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Multimedia Historical Presentations

Schedule a Program

The programs listed are mainly PowerPoint presentations that last about an hour. Some also include demonstrations and hands-on items.

Program Price

Fees for these programs are $50/hour, plus mileage if outside the immediate Midland area.

For more information or to schedule a program, please contact Kyle Bagnall at 989.631.0830 or kbagnall@chippewanaturecenter.org

An Environmental History of Midland County Michigan

Human history is defined by our interactions with the natural world. From Native American uses of plants and animals to H.H. Dow’s extraction of brine from underground, nature’s gifts have shaped the history of Midland County. Come take a journey through the centuries.

In the Steps of Michigan Surveyors: 1805 - 1855

Before local lands were  settled, they first had to  be surveyed. Hear amazing  tales of Michigan surveyors  traversing wild lands as they  completed their work. We’ll  travel from the wilderness of  early Oakland County to the  far reaches of the Upper Peninsula.

Midland County Lumbering: Its History in Pictures

This photographic journey takes us back to Midland County’s 19th century lumbering era. Learn how trees were cut and river drives were conducted, see what sawmills looked like and witness views of our forests that were changed forever. Period lumbering tools will also be on display.

Midland's Fur Trade: 1828 - 1856

Travel back in time to hear first-hand accounts from Midland’s historic fur trading posts. You’ll also see images of artifacts excavated from archaeology sites at Chippewa Nature Center and reproductions of the period. Learn about the American Fur Company in Midland learn what items were available to Midland’s founding families in the 1850s.

One Room Schools: A Midland County History

Thousands of one- room schoolhouses  once dotted Michigan’s country landscape. In these simple buildings, generations of children learned the “4-Rs,” moral lessons and how to become good citizens. Learn the typical day in a one-room school, the history of education in Michigan and the current fate of these historic structures. Our focus will be on historic schools of Midland County.

Native American Uses of Natural Resources

(A demonstration-based, hands-on program) For thousands of years, Native Americans thrived along the Pine and Chippewa Rivers. This program provides an overview of traditional skills used by this region’s Native Americans to make fire by friction, cordage from plant materials, tan hides, weave baskets and much more.

Understanding Headstone Symbolism

The final resting place has connected people to each other and the places they live for countless generations. While many of us are familiar with headstone inscriptions, the wealth of symbolism they hold is often ignored or misunderstood. In this program, you’ll learn how to interpret 19th century symbols from the natural world, classical Greece and Egypt, fraternal and religious organizations.

About the Presenter

Kyle W. Bagnall received a Bachelor of Arts in Public History from Western Michigan University in 1993. Since 1995, he has worked as Manager of Historical Programs at CNC, designing and presenting environmental history programs on topics such Woodland Indian life, agriculture, fur trade, lumbering, surveying and settlement. Kyle has presented Bela Hubbard programs throughout Michigan since 2005, Ephraim Williams programs since 2011 and introduced the John Loyer program in 2013.