About The Marshall Historical Museum at the GAR
Marshall’s GAR Hall was constructed in 1902 as the meeting place for the Grand Army of the Republic, the organization for Union veterans of the Civil War. The GAR remained one of the most important advocacy groups in American political life seeking benefits and recognition for veterans. Today, the building houses the Marshall Historical Museum, which is designed to tell Marshall’s stories..
Museum visitors are first met by a truly unusual sight- the Hinkle Automatic Theatre, an early 1900s marionette show that once toured southern Michigan communities. Visitors can learn about key events in Marshall’s history including how Marshall almost became the state capitol and the 1847 Crosswhite incident, when Marshall residents prevented slave catchers from returning an escaped enslaved family to Kentucky.
On display are unique items made in Marshall such as a Marshall folding bathtub, a buggy made by Page Buggy Works, and artifacts from the F. A. Stuart patent medicine business. Civil War items in the museum include those relating to Capt. DeVille Hubbard, who in 1861 organized the Marshall Light Guard that became part of the First Michigan Infantry Regiment. This unit traveled to Washington, DC, where it was greeted by President Abraham Lincoln and later participated in the first Battle of Bull Run. Other civil war items include Union equipment, photos, veteran’s souvenir medals, and veteran reunion posters.