Museum Receives Significant Grant Funds and Begins Last Step to Fully Relocate Organization to Toledo

Tuesday, March 21, 2023 (Toledo, Ohio) – The National Museum of the Great Lakes will begin the process of moving their vast collection from Vermilion, Ohio, and other various locations to Toledo, Ohio. This was made possible thanks to an $18,000 competitive grant awarded to them through the Ohio History Fund—The Ohio History Connection’s matching grant program for history.

“Although the Great Lakes Historical Society and its National Museum of the Great Lakes relocated from Vermilion to Toledo in 2014, it lacked the means to move its entire collection of 2,000+ artifacts and to conclusively determine the full scope of its collection,” shares the organization’s Executive Director Chris Gillcrist. “This grant and the resulting project will remedy this and enable us to finally establish firm ‘intellectual control’ over its holdings and be better stewards of the regional history entrusted to it.”

Since the opening of the National Museum of the Great Lakes, the Great Lakes Historical Society has been actively managing their collection across multiple storage sites. This extraordinary grant makes it possible for the organization to take the last step of fully relocating to Toledo by bringing their collection all under one roof and within their museum’s hometown. The organization has secured a lease for local storage space and has spent a considerable amount of time and effort over the past few years preparing for this move. Both human and technological resources have enabled the continued cataloging and organizing efforts of their collection covering both the U.S. and Canadian history of all five Great Lakes. Representatives from the museum were informed in mid February of the award and recently finalized their new storage space lease. The Ohio History Connection publicly announced all grant recipients at an annual Statehood Day advocacy event on Thursday, March 2, at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio.

The Ohio History Connection awarded $185,624 in grants this year and, since the Ohio History Fund program started in 2012, have made a total of 122 grants to history and cultural organizations across the state, totaling $ $1.2 million. The Fund is made possible by Ohio taxpayers who select “Ohio History Fund” as a donation fund on their state tax returns. For additional information on the Ohio History Fund Grant and other 2023 recipients visit

WTT – Algoma

Museum Offering Labor Day Free Admission to Union Members

September 1, 2020 (Toledo, Ohio) – Despite financial hardships due to COVID-19, the National Museum of the Great Lakes will continue their annual tradition to open doors FREE on Labor Day (Monday, September 7) to all union members and union retirees. The museum will be open normal hours from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

“The museum recognizes the importance of honoring the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States,” says the museum’s Executive Director Chris Gillcrist.

Tickets can be reserved ahead of time online at by selecting the “Member” ticket option, however reservations are not required. Proof of union membership will be requested upon arrival.

A Statement from the National Museum of the Great Lakes

Events of the past few weeks have once again raised issues related to race and justice in the United States. We are committed to ongoing efforts to ensure all Great Lakes stories are told—especially the undertold history of minority and underserved populations. History is a great teacher and it is because of that, our institution must work towards improving our present and future through careful and thoughtful examination of our past. We stand in solidarity with our fellow Black Americans. We also recognize that we have work to do as an institution and are committed to preserving and exploring the history, environment, and culture of the Great Lakes region, and making resources available to all.

Closed Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019

We are closed to the public this Sunday, April 21, 2019. We will re-open on Tuesday, April 23 at 10am.

Closed Thursday, January 31

We are closed on Thursday, January 31, due to extremely cold temperatures.

Closed January 30 Due to Extreme Cold Temperature

We are closed on Wednesday, January 30, due to extremely cold temperatures.

Closed Saturday, January 19, 2019 for Winter Storm

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is closed on Saturday, January 19, 2019 for Winter Storm Harper. Weather permitting, we will open on Sunday, January 20. Stay safe out there!

2018 Luck of the Lakes Raffle Winners

Thank you to everyone that took part in our 2018 Luck of the Lakes Raffle. The winners are:

6 Tickets into 2019’s Luck of the Lakes Raffle
– Glenn & Mary R., Perrysburg, OH

6 Tickets into 2019’s Luck of the Lakes Raffle
– George O., Sun City West, AZ

6 Tickets into 2019’s Luck of the Lakes Raffle
– Charles P., Grosse Pointe Park, MI

GLHS/NMGL Lifetime Membership
– Tom & Sallie S., Indian River, MI

J. W. Westcott Trip
– Richard & Janie S., Oregon, OH

Freighter Trip aboard an Interlake Steamship vessel
– Charles S., Rocky River, OH

$10,000 CASH
– Cassandra M., Fremont, OH

Greater Toledo History Trail

The National Museum of the Great Lakes is excited to be a part of the Greater Toledo History Trail!

Collect stamps from all nine Greater Toledo History Trail Heritage Sites and you will receive a complimentary kid’s sticker pack and a 25% discount on select t-shirts at JupMode to commemorate your journey. The exclusive gifts are reserved for only the history explorers who complete their Greater Toledo History Trail adventure—they cannot be purchased. Adventurers are invited to take their time as they explore the fascinating stories told at: the Toledo Police Museum, the Toledo Firefighters Museum, the Wolcott Heritage Center, the Local History Department at the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, Spafford House Museum, Sylvania Historical Village, Brandville School & Museum Complex, the National Museum of the Great Lakes and the Toledo History Museum.

To earn a complimentary sticker pack, adventurers need to collect stamps from each of the sites and submit their completed History Trail Passport to one of two Trail Head locations: The National Museum of the Great Lakes or the Toledo History Museum.

To get started, visit, print your FREE History Trail Passport and get ready for an adventure!