Click to Home
Go To Search
Museum Programs
February Film Festival

Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Dates: Fridays in February

Location: The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm – Calf Barn

Cost: Museum Members free; Non-Members $5

Join us on Friday evenings in February for our annual February Film Festival. We look for unique and meaningful independent films to share with you. Refreshments provided.

Museum Members Register Here.
Tickets by Date - See film description below
 Drawn together video cover.JPG February 14, 2020

Drawn Together: Comics, Diversity, and Stereotypes (52 min)

With a lively backdrop of superheroes, comic books, and animated comics, Drawn Together: Comics, Diversity and Stereotypes brings together three talented artists—a Sikh, a woman, and an African American—who are challenging the racist stereotyping currently endemic in America through their work. The documentary provides the rare opportunity to explore the subjects of race, gender, and religion stereotyping through the universally popular medium of comic books and cartoons. Drawn Together boldly encourages viewers to unlearn stereotyping, look beyond the obvious, and confront media prejudices—all through an uncommon and inherently engaging everyday source.

February 21, 2020            

Rebels with a Cause: How a Battle over Land Changed the Landscape Forever (57 min)

Rebels with a Cause is the story of a regional California effort that grew into an astonishing system of fourteen National Seashores- the result of garden clubs, ranchers, farmers, conservationists, politicians from both parties, widows, and volunteers working together through compromise and negotiation, with the American public coming up as the winner. It’s a fascinating example of hard fought campaign to preserve something important to all of us- our public land. And it is a powerful tool to illustrate that the personal is political, and the local is global.
 Rebels with a cause video cover.JPG
mackinac island video cover.JPG February 28, 2020            

Mackinac: Our Famous Island

This is Mackinac Island. It is a place of beauty and charm. Of history and heroism. Of survival and rebirth. Get to know the amazing stories behind the hallmarks of a Mackinac Island visit. Travel along the shore and trails to take in its natural beauty. Visit the fort to take a deep dive into the stories of how civilization came to the island. Take a stroll down Main and Market Street to learn about how Mackinac has continued to thrive as a destination for people throughout the world. And, perhaps most importantly, get to know the people who still work to preserve this "gem of the Great Lakes." There are many famous islands in the world, but for the Great Lakes region, this is our famous island.

Special appearance by filmmaker Oliver Thornton of Rochester, Michigan!
Brown Bag Lunches


The Rochester - Avon Historical Society hosts several Brown Bag lunches on local history topics. Admission is FREE! You bring your lunch and the Historical Society provides dessert and coffee. Programs held in the Museum Calf Barn.
** Register Here **
Mothers, Daughters and Leaders of Rochester, Michigan

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Location: The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm – Calf Barn

Cost: Register Here       

Hear the inspiring stories of outstanding women from Rochester, presented by Samantha Lawrence, Archivist at the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm.

VHP 1747 Ladies March - Copy.jpg

The Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal

Time: 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm – Calf Barn

Register Here

Debbie Remer provides information on Michigan’s first internal improvement project after it became a state in 1837. Starting in Mt. Clemens, the canal was dug 16 miles to Rochester and stopped. What happened?

Capture - Kristine Ismail.JPG

The Ten Most Fascinating Tidbits about the Rochester Area That You Might Not Know

Time: 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Date: Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Location: The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm – Calf Barn

Cost: Register Here

Rochester’s fascinating history is well documented, but there are a few historical events that you might not know, presented by Patrick McKay, Manager, Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm.
Samuel Harris.jpg

Founders Day

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Date: Sunday, March 15, 2020

Location: The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm – Calf Barn

Cost: Admission is Free, Refreshments provided

Registration: Click Here •  • 248-656-4663

The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm is honored to host the Rochester Historical Commission in recognition of Founder’s Day that celebrates the arrival of the James Graham Family in the Rochester area on March 17, 1817 founding the first permanent settlement in Oakland County.

The Detroit United Railway and its connection to Rochester
Enjoy a presentation by Ken Schramm on one of the greatest mass transit systems in the country from 1899-1932 that connected all of southeastern Michigan together as well as Canada. What happened to it?

