Ella Sharp Museum is CYCLING in Another Fascinating Exhibit!

GEAR UP: The Science of Bikes TO OPEN AT Ella Sharp Museum ON JUNE 1, 2023 NEW EXHIBITION EXPLORES THE HISTORY AND SCIENCE BEHIND BICYCLES From June 2023 through January 2024 Ella Sharp Museum will present GEAR UP: The Science of Bikes, organized by Carnegie Science Center (Pittsburgh). From schoolyards and mountain trails to bustling […]

Ella Sharp Museum Brings Museum of Special Art’s HORIZON Exhibition to Michigan

Ella Sharp Museum Brings Museum of Special Art’s HORIZON Exhibition to Michigan Exhibit Promotes Inclusivity with Visual Arts and Disabilities Honored to show inclusivity through visual art, the Ella Sharp Museum will be the debut venue of the Museum of Special Art (MOSA) HORIZON Exhibition. The new traveling exhibition, on view November 5, 2022 through […]

How People Make Things Opens at the Ella Sharp Museum on October 1, 2022

Exhibit Places Visitors on the Factory Floor with Real Tools Every object in our world has a story of how it is made. How People Make Things, a new traveling exhibit coming to the Ella Sharp Museum October 1, 2022 – January 8, 2023, tells this story by linking familiar childhood objects to a process […]

New Exhibition Opens September 1 at the Ella Sharp Museum

In the air, water, and even under foot, insects inhabit every domain of our daily lives, performing essential functions that balance our fragile ecosystem on earth. By using cutting-edge technology and custom methods, artist Bob Sober created Small Wonders: Insects in Focus, an exhibition of breathtaking beauty that allows viewers to see this hidden world […]

Free Admission for Military Personnel and their Families this Summer as a Blue Star Museum

Ella Sharp Museum joins museums nationwide in the Blue Star Museums initiative, a program that provides free admission to currently-serving U.S. military personnel and their families this summer. The national program kicked-off on on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 21, 2022, and will end on Labor Day, Monday, September 5, 2022. Find a list of […]

Hands-On Exploration Stations Exhibition Opens on Jackson Museum Day

The Ella Sharp Museum will debut its new children’s exhibition, Exploration Stations, on Saturday, May 7, 2022, as part of Jackson Museum Day activities. Developed by the Ella Sharp Museum, the 2,500 square-foot interactive exhibit features five themed stations — space, construction, home, nature and transportation — connected to unique aspects of the City of […]

Ella Sharp Museum To Participate In Jackson County 5th Annual Free Museum Day Event

Eleven participating Jackson County, Michigan museums will be open to the public, free of charge on Saturday, May 7, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for Jackson County Free Museum Day. Some locations will host an “open-house style” reception and self-guided tours while others are hosting child-friendly activities, historical demonstrations and providing guided tours. […]

Ella Sharp Museum’s Annual Art, Beer, & Wine Festival Returns June Of 2022

Ella Sharp Museum’s annual Art, Beer, and Wine festival will take place on Saturday, June 11 from 2:00 – 8:00 p.m. The Art, Beer, and Wine Festival is presented by County National Bank. This year’s festival will feature Michigan wineries, breweries, cideries, and artists. The museum will also host food vendors and live music on […]

The Ella Sharp Museum to Temporarily Close its Jackson History Gallery

Ella Sharp Museum is temporarily closing the Lynne A. Loftis Jackson History Gallery for the re-development of a new gallery space that will feature in-house and traveling exhibitions. The Jackson History Gallery opened in 2006 with the intention of focus on community pride, education, and involvement by residents and visitors. It was created to present […]

Park Street Closure

(3) streets in Ella Sharp Park are closed through the Winter Months: Birchwood Drive, Maplewood Drive, and W. Hickory Avenue. Please use the main park entrance on 4th street. Read the full press coverage here.

Ella Sharp Museum Receives Consumers Energy Foundation Grant

Ella Sharp Museum has received a $23,000 grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation supporting technology upgrades including new laptop computers and distance learning educational equipment. New technology and distance learning equipment will allow the museum to provide various educational opportunities throughout the world. “The Consumers Energy Foundation is committed to ensuring Michigan communities are growing […]

Ella Sharp Museum Announces New Director of Development and Communications

The Ella Sharp Museum is pleased to name Shawn Stenberg as the new Director of Development and Communications. Shawn will oversee fundraising, community relations, and communications at the non-profit organization which includes the Merriman-Sharp Hillside Farm, Mildred I. Hadwin Center for Art and History, and the Peter F. Hurst Planetarium. Shawn joins Ella Sharp Museum […]

