Michigan's Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Hall and Museum

224 South Main Street, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827 - United States




Free Everyday

Michigan’s Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) Memorial Hall and Museum is a federally recognized 501 (c) (3) Michigan nonprofit corporation with the mission of bringing both an informative and educational exposure to the history of the post-Civil War Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) to the state of Michigan. The location for Michigan’s G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum is the former James B. Brainerd Post #111 Grand Army of the Republic Hall located in Eaton Rapids, Michigan. Due to its location in downtown Eaton Rapids and its designation as a historic district, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and houses (currently) over 4,700 historical artifacts and records relating primarily to the Grand Army of the Republic and the Allied Orders of the G.A.R. in Michigan. All of the historical artifacts have been donated or loaned to Michigan’s G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum for the purpose of fostering the memory and preserving the artifacts of the G.A.R. in an original historic setting. Michigan’s G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum is the only such museum in the state of Michigan.

Just to the east of the G.A.R. building located in the middle of the Grand River is an island park. At the request of the James B. Brainerd G.A.R. Post #111, the city agreed to change the name of the island to G.A.R. Island Park in 1909. It served from 1909 to 1929 as the venue for a week-long annual encampment of the Eaton County Battalion of the G.A.R. The Eaton County Battalion was composed of 10 G.A.R. Posts in Eaton County and one G.A.R. Post in Calhoun County. The annual encampments were discontinued after 1929 due to too few veterans left to carry on. Two Civil War-era cannon (30-pound and 100-pound Parrett Rifles), which had been donated by the U.S. Government to the Brainerd Post, reside on the island as “Silent Sentinels” in tribute to all those who served in the Civil War. A G.A.R. Monument to “Our Fallen Heroes 1861-1865” also sits on Island. In keeping with the historical significance, the Museum holds a day-long Civil War Discovery Camp on G.A.R. Island Park each year for children 8 - 14 years old.


As the April 4th also coincides within two days of the 154th April 6, 1866 anniversary date of the beginning of the Grand Army of the Republic (Union Civil War Veterans organization) in the United States, Michigan's G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum will be open from 10 AM to 5 PM with, in addition to our normal exhibits, two floors of additional exhibits on the G.A.R. A special 154th anniversary cake will be present and other refreshments will be provided through the day. The museum is totally free as will be all the refreshments.

Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.