Lots of exciting events coming up:

  • Spaghetti Dinner – Tuesday, May 2nd
  • Docent Training – This Saturday, April 8th
  • Next Member Meeting – Monday, May 8th
  • High Tea at the CAHS Museum – Saturday, May 20th

 Spaghetti DinnerThe Chelsea Area Historical Society & Museum will be hosting the Lynda Collins Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser and Silent Auction at the Chelsea Depot on Tuesday, May 2nd from 4:30-8:00pm. Thompson Pizzeria will be sponsoring the dinner.

Lynda Collins was a dedicated member of the Chelsea area, and she had a special fondness for local history. Her generosity touched many citizens throughout her four decades in the community. She gave food, time, and money to many, and her spaghetti dinner fundraisers were a cornerstone of her kindheartedness.

Please join the Chelsea Area Historical Society & Museum in honoring Lynda Collins at the launch of the nonprofit’s annual fundraiser—the Lynda Collins Spaghetti Dinner & Silent Auction. Dinner with dessert tickets are $10/adult and $5 for children 13 and under. Tickets may be purchased the night of the event at the Chelsea Depot.

The silent auction contains over twenty-five items, with something for everyone. All proceeds go to aid the historical society in maintaining local history education, programs, and the museum.

Docent Training This Saturday April 8th at 10:30 amEven if you are just curious about being a Docent / Guide at our museum, please consider stopping by for this informative training session – NO experience necessary!  We will start the training at 10:30 and wrap-up no later than 12:30.  This is a great way to get a better understand of Chelsea history and the museum and you will be among the first to see and experience our very complete Docent Manual – hot off the press.

May Membership MeetingMonday May 8th at 7:00 pm at the Chelsea Depot.  Come and see an interesting and informative presentation on local architect Claire Allen.  Among his many local designs are the Chelsea Clock Tower and Welfare Building.

High Tea at the CHAS MuseumSaturday, May 20th – Looking for something new and entertaining, perhaps a special Mother’s Day gift?  Then join us for our first High Tea at the CAHS Museum.  It is certain to be an enjoyable and special afternoon with all the special foods and teas to make this a memorable event.  This will be a limited seating event and advance tickets are required.  Tickets will be $25 and will be available at the May 8th Membership Meeting or you can call the museum at 734-464-2010 to reserve your tickets.  More details in the near future.

Chelsea ExpoChelsea Senior Center – Saturday, April 22nd 10:00 – 3:00.  Be sure to stop by the annual Chelsea Expo and visit the CAHS exhibit!

Chelsea MuseumDon’t forget that your CAHS Museum is open Saturdays & Sundays noon to 3:00!


Other announcements

Attention any & all Chelsea High School Graduates – of any year:The history students at Chelsea High School, in a program with Jim Cameron, are looking to interview Chelsea High School Graduates of any year.  The interviews will take place by May and will just involve sitting down with one or two current students to share your memories of attending schools in Chelsea.  These video interviews will be captured and become part of the collection of the Chelsea Area Historical Society and available for future generations.  If interested or you have questions, please contact CAHS President Bill O’Reilly (734-476-1010 / President@ChleseaHistory.org).


Help Wanted

  • Technology & Communications – We already have a good team in place but are looking for someone to lead this team which will oversee our webpage and social media. You do not have to be a wiz but if you do have some basic skills in technology please raise your hand!  If interested or you have questions, please contact CAHS President Bill O’Reilly (734-476-1010 / President@ChleseaHistory.org).
  • 2017 CAHS Home Tour – We are looking for additional homes to be part of our annual home tour in early December. If you are interested or have questions, please contact Jan Bernath (734-272-8422 or janbernath@yahoo.com).


In other news

Mack Building Renovation about to get underway –

The oldest middle brick building in the Longworth Complex was constructed in circa 1901 by A. R. Welch.  With the prior Chelsea Manufacturing Co. success in making bicycles, they moved in to build about 10 prototype Welch automobiles. One of the early investors of the Welch Manufacturing Co. was Chelsea banker George P. Glazier. The Chelsea-made Welch car was exhibited at the 1903 Chicago Automobile Show. Only four Welch autos are known to exist today; one is displayed at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. After Welch went bankrupt, he left Chelsea, merged with Pontiac continuing to manufacture the Welch and Oakland cars until 1911 when the firm was sold to General Motors Corp.

Glazier Stove Company bought it in early 1904, using it as building No. 18 to store or assemble Brightest & Best stoves until 1907. The Chelsea Tribune moved in late 1907 and published a new newspaper that year which lasted until 1923. Space was shared with Chelsea Screw Co. starting in 1913 and Chelsea Elevator Co. Mack Co. of Ann Arbor bought the building in the teens. Fluorescent light bulbs were once manufactured in the building, and a Chelsea branch of Klager Hatchery installed incubators to hatch 20,000 chicks.

Sometime in the 1920s, Warren R. Daniels of Daniels Motor Sales took over this building. Daniels was a sub-dealer for Dodge Brothers automobiles. He received his first car the day before Thanksgiving in 1917, and sold his first two cars in March of 1918 to Jules Strieter and Herb Paul. In 1925 Daniels was Chelsea’s Buick dealer, and by 1933 he added the Oldsmobile line.

The second floor is said to have been used by Chelsea Milling Company in the 1930s. Mabel Holmes, the creator of packaged Jiffy mixes, may have packaged some of the first boxed mixes there.

In 1952 Marion Longworth bought both the Mack building with attached car showroom, and the Livery barn. The company specialized in industrial electroplating which included decorative auto parts and hand-rack plating using cadmium, nickel, tin, copper, zinc and chromium. Plating mechanical components with these metals provided protection against friction, heat, rust and corrosion.

For many years the Longworths loaned the vacated front car showroom and adjoining floor space for various community uses. After Heydlauff’s Frigid Products’ devastating August 1970 fire, the Longworths loaned this space for Heydlauff’s to continue business until their new appliance store could be built.

Marion Longworth retired in 1984 during his 38th business year. Longworth Plating was carried on by his son David, and daughter Flo Ann. David’s daughter Kim, and son Kent, represented the third generation in the business. Through the years Longworth’s work force averaged 10 employees.   Longworth Plating closed in 2002, selling the property to the City of Chelsea in December of 2008.

Through the efforts of the City of Chelsea Administration and DDA, funding was secured from the State of Michigan for redevelopment and a deal was just recently struck with local developer Joe Ziolkowski to restore the building.  The lower level will be turned into retail space and the upper level into apartments.  Completion is set for no later than next year.  At the dedication event Joe,  Chelsea City Manager John Hanifan and State Representative Donna Lasinski were among the attendees.


Please help keep the many CAHS programs going and our CAHS Museum thriving.  Remember that your donations are fully tax-deductible and we will of course provide you with a written receipt of your donations.  Please make checks payable to the Chelsea Area Historical Society and mail to the address below. The Chelsea Area Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) organization:


Thank you for your support!

 Chelsea Area Historical Society

128 Jackson Street

Chelsea, MI  48118