Bringing the Village to Life: The YPOP Story Exhibit in Partnership with Diane Washington

What started out as a way to introduce art to youth has become a community outreach movement: YPOP (Young People of Purpose). The exhibition, Bringing the Village to Life: The YPOP Story, opens December 19 at Ella Sharp Museum and shares the story of Jackson’s Diane Washington and the YPOP organization. YPOP is a non-profit […]

Nationally Touring Civil Rights Exhibition Opens November 2021

Nationally Touring Civil Rights Exhibition Opens November 2021 at Ella Sharp Museum “…we had averted our eyes for far too long, turning away from the ugly reality facing us as a nation. Let the world see what I’ve seen.” – Mamie Till Bradley Click here for exhibit details In September 1955, shortly after fourteen-year-old Emmett […]

Art à Loan Exhibit Returns to Ella Sharp Museum

Art à Loan Exhibit Returns to Ella Sharp Museum with New Jackson District Library Partnership The Ella Sharp Museum’s annual Art à Loan program celebrates and shares the talents of K-12 students throughout Jackson County. This year the museum has partnered with the Jackson District Library’s “Young Poets” Program. Selected artwork was thematically paired with […]

Get to Know the Ella Staff – Emma

  Meet Emma Creamer, our Collections Assistant and newest intern! Having grown up “right down the street” in Mason, MI, Emma is super excited to have the opportunity to work at the Ella Sharp Museum! Emma is currently a graduate student at Michigan State University and is pursuing the thesis track MA in the Arts, […]

Jackson History – Fire Call Boxes

Before telephones became readily available, and certainly long before the advent of cell phones, the fire call box was the main method for calling firefighters for assistance. These boxes dotted street corners around Jackson, as well as most other cities around the U.S. While most are gone, replaced now by cell phones, some cities have […]

Jackson History – Eberle Brewery

Jackson is home to multiple microbreweries who continue traditions of craft beer from the turn of the century. Eberle, one of Jackson’s first and most successful breweries, opened its doors in 1897 to a rapidly growing city. Carl Eberle, a recent immigrant from Bavaria, bought and replaced a large brick building at 901 Water Street […]

New Memorial Plaques

Ella Sharp Museum is proud to honor our commitment to those who purchased memorial trees. New memorial plaques will be installed on our grounds at each tree in the upcoming week. Please note that Ella Sharp Museum no longer has the memorial tree program. If you are interested in honoring a loved one, please call [...]

2021 Art, Beer, & Wine Festival – Post Festival Recap

THE 16TH ANNUAL ART, BEER, & WINE FESTIVAL PRESENTED BY COUNTY NATIONAL BANK HITS SUCCESS WITH AMAZING COMEBACK Ella Sharp Museum and 80 Michigan vendors welcomed almost 4,000 people to the museum grounds for the 16th annual Art, Beer, & Wine Festival on August 7th. The museum’s annual festival and largest fundraiser of the year […]

Jackson History – Jack Williams Hand Painted Bag

One of our newer acquisitions: this bag was hand painted for Jack Williams while he was stationed in Japan in the immediate years after World War II. Jack was a lifelong resident of Jackson. He graduated from Jackson High School in 1946 before enlisting in the Army, achieving the rank of Corporal, for the purpose […]

Ella for All Program

  The Ella Sharp Museum is excited to announce the expansion of our Ella for All program. Thanks to an anonymous donor Ella Sharp Museum for the first time in our history is now offering scholarships for youth that wish to participate in our general programming. “Financial constraints should not and will not be a […]

Jackson History – The Marion by Mutual Motor Co

Early 20th century Jackson was an automobile boom town. There were 25 different auto manufacturers here during the first few decades of the 1900s of varying size. Carter, for example, began as a bicycle company in the first decade (1900s), before translating their expertise into spoke-wheeled cars. Briscoe and the Jackson Automobile Company, on the […]

Annual Art, Beer, and Wine Festival Returns, Finally

Ella Sharp Museum’s annual Art, Beer, and Wine festival will take place on Saturday, August 7th from 1:00 – 7:00 p.m. The Art, Beer, and Wine Festival is presented by County National Bank. This year’s festival will feature Michigan wineries, breweries, cideries, and artists. The museum will also host food vendors and live music on […]

Ella Sharp Museum is a 2021 Blue Star Museum

Ella Sharp Museum will join museums nationwide in the Blue Star Museums initiative, a program that provides free admission to currently-serving U.S. military personnel and their families this summer. The 2021 program will begin on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 15, 2021, and end on Labor Day, Monday, September 6, 2021. Find the list of […]

