for visitors in an atmosphere of nostalgia, serenity, and beauty.

In 1965, Mrs. Rose Hawley, avid local historian and author, conceived the vision of a historical pioneer village on the site of the first county seat. Co-founder, Jerome Jorissen, then Mason County Clerk, purchased the land on which the original Courthouse stood, donated it to the Mason County Historical Society, and then supervised and did much of the design and layout of the village.

Their dream materialized in 1976 when Pioneer Village (now Historic White Pine Village) opened its gates with a bicentennial flourish to thousands of county residents and visitors. The name change was necessitated in 1979 because of a similarly named museum in Nebraska.


In 1990, Historic White Pine Village lost all its tax support and almost closed its doors. Through fundraising, donations, memberships, admissions and gift shop sales, we are still growing, adding and maintaining our buildings and grounds.

The Village has been visited by tens of thousands of visitors since 1976, to see and experience what life was like more than 100 years ago in Mason County. Visitors are thrilled with their tour of the Village and comment upon leaving about the nostalgia, serenity, and beauty of the Village and its exhibits. We truly are committed to creating a visitor experience where “History is Fun”


Each year over 400 volunteers help support Historic White Pine Village by giving of their time and talents. Different areas of need exist, such as interpreting, gardening, research, and collections to name a few! If you are interested in volunteer opportunities please let us know.


We welcome donations of historically significant artifacts and archival materials relating to Mason County into our collections. Generous people throughout the years have donated the objects seen in the Village.