|The Priscilla U. Byrns Heritage Center serves as home to the Fort Miami Heritage Society and offers a state-of-the-art setting for your trip to the past. The new center, which opened to the public in 1997, houses the society's exhibit halls, artifact and archival collections, research library and other facilities.
Society educational programs and services include:
- public events and lectures
- museum exhibitions for the public and school programs
- a research library and archive
- Frederick S. Upton Fellowship Program in Public History
- support for the preservation of historical buildings and neighborhoods
Whether you're a visitor or a long-time resident, come see how the Fort Miami Heritage Society can take you on a journey through the history of Michigan's lake frontier.
From: Fort Miami Heritage Society
Contact: Kenneth R. Pott
Heritage Society Changes Name and Logo
Officials at the Fort Miami Heritage Society have announced they will be changing the name of their institution to more effectively reflect their mission. The new title, The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, will include the tagline Honor the Past. Embrace the Future. The branding process will also include a striking new logo that expresses the distinctive architecture of the organization’s home facility, the Priscilla U. Byrns Center.
According to Executive Director Kenneth Pott, “Developing and maintaining a large audience in today’s world can be a daunting task for any historical society. Museums and historic preservation organizations must therefore work hard to inspire the public to visit, to join, to partner, to volunteer, or to make a donation to their cause. One way a clear and engaging message can be conveyed to the public is through an organization’s brand – that is – the logo, tagline and printed pieces that are used to define one’s mission.”
Heritage Society Directors indicate their primary mission is to “ . . engage the public in a vibrant organization that promotes historical preservation, education, and research that relates to Benton Harbor, St. Joseph and the surrounding region.” Board President David Eifler elaborated further, “In renaming our institution, The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, we feel we have more accurately described what we do. The tagline Honor the Past. Embrace the Future. extends that message. While the Priscilla U. Byrns Center’s function as a meeting place for wide ranging events will continue – it is our greater role of historical preservation, education and research that defines who we are and why we are here.”
A working committee of Board members and staff directed the Heritage Society in its new initiative. The committee received special assistance from Board Member Gary Tipton of Perry Ballard, Inc. whose firm created the design for the new title and accompanying logo. Former St. Joseph resident and Society member, Kate Spelman, owner of the law firm Cobalt LLP, is donating her professional services as an attorney of intellectual properties and assisting the organization in establishing a federal trademark registration for its new identity.
||French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle sails into the St. Joseph River (then called the Miami) and builds Fort Miami as a mission and outpost to trade with a long-standing native American population. |
||William Burnett, one of the area's first permanent residents of European descent, establishes a trading post on the banks of the St. Joseph River to take advantage of the burgeoning fur trade between Euro- and native Americans.