Postcards of the Early 1900s

The postcard has evolved over many centuries and in the early 1900s the postcard included text on the backside and images on the front. Much similar to what we know today. U.S. Postage in 1912 was one cent. Postcards were frequently used by our very own Ella Sharp. She spent much time writing back and […]

Interim Executive Director

The Board of Directors of the Ella Sharp Museum is pleased to announce the appointment of Valerie Herr to the position of Interim Executive Director during the search for a new, permanent Executive Director. We have formed a Hiring Committee to find and hire the next Executive Director of the museum, with a focus on […]

Message From the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of the Ella Sharp Museum is looking forward to the next phase in the museum’s evolution. Ella Sharp Museum is an asset to our community, and we are excited to strengthen its ties under new leadership for both present and future generations. The Board wishes only the best for Diane Gutenkauf […]

Jackson History – Ella Merriman Sharp

She was a woman well ahead of her time advocating for Michigan forests in the late 19th and early 20th century. Ella Merriman Sharp was the first woman to speak at the Michigan Forestry Association annual meeting in 1909. Her involvement in Forestry and Civic Improvement went hand in hand. Ella was also one of […]

Jackson History – Lucy Thurman

This week we are honoring Lucy Thurman, a driving force in the temperance movement. Lucille Thurman was one of the founding members of the Women’s Christian Temperance Movement (WCTU) in the 1870s and the only African American woman involved in its formation. Living in Jackson, Michigan during the late 19th century, she lectured on temperance […]

Jackson History – Ruth Abraham Thulin

  A leading Jackson female in engineering and design, Ruth Abram won first prize in the Sparks Gateway competition in the 1930s. Ruth “Abram” Abraham Thulin studied decorative design for four years at the architectural school of the University of Michigan. After completing her studies, Ruth was hired in at the Civil and Hydraulics Engineering […]

Jackson History – Vivian Kellogg

  It’s Women’s History Month! We’re celebrating by sharing with you, each week, the stories and history of women from Jackson, MI. This week, we are celebrating Vivian Kellogg. Vivian “Kelly” Kellogg, born in 1922 and raised in Jackson, grew up playing sandlot baseball. As a teenager, Vivian played in the Girls Athletic Association competitions. […]

Annual Report 2020

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Clay Classroom Updates

Clay Classroom Updates During our down time in 2020, our clay studio received a few updates and improvements. Thanks to the generous donations from community members and the Jackson Pottery & Clay Guild, the studio received a brand-new kiln, ceiling fan, downdraft vent, faucets, and sink! Thank you to all who made these improvements possible: […]

Thank You to Our Ella Heroes

Thank You to Our Ella Heroes Thank you to our Ella Hero’s. Due to your generosity, we were able to exceed our year end goal. Ella Sharp Museum would like to recognize our Ella Hero’s. The below list of individuals, organizations and businesses donated $250 or more to our Ella Hero end-of-year campaign.

Special Holiday Hours Starting December 21st

Special Holiday Hours December 21 – December 25: Closed December 26: 10 am – 5 pm December 27: 12 pm – 5 pm December 28 – January 1: Closed January 2: 10 am – 5 pm January 3: 12 pm – 5 pm

Bring John Oliver to Ella Sharp Museum

Bring John Oliver’s “Finest Art” to Ella Sharp Museum     You can help bring John Oliver’s Finest Art to Ella Sharp Museum. John Oliver of Last Week Tonight is coming to the aid of five museums and local food pantries. The Ella Sharp Museum could be the host of his finest art collection and […]

Ella Sharp Museum Offering Micro Weddings Inside Historic Hillside Farmhouse

Ella Sharp Museum Offering Micro Weddings Inside Historic Hillside Farmhouse For the first time ever, Ella Sharp Museum will be offering wedding ceremonies inside our unique historical farmhouse. Weddings inside the home are meant to be a small-scale event. Per current guidelines we are limited to ten people per wedding. The museum is now booking […]

Get to Know the Ella’s Past President – Dan Machnik

Who is Dan Machnik? I was born and raised less than 2 miles from the Ella. I graduated from Lumen Christi in 1994 and spent the next 4 years living in Kalamazoo, where I graduated from WMU in 1998 and then lived in Chicago for about 10 years. Jackson called me home in 2007. I […]

Meet Myrna Berlet

The Living Wilderness: The Story of Berlet Films Walter and Myrna Berlet shared an interest in two things, each other, and teaching wildlife conservation through film. The pair’s strong teamwork and passion for teaching about the natural world led to the creation of Berlet Film and Video, an academic wildlife film company based in Jackson […]

