VICKSBURG, Mich. — While many towns, cities, and villages can boast of having a historic building or museum, Vicksburg has a historic village. Located just east of Kalamazoo, at least part of Vicksburg sits on the railroad tracks where 72 trains pass through each day. Next to the tracks is their historic train depot (part of the village) that was built in 1904.
It took the city the better part of 10 years to get a clear deed on their property since no one wanted to claim it. Afterwards, it was restored by the high school shop program. The depot houses the original ticket office with a still working telegraph, old luggage, and a number of other items from the past. There’s even old rail cars parked outside for patrons to stroll through. But that’s only a small part of the entire village.
A print shop is also part of the village complete with a vintage Mergenthaler line-o-type printing machine that was state-of-the-art at the time. The shop even has printing presses that Ben Franklin would have used in his day!
You’ll also find a complete blacksmith shop with tools, an old Model “A” car made by Henry Ford, and old horse-drawn sleigh, and an early mail carriage driven by local pioneer John Fulton. It’s interesting to see some of the old shop supplies, oil cans, and old gasoline company names around the building.
Also part of the village is a one room schoolhouse like the way it use to be in the past. The building was moved to its current resting place from about eight miles down the road. It still has the original wood plank floors, school desks, benches, and slate blackboard.
Since the historic village sits in a public park, you can stroll around the grounds almost anytime, but the buildings are only open May through December on Saturdays. The plan is to add more buildings and shops to the village with the next likely candidate being a general store and sweet shop.
Anyone that has ever been to southeast Michigan in Dearborn and the historic Henry Ford Museum will get the same flavor and feel at the village in Vicksburg. Click here for the Vicksburg Historical Society website. Click here for more specifically on each building in the village.