DUR Trestle.jpg

Cabin Fever Lecture Series

On Friday evenings in March, we provide a variety of programs that will educate your mind and warm your heart.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Dates: Fridays in March

Location: The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm – Calf Barn

Cost: Museum Members free; Non-Members $5

Register: Museum Members click Here  Non-Members purchase tickets below

Tickets by Date

Friday, March 6, 2020

The 19th Century Evolution of Football: From Town Football to Rugby, Soccer and American Football by Jim Craft, Local Historian

For many centuries people in societies all around the globe engaged in activities that might be considered the forerunners of the various football games popular today. Join local historian Jim Craft to learn about the evolution of these international sports.
Football image.jpg 
Friday, March 13, 2020

The Long War: America’s Struggle for Equal Voting Rights by Bruce Zellers, Oakland University in collaboration with Rochester-Avon Historical Society

In this presentation, Oakland University Professor Bruce Zellers will explore the arduous battles fought in the war for equal voting rights. Travel through history, from Abigail Adams’s revolutionary era request to legislators to “remember the ladies,” to joining forces with abolitionists, to finally achieving victory with the help of WWI. Alas, the hope for “moral politics” and many social/cultural changes still remains to be achieved. This presentation is made possible through collaboration with the Rochester Avon Historical Society.
 Bruce Zellers.jpg
ayo big man.jpg Friday, March 20, 2020
The Millerites and a Private Second Coming
by MaureenThalmann

Upstate New York farmer and amateur student of the Bible, William Miller, set off our nation’s largest mass delusion, when he predicted the world would end on March 21, 1844. Astute public relations transformed Millerism from an obscure regional movement to a national campaign. In Michigan’s Avon Township, a local farmer’s story highlight’s the movement’s reach and effect, creating a scandal that shook the area.
Friday, March 27, 2020

Modern Interpretation of Native Americans by Eric Hemenway, Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians

Join Eric Hemenway of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians to learn about the forced relocation of natives and its repercussions. In the 1800s, Indian removal was federal policy that displaced tens of thousands of natives from their ancestral homelands. The most infamous of these removals was the Cherokee trail of tears but Michigan has its own history of removing its native populations. This talk will look at the history of forced relocation of tribes in Michigan and the repercussions removal policies had on tribes.

Smart Towns
Smart Towns is a lifelong learning program led by educational, non-profit organizations in Rochester, Rochester Hills and Oakland Township. The Smart Towns ‘partners’ work together to provide a unique series of programs exploring one theme for the year. The 2020 theme is Events That Changed the World.
For a full schedule visit

SMART TOWNS Program – Michigan’s Great Thumb Fires of 1871 and 1881 and the Establishment of the American Red Cross
By Alan Naldrett

Time: 7:00 p.m.
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2020
Location: The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm – Calf Barn
Cost: Museum Members Free; Public $5
Register: Members click here

The fires that burned in Michigan’s Thumb in 1871 and 1881 resulted in catastrophic damage to property and wildlife – and remains among the most memorable historic fires in Michigan’s history. One of the first official disaster relief efforts of the American Red Cross was in response to the Thumb fire of 1881, and some communities would never recover from the scorched trails of destruction. Author Alan Naldrett pieces together accounts of those who lived through the events and the aftermath.

SMART TOWNS Program – The Polio Vaccine Story and How Rochester Saved the World

7:00 p.m.
Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Location: The Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm – Calf Barn
Cost: Museum Members Free; Public $5
Register: Members click here

The Polio Vaccine Story was originally published in five installments in the Parke-Davis Retirees Review. The articles focused on the development and use of the Salk Polio Vaccine, with emphasis on the role played by Parke-Davis, especially in Rochester, Michigan. Don Callihan is a Parke-Davis retiree and was Director of Engineering at the Parke-Davis facility in Rochester, Michigan.


Historic Preservation Month Celebration

Fake History: Busting the Myths
presented by Carol Bacak-Egbo, Historian
in collaboration with the Rochester Hills Historic Districts Commission

Time: 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Date: Thursday, May 14

Location: Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm

Cost: Admission is Free, Refreshments provided

Register: click here. •  • 248-656-4663

Enjoy an evening at the museum with an interactive presentation exploring “fake history.” History, especially local history, sometimes gets tangled up over time. Myths are passed along. Events become distorted. History gets caught in a web of assumptions. Come learn about why this happens and resources you can use to untangle it!


Fake or Fact.JPG


Cathy Fitzpatrick
Cathy Fitzpatrick
Museum Program Coordinator

Visit the Museum
Facebook Instagram logo

Get Connected
Mobile App Notify Me Facebook Twitter Instagram logo
Stay Connected