Map & Hours

July- August: Saturday and Sunday afternoons from 11 AM to 2 PM

September – May: Tours available by appointment only. Email us at omenahistoricalsociety@gmail.com.

Docents are needed!

If you are interested in a tour or helping us at the museum, please contact us at omenahistoricalsociety@gmail.com.

About the Museum

Our museum resides in the original Rinaldo Putnam farmhouse, built in 1876 on land bought in 1872 from George Armstrong Custer and his wife, Libbie, who had inherited the land from Libbie’s father, Judge Daniel Bacon. Rinaldo sold his land and farmhouse in 1893 to Frank Cloud of Cincinnati, who built additions including a commodious porch and a tower on the southeast corner. The “Tower House” was a Cloud family summer home for forty years.

In 1936 the land and farmhouse-turned-cottage, as well as the Cloud “Rock House” just to the north, passed by will from Frank’s widow, Julia Cloud, to their son Rev. Charles Cloud, Provincial of the Chicago Province of the Society of Jesus, and became known as Villa Marquette. The house gradually fell into disuse, until the Detroit Province (who then owned it) determined it should be razed. In 2004 the Omena Historical Society acquired the house for $1.00 from the Detroit Province, and moved the Putnam-Cloud House from its original location a half mile south of Omena to its current location. When the house was moved the Cloud family additions were removed to accommodate the size of the new lot, which is owned by the Omena Village Preservation Association, and is leased for $1 per year to the Omena Historical Society.

After a two year restoration project undertaken by dozens of community volunteers, the Putnam-Cloud Tower House Museum opened in 2006. The dedicated volunteers of the OHS have each year showcased unique exhibits and programs.

We are very proud of our little community, its history, and the people that made it what it is today. We hope you will come by and take a look. Remember, admission is always free!

Our museum resides in the original Putnam-Cloud Tower House relocated from nearby property once owned by Rinaldo Putnam who acquired the property from George Armstrong Custer and his wife, Libbie.

Photographs courtesy of Keith Burnham of The Leland Report unless otherwise noted.

Click to visit the Leland Report.

jim_putnam__cloud_house_in_winter_altered

photo by Jim Putnam

Current Exhibits

Photo Gallery

click the photos to view larger

Wanted

The Omena Historical Society (OHS) is constantly looking for information and memorabilia from Omena’s past. Our museum, located in the Putnam-Cloud Tower house, provides us with a wonderful venue to display items such as old photographs, family letters with or without the envelopes, books about or authored by people from Omena, and other items of historical interest from Omena. We also realize the significance of the proud Indian peoples that have lived here for many centuries and encourage them to let the OHS display items from their past with the public as well. Family heirlooms and artifacts are sometimes kept in cedar chests and handed down from generation to generation.

While this is a wonderful way to keep such items of value, there is the risk of theft, vandalism or damage and destruction by fire to consider. It is the intent of the OHS to provide a more secure environment for such items while offering the opportunity for others to enjoy them as well. Credit will be given to those that provide historically significant items. We will also consider displaying items on a loaned basis.

Please send information about items you wish to donate to:

The Omena Historical Society
P.O. Box 75
Omena, MI 49674
omenahistoricalsociety@gmail.org

We also seek financial, professional and volunteer support. As with all non-profit organizations, donations of money, goods and services are essential to success. We urge the people of Omena and others that recognize the value of preserving our history, to give of themselves and support this important effort with financial contributions. The OHS is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.

Have you ever walked into an old room and said “if these walls could talk, I wonder what stories they would tell?” Well, we not only want your historical items but the stories behind them as well. Background information documents history for future generations to enjoy. If you have an item of historical interest and wish to share it with us, please provide whatever background information you might have so that we may share it with others. Dates, names, events and how you came to have the item(s) are all very important to us

We also seek financial, professional and volunteer support. As with all non-profit organizations, donations of money, goods and services are essential to success. We urge the people of Omena and others that recognize the value of preserving our history, to give of themselves and support the important efforts of this 501(c)3 non-profit corporation with financial contributions.