Built in 1850 by the followers of King James Jesse Strang, our museum was first used as a print shop. The press and the people are long gone, but the stories of their stay have captured the imagination of many writers and many historians alike.
Northern Michigan's first newspaper was published here, as well as religious tracts and Strang's Mormon doctrines.
In this Kingdom of St. James, Strang was crowned as King of his people. He ruled their lives and accumulated five wives during his eight-year reign. In 1856 Strang was mortally wounded near the water's edge by two of his former supporters. A special room is assigned to his life and his followers.
The Mormons were expelled from the island by a resentful mob which came across the lake to reclaim power over this strategic port, end a dramatic era.
The Print Shop is now the general museum for the Beaver Island Historical Society. Besides displaying the story of Strang and his times, it has several other exhibits, some of which are rotated: early Irish life; the Island's musicians; Native American materials; and a new display, "Then and Now", depicting changes to the Island through pairs of matching photographs. Its archives contain much material: "oral history" tapes and transcriptions, diaries, genealogical records, and land records as well as photos.