As with any volunteer-operated, nonprofit organization, the Chesterfield Township Historical Society continues to seek new members.
"We are always looking for help," president Eileen Rivard said.
And this year, members will be able to enjoy two new events and a pedestrian bridge, linking the society's historic village and municipal offices on Sugarbush.
The bridge, completed in November and dedicated at the township tree-lighting ceremony in December, allows visitors to park at municipal offices and walk to the historical village. Before, a creek prevented pedestrians to reach the historic compound. The bridge was paid for with a grant obtained by township officials, Rivard said.
The society has about 60 dues-paying members. About 15 of them come to the monthly meetings held the second Tuesday of the month. Meetings, however, are not held January through March because there are several snowbirds in the society.
In the summer, the society opens the historic village composed of a schoolhouse, cabin, blacksmith shop and cobbler shop. The society, founded in 1993, held the grand opening of the village in 2006.
According to the group's website, the Weller one-room schoolhouse, dating back to 1862, was given to the society in 1996 by the Odrobina family. The school and outhouse were moved from Gratiot and 22 Mile to the historical village site.
In 2005, the log cabin was moved to the village from its previous home nestled in Washington Township woods. In 2006, two buildings belonging to Chesterfield Township historians Bernard and Ceola Trinity were also moved to the site as cobbler and blacksmith shops.
"In the future we would like to have a church, a farm house, barn, general store and any other buildings that would fit into our village life," the society stated on its website.
This year, there will be two camp outs at the village. The first one is scheduled for June 11-12, featuring the Voyageurs. The group celebrates the outdoors and the days of French trappers. The second is slated for Aug. 13-14. At that time, a group of Civil War buffs will be there.
Rivard said visitors can come by and learn about history while exploring the village.
"We have a lot of fun," she said.
On Sept. 11, the society will hold its regular Heritage Day celebration with historical demonstrations at the site.
For more information, visit www.chesterfieldhistoricalsociety.org, where membership applications are available. Dues are $5 for students, $15 for individuals and $25 for a family.