Reduced Hours of Operation

Reduced Hours of Operation 3225 Fourth Street, Jackson, MI – July 31, 2020 – Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and in order to be fiscally responsible during these trying times, Ella Sharp Museum has made the difficult decision to reduce hours of operation. Employees of Ella sharp Museum will be furloughed or see reduced […]

Get to Know Ella’s Board of Trustees – Rebecca Dorian

Who is Rebecca Dorian? After graduating with a degree in Finance from Grand Valley State, I returned home to work at our family company- Lomar Machine and Tool where I have spent the past 10 years. During my time at Lomar, I completed an MBA program through Central Michigan University. My husband Jason and I […]

Get to Know the Ella Staff – Holly

Who is Holly? Hello! My name is Holy Lazor. I have been working at the museum for almost one year. I have learned a great deal about Jackson since working at the museum. I’m a Chicago native. I love to travel and had the opportunity to visit Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Alaska, Hawaii, and cruised most […]

Meet the Ella Volunteers – Soha Babar

Meet Soha Babar My name is Soha Babar and I moved to Jackson about 2 years ago (from Pakistan). Jackson has become my second home and I have learnt to love absolutely everything about this place. I studied Biomedical Engineering but right now I’m trying to switch to digital art.     The reason I […]

Rachel Varamay Featured on The Morning Blend

Rachel Varamay, Curator of Exhibits, talks about their upcoming exhibit ‘Spirited Prohibition in America’ and how local artists can get involved.   View on Fox47 News Website

Get to Know the Ella Staff – Chelsea

Who is Chelsea? Hey guys! My name is Chelsea Melin (Ma-Lean, I know it looks like Melon) I’m from Texas but spent most of my life here in Jackson Michigan. I have to express how much I love our amazing state. Gardening, snowboarding, hiking in the woods, spending time with my family & best friends, […]

Recent Events

Dear friends and supporters of the Ella Sharp Museum, During these challenging times, we at the Ella Sharp Museum acknowledge the challenges recent events present for our community. As Jackson’s history museum, we reflect on Jackson’s proud and rich African American history. We remember Michigan’s first black-owned bank, The New Jackson Bank, founded here in […]

Meet the Ella Volunteers – Doug and Diane Liechty

Meet Doug and Diane Liechty Doug and Diane have been married since 1985, live on Farwell Lake, have 2 amazing children and love to travel. They have sponsored 14 exchange students from Germany, Sweden, Thailand, South Korea, Croatia, and Brazil.     What work do you do or did you previously do? Doug is a […]

Get to Know the Ella Staff – Paige

Who is Paige? Hello all, I’m Paige. I am a born and raised Jackson native. I graduated from Vandercook Lake in 2014, and started my journey as an artist, dabbling in all sorts of different mediums and art styles, mostly gravitating towards acrylic or watercolor. I have been in quite a few Jackson area art […]

Meet the Ella Volunteers – Rick and Monica Collett

Meet Rick and Monica Collett Rick’s family have lived in Michigan and the Jackson area for over 180 years. We were some of the early founders of Jackson, Vandercook Lake and areas south of Jackson. My family has been in the US since the 1600’s. The first members of my family to come here came […]

Get to Know the Ella Staff – Jena

Who is Jena? Hello! My name is Jena McKnight but some may know me as Jena Smoyer. I grew up in the rural outskirts of Jackson County. I spent my childhood surrounded by the outdoors and nature and in my downtime, you would find me drawing and painting. This led me to Detroit, where I […]

Get to Know the Ella Staff – Austin

Who is Austin? If you wanna see me at 100% Austin, just ask me about something space related. I love learning and sharing that knowledge, especially when it’s about outer space. I have my personal hobbies like listening to podcasts, photography, and reading comics, but my greatest joy is being around family and friends.   […]

Meet the Ella Volunteers – Sandy

Meet Sandy My name is Sandy DuPuis, I was born 100 years after Ella Sharp in Jackson, Michigan. I have spent my whole life in Jackson. I attended grade school at Queen of the Miraculous Medal and graduated from Lumen Christi High School. I also graduated from Jackson Community College and Spring Arbor College.   […]

Get to Know the Ella Staff – Katie

Who is Katie? Hello friends! My name is Katie Gigliotti (Jilly-oh-tee), welcome to my blog post! Now a little about me…I am a thirty-something year old idea-machine. I’m the oldest of two children and I’ve always been structured but able to think creatively. Growing up, my family frequently attended museums and plays. I come from […]

Meet the Ella Volunteers – Jim and Nancy

Meet Jim and Nancy While not native to Jackson, we have now been here for over 33 years and have come to call it home. We came here because Jim had a job opportunity at Aeroquip Corp – now Eaton Corp. Jim stayed with the company and worked through many engineering and management positions before […]