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About the Society

The idea for the Holly Historical Society was conceived during the Holly Centennial in 1965. The Main Street committee, under the direction of Jan Purcell, set up displays in the downtown store windows depicting local history of a century ago. They used authentic period furniture and household items that they had collected from their own homes to make up these exhibits. During this time, many remarks were made about preserving the history and artifacts of the area. There was much talk before action.

Finally, on March 22, 1968, the antique collectors of the Main Street committee, met at the home of Eleanor Seavey. From a nucleus of 25 interested people, the society grew into 80 active members. Julia Kerkorian suggested the original name of the Northwest Oakland County Historical Society, because membership included people from Holly, Groveland, Rose, and Springfield townships. The organization was opened to anyone interested in history, which became the “heritage” group, or antiques and their preservation, the “Americana” group. Under those chapters, monthly meetings at members’ homes were held to study their areas of interest. This included collecting data on businesses, genealogy, photographs, and architecture of the region.

In 1972, the Patterson House on Maple Street, home of the former publishers of the Holly Advertiser, was purchased as the site for the first museum. Much time was spent in a renovation but by 1986, the society had outgrown the space and purchased the larger Victorian Hadley House on 306 S. Saginaw Street, from Arlene Hadley, as the new museum location. Over the years members have replaced wallpaper, cleaned the natural woodwork, refinished the wood floors, and remodeled the kitchen.


Today, the Holly Historical Society meets monthly at the Hadley House Museum on the third Monday of each month, except January/February and July/August. The group is smaller, but we have plenty of energy. There is ample room for people with a passion for history and historical artifacts. We welcome you to join us. We support the museum by book sales, various activities and the Holly Holiday Art and Craft Show.

Historical Society Board 

Linda Smith, President

Nicole Edwards-Rankin, Vice President

Susanne Les, Recording Secretary

Worley Smith, Treasurer

Leslie Osmun, Corresponding Secretary 
Board Members

Christi Carpenter

Norma Sizemore

Kaye Thorsby

Lloyd Bingham

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