Shay Hexagon House gifted to Historical Society

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The year 2017 marks the 125th anniversary of the historic Shay Hexagon House located at 396 East Main Street. Ephraim Shay, notable creator of the Shay geared locomotive, built the Hexagon House in 1892 where he lived until his death in 1916. But this year marks another important reason to celebrate this remarkable stamped-steel building. The Harbor Springs Area Historical Society (HSAHS) is excited to announce that it has acquired the historic Shay building from previous owner Mary Cay Bartush Jones.

HSAHS ShayHouse 2017 MC WEB

“The Historical Society is honored and humbled by this ultimate gift of history,” said Mary Cummings, executive director of the Historical Society. “Mary Cay Jones has entrusted us with this historic treasure, and we will continue to steward the building as she has done during her 30-year ownership.”

The Shay Hexagon House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was renovated in 1990 just after Jones first acquired the building. The outright gift of the building to the Historical Society has sparked its board of trustees to look toward the future, both for the historic structure and for the organization as a whole, now in its 27th year.

“The Historical Society has a wonderful opportunity with the Shay House,” according to Tim Tippett, current HSAHS board president. “We plan to explore potential uses for the building that both strongly align with the Historical Society’s mission as well as serve and benefit our entire community. We thank Mary Cay for recognizing the Historical Society with this generous gift.”

The 14-member board of trustees has already embarked on a strategic planning process that includes the Shay Hexagon House and is currently exploring a future comprehensive campaign to complete needed renovations to the Shay House with an endowment component to be able to maintain both it and the museum building for generations.  At the heart of the Historical Society is its mission to connect learning about the past with appreciating the present by preserving our histories and traditions.

For more information about the Historical Society, please call (231) 526-9771.

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Beth joined the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society's staff in November of 2013. Prior to this she received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Psychology from Albion College and obtained her Master's degree in Historical Administration from Eastern Illinois University.

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