Elk Rapids Area Historical Society



“Island House Victorian Christmas”

Our 2013 Holiday Exhibit

The Elk Rapids Area Historical Society’s holiday special exhibit is an “Island House Victorian Christmas.”  The exhibit will run from December 6 through January 5. The museum, at 301 Traverse Street, will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. during the holidays.

The Elk Rapids Area Historical Society in collaboration with the Elk Rapids District Library (a.k.a. “Island House”) is pleased to present an exhibit that brings a glimpse of a Victorian era Christmas holiday as it might have been celebrated at the Island House when the Edwin Noble Family lived there.  It mimics what Victorian era holiday interior decorating and Christmas trees would have been like.

Edwin S. Noble (1838-1922) designed and built the house for his family in 1865. Noble, an expert accountant, was associated with the Dexter-Noble Company, first as secretary-treasurer and later as a full partner. The company was involved in logging and the production of chemicals, flour and high-quality pig iron. It also operated a store and a brickyard. By 1882, the firm, then known as the Elk Rapids Iron Company, had become the largest employer in town. Edwin Noble, a driving force behind the iron company for over two decades, transformed a four-acre sand dune into this scenic island area by covering it with clay and dark loam and planting over 60 species of trees on it. He built a broad bridge over the river to connect the island with the town. In 1949 the Island House became a public library.

There is no admission fee to visit the library, which will also be appropriately decorated. For open hours, visit the library’s website at www.elkrapidslibrary.org/


To visit the museum, the suggested donation is $5.00 for adults, $2.00 for students (under age 18).  Children are free.

All proceeds benefit the Elk Rapids Area Historical Society’s building preservation.

For more information or to arrange a group tour:

contact Glenn Neumann at 231-264-6354, or Marjorie Paradis at 231-264-8405.