Two-headed brook trout, other weird items on display at museum - WNEM TV 5

Two-headed brook trout, other weird items on display at museum

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It's hard to say what the strangest item is that has been donated to the collections of the Michigan Historical Museum over the past 138 years. Some of the museum's more unusual artifacts will be on display Feb. 18 from noon to 4 p.m. on the museum's second floor.

The collections that the museum holds in trust for the people of the State of Michigan were started in 1874 by the Michigan Pioneer Society. Today the museum preserves more than 100,000 artifacts ranging from farming tools to a 1957 Corvette.

"We preserve all of these artifacts so that we can study and understand the people and communities that have made Michigan," said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan Historical Center. "They sometimes give us a better sense of what it was like to live in a particular time and place and of what people valued more than any other source."

However, only a small percentage of the museum's artifacts are on public display at any given time. This event gives the public a chance to see some of the intriguing items that have not been part of an exhibit for many years.

The items selected range from the odd - a miniature iron maiden torture device - to the macabre - a piece of the hangman's scaffolding on which the Lincoln assassination conspirators were executed. Also on display will be a collection of nails that survived the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and a two-headed brook trout.

This display is included in museum admission.

Visit and see "Coming Events" for more detailed information.

Michigan Historical Museum admission is $6 for adults 18-64. Children through age 5 are free; youth ages 6-17 pay an optional $2; and seniors 65 and up pay $4. Annual passes are available, and Sundays are FREE for everyone. Visit for details.

The museum is open seven days a week. It is located inside the Michigan Library and Historical Center, 702 West Kalamazoo St., Lansing. The museum and visitor parking are on the north side of Kalamazoo Street, two blocks east of M. L. King Jr. Boulevard. Weekend parking is free. For more information, visit or call 517-373-3559.

The Michigan Historical Center is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its museum and archival programs help people discover, enjoy and find inspiration in their heritage. It includes the Michigan Historical Museum, 11 regional museums, and the Archives of Michigan. Learn more at

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