Schedule a Program
The programs listed are mainly PowerPoint presentations that last about an hour. Some also include demonstrations and hands-on items.
Fees for these programs are $50/hour, plus mileage if outside the immediate Midland area.
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.