Journey to the past
embrace your future

Discover exhibits, collections, meeting spaces and more!


Every community needs a remembering place …

We all need a place that tells our stories, through artifacts, through our dreams; a place that shares how our community came to be what it is today and why we live the way we do. We also need a place that inspires us to keep our story going.

The Heritage Museum at the Priscilla U. Byrns Center is our remembering place in St. Joseph, Michigan. The museum houses our area’s history, its artifacts and archival collections and a research library in a historic building along Main Street. Carefully preserved and beautifully appointed, it presents our stories in spacious exhibit halls and creates new memories in elegant banquet facilities.

Every person’s story is important and because we believe sharing these stories is just as important, admission is free to everyone. Come journey into our past, gain a deeper understanding of our present and thrill at the possibilities for the future. If we can become part of your life’s special events, please contact us. We would be privileged to weave your chapter into ours.

New Exhibit – Evidence Found: Explorations in ArchaeologyLogo - Evidence Found

The Heritage Museum’s 2017 feature exhibition tells visitors that when it comes to digging up the past, “It’s not what you find, but what you find out!” This exhibit displays artifacts and findings from archaeological excavations across Southwest Michigan, and provides fun, hands-on activities to learn about the methods used by archaeologists.

Join us for our Opening Reception on Thursday, March 9 to enjoy good company and light refreshments alongside the new exhibit. From 7:00-7:30pm, the Director of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project, Dr. Michael Nassaney will present Opening Remarks in Shepard Hall. The Heritage Museum thanks Sue Luther Events, Martin’s Super Markets, and Harding’s Friendly Market for supporting this free event– all ages are encouraged to attend!

Archaeology is the study of past human activities through the examination of evidence all around us. It can be found anywhere in the world, even southwest Michigan. This fascinating exhibit, to be featured at the Heritage Museum throughout 2017, was developed and debuted by the Kalamazoo Valley Museum with support from the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Foundation. Artifacts are on loan from the Western Michigan University Department of Anthropology and the Niles History Center.


St. Joe Lighthouse Tours

Want to see this view for yourself? Book your tickets today!During summer 2016, the Heritage Museum & Cultural Center offered the first-ever public St. Joe Lighthouse Tours. The City of St. Joseph took ownership of the Lights from the federal government in 2013, in recognition of their community importance and to ensure their preservation. Generous donors to the city’s Lighthouse Forever Fund supported a momentous restoration of the structures in 2015-16, and the Heritage Museum has arranged for access to the lights for tours.

We are busy planning for even more lighthouse programming in the 2017 season! Keep your eyes here as we get closer to summer 2017 for more information.  In the meantime, visit the Heritage Museum to see our Fresnel Lens exhibit in person and learn more about these incredible Lake Michigan beacons!

(Photo credit: Denise Emery, thank you for sharing this great image!)

The Heritage Museum