Wood resigns as historical society director

February 19, 2012

PERE MARQUETTE TWP. – Following a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Mason County Historical Society on Tuesday, Board President Dr. Bill Anderson announced the resignation of Ronald Wood, Executive Director. Wood, however, will remain an important member of Society leadership serving as Special Assistant to the new Executive Director with leadership responsibilities for the continuing development and fundraising for the Port of Ludington Maritime Museum, other fundraising activities, facility maintenance and assisting with the transition.


During Wood’s 20-year tenure the Historic White Pine Village has grown dramatically increasing from 20 buildings in 1994 to 39 structures at present. Many of these additional buildings constitute new museums including the Doctors’ Office, Sugar House, Mason County Lumber Museum, Siddon Print Shop,Museum of Music, and the Mason County Sports Hall of Fame and Car Museum. Other permanent exhibits like the saw mill and those devoted to agricultural heritage have been substantially enhanced. Additional land has been secured to the north including a structure used for records, storage and auxiliary meeting space and many other valued improvements.



Children at the Village's school house.

The Historical Society has just finished a banner year with the unveiling of the Farmstead Completion Project while seeing admissions increase by 12 percent despite a sluggish economy.


“Ron has provided excellent leadership and has been the guiding influence in the wonderful development of Historic White Pine Village,” said Dr. Anderson. “All of the amazing growth in historical facilities and programs occurred after the challenging transition of the Village being funded by a property tax levy to a not-for-profit organization totally dependent on earned income and donations. His exercise of fiduciary vigilance has made the operation and development work.”


“When I served as docent during History in Action Days this past year and counted 18 parked school buses and at the end of the day learned that nearly 1,000 students and chaperons had participated, I was impressed,” continued Anderson. “With each student group that toured the Mason County Lumber Museum I would ask what school they were from. In two instances, they were from Traverse City and Grand Rapids! This is the kind of historical attraction Historic White Pine Village has become under Ron’s leadership.”


“I am very grateful for the opportunity given me to help lead this organization from perhaps its darkest hour back in 1991 to the shining star it is in the community today,” remarked Wood. “And during the journey of the past 20 plus years, I have been blessed and privileged to have had the opportunity to meet and become a friend of hundreds, if not thousands, of wonderful individuals. I want to thank each and every one. I’m pleased that Historic White Pine Village is positioned to be a key and integral player and participant in the cultural economic development plan for Mason County.”


Wood is active in the community as he serves on the Board of Directors of the Mason County Farm Bureau, on the Ludington/Mason County Cultural Economic Development Task Force, Barns & Bi-ways Committee, adult Sunday School teacher and treasurer for the Sugar Ridge Church of the Brethren, and as a member of the East Ludington Avenue Historic District Study Committee.   Previously he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of West Shore Community College for thirty years including an extended tenure as Chairman of the Board.


The Board of Directors plans to appoint a new Executive Director this spring and hopefully that person will assume their responsibilities around June 1, 2012.


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