Troy Historic Village Executive Director Loraine Campbell, second from the right, volunteers and guests enjoy the grounds of the Troy Historic Village June 18.

Troy Historic Village Executive Director Loraine Campbell, second from the right, volunteers and guests enjoy the grounds of the Troy Historic Village June 18.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Troy Historic Village reopens its doors

Guests invited to contribute their quarantine stories, reflections

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published June 23, 2020


TROY — A phased reopening of the Troy Historic Village began June 15 — one of the first Troy community facilities to reopen.

The village green will be open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays June 15-July 3 with free admission.

Susan Brown and her daughters, Sylvia, 5, and Vivian, 2, stopped by the historic village for some fun and a picnic lunch June 18.

“We live close,” she said, adding that she knew the grounds were open because she followed the Troy Historic Village on Facebook throughout the shutdown.

The Troy Historic Village Facebook page had 2,545 followers at press time. Volunteers and historic village staff posted something nearly every day of the shutdown.

The buildings will not be open until July 6, but guests can enjoy socially distanced picnic tables and grassy blanket spots to picnic, play games or just relax. There will be sanitizing supplies at each table and access to a restroom with new touchless fixtures in the church, which staff said they will clean every two hours. Visitors are encouraged to bring lunch, snacks, water bottles, games and books.

“Safety is our priority as we reopen,” said Executive Director Loraine Campbell. “We follow the rules.”

“Face masks, enhanced cleaning protocols, and new program formats for small groups that can maintain social distancing will continue through Phase 6, the post-pandemic period of the Michigan plan for reopening,” a press release states.

On July 6, the buildings will be open 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, with free admission to first responders during the month of July.

Before the buildings reopen, visitors may watch informational videos on each building by scanning a QR code displayed on each building at the historic village on their smartphones.


‘Resilience on the Homefront’
The July 6 reopening will launch with a village-wide exhibit, “Resilience on the Homefront.”

“The exhibit explores the resourcefulness of families during wars, depression, epidemics and natural disasters,” curator Elizabeth Thornburg explained in a press release. “We’ll focus on the role of ordinary people during crises and the resilience of families and local communities. Our guests will also have the opportunity to contribute their own quarantine story or reflection.”

Children may submit artwork they created during the shutdown for inclusion in the exhibit. Visit or call (248) 524-3570 for information on how to submit.

Volunteer Jen Peters said the exhibit centers on commonalities during various crises — the Great Depression, the 1918 pandemic flu, the COVID-19 pandemic — and what people did in their homes to survive.

“Resilience on the Homefront” is the first of three new exhibit-based visitor experiences scheduled at the village through the rest of 2020. Keepsake Resilience booklets will be available for purchase for $10. Preregistration and timed-entry to these exhibits are required.

The Troy Historic Village phased reopening plan allows socially distanced outdoor programs, including the Tuesday night yoga program and Thursday night walking group, which resumed the week of June 15.

JoAnn Preston, a volunteer and a member of the Troy Historic Village board, which operates the Troy Historic Village, visited the historic village June 18 to do some gardening in the vegetable garden.

She said she felt comfortable with the social distancing measures at the historic village. She explained that she and her husband are over 70, and they didn’t leave their home often during the Stay Home, Stay Safe order.

Blacksmithing classes for returning students will also resume at the village in mid-June. From July 4 to Labor Day, individuals and families are invited to participate in the Village Fitness Challenge, a virtual fundraiser that encourages people of all ages and abilities to explore their communities while supporting their own health and the Troy Historical Society.

“Since March we’ve received an incredible outpouring of encouragement and financial support from our donors and the city of Troy,” Campbell stated in a release.. “We look forward to seeing old and new friends. You’ll see the smile in our eyes and feel a joyful buzz in the village that connects people with history and one another — at six feet apart.”

“For the staff of the Troy Historic Village, ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ did not mean stop working,” Campbell explained in the release. “Our staff worked from home on new program formats and virtual education materials and stayed connected through numerous video meetings. We also stayed connected with the community on Facebook and Twitter.”

The Troy Historic Village is located at 60 W. Wattles Road.

After July 3 admission is free for children 5 and under and Troy Historical Society members, and costs $5 for seniors and children age 6-12 and $7 for adults.  First responders with ID attend for free in July.

For more information, visit or call (248) 524-3570.