Midland County History Museums Flood Relief

Following nearly five inches of rain in a 48-hour period, two dams on the Tittabawassee River failed on May 19, 2020, resulting in catastrophic flooding in Midland County that devastated large areas in Midland, Sanford, and other areas. This included devastating flooding in two of our member historical organizations in the area: the Midland County Historical Society’s Doan Center and the Sanford Centennial Museum.

“The Doan History Center, where most of the Midland County Historical Society archives are stored, took in an estimated 24 inches of water throughout the facility,” noted Jake Huss, the society’s historical programs and exhibitions manager. “A portion of the archives sustained significant damage. The Midland County Historical Society and its heritage park are operated under the auspices of the Midland Center for the Arts.”
Above are artifacts being saved from the Doan History Center in Midland.

Nearly a dozen of the buildings that make up the Sanford Centennial Museum complex were deeply affected. The museum is very near the dam which failed in that community.

According to Chuck Dinsmore, president of the Sanford Museum, the “main museum’s basement was completely flooded…six inches of water throughout the building with some buckling of the floors….Bailey Church took in the most water—3.5 feet since it is at a lower elevation.” Numerous other buildings in the village also suffered major damage.
Mud and debris fill the Sanford Centennial Museum's buildings.

The Midland County Historical Society and the Sanford Centennial Museum are in dire need. 

The Historical Society of Michigan is raising funds for the Midland County Historical Society, the Sanford Centennial Museum which have been significantly affected to provide relief for the devastated portions of their historical collections and property. The Sanford museum is a volunteer-run organization and is in desperate need of help and donations to save their collections. The Midland County Historical Society also suffered greatly in this disaster.
Flooded storage areas damaged precious historical archives and artifacts.

Please consider helping these entities today. Donations received through this GoFundMe campaign will go directly toward the preservation and restoration of damaged property and salvageable artifacts and collections, such as the materials pictured above. The Historical Society of Michigan will withdraw the funds from the campaign and convey them to the Midland County historical organizations that have been most affected by this flood.

Thank you for your support. To learn more about the Midland County Historical Society and its flood relief efforts please visit https://www.facebook.com/MidlandCountyHistoricalSociety/. You can learn more about the Sanford Centennial Museum’s current relief efforts at https://www.facebook.com/SanfordCentennialMuseum/. To learn more about the non-profit, non-governmental Historical Society of Michigan visit www.hsmichigan.org.

Donations (125)

  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs


Larry Wagenaar
Lansing, MI
The Historical Society of Michigan
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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