The mission of the Tri-Cities Historical Museum is to collect, preserve, display, and interpret the cultural and historic record of Northwest Ottawa County for the benefit and education of area citizens and visitors.
The city's first courthouse was built near Second and Franklin Streets. The first courthouse located in the 400 block of Washington, known as Court House Square, was built in 1857. It was a two-story wood frame building with a distinctive cupola on top. The second courthouse built on this site was dedicated in 1894. The majestic, four-story stone and brick building was designed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, a very popular architectural style at that time. The third courthouse on this site was constructed in the Mid-Century Modern style, popular in the 1960s. It was dedicated in 1965. The current courthouse, built in 2009, was intended to be reminiscent of the much-loved courthouse from 1894. Though its front entrance was oriented to the west, rather than facing the park, there is much about the current building which brings to mind the earlier one. Central Park is located directly across Washington Ave. from the courthouse. The site was the city's original cemetery, as it was located just outside of the city's original boundary. As the city grew, the cemetery was relocated in 1883 to Lake Forest Cemetery. The site opened as a park in 1901 and the Sheldon fountain was installed between 1910-1920.