Bridgman Public Library

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Bridgman Public Library

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Bridgman / Lake Township Historical Society

The Bridgman and Lake Township historical society logo.Our Mission...

The Bridgman Lake/Township Historical Society will "perpetually seek, collect and preserve items of historical value to the community in the form of photographs, writings, documents and artifacts; to make that material available for periodic displays at the Bridgman Public Library and other public venues. The Society will strive to instill in the community awareness and appreciation for local history; and to that end will encourage the public and parochial schools of Bridgman to include Bridgman and Lake Township history as a permanent part of the official curriculum."

If you are interested in learning more about the Bridgman/Lake Township area, the book "Bridgman/Lake Township the First One Hundred Years" is available at the library and a limited amount are still available for sale.

If you have questions, need assistance with research or have something to donate to the society, please feel free to contact us by email. Or you can leave a note or message at the library. We're happy to help when and where we can!

Navajo Trading Post and Zoo Film



The film you are watching was taken in 1932 and has never been seen before.  This film, believed to be done for promotional purposes, was donated to the Bridgman-Lake Township Historical Society by Mirium Magavern Gast.  The society just recently had it converted to DVD for all to see for the first time!

In 1932 Benjamin (“Mac”) Magavern and his wife Margaret (“Marney”) arrived in Bridgman with a lion named Gerry they had acquired out west. They purchased and operated the Navajo Trading Post and Zoo just north of Bridgman on Red Arrow Highway. ​ The post, as the advertisement indicates, offered food & beverages, lodging, memorabilia and cottages. It also hosted its famous zoo, which included not only it’s very popular and well known lions, but other animals as well; donkeys, monkeys and even a snake or two! The Navajo Trading Post and Zoo was a very popular stopping place for out of town visitors and residents as well.

An old poster for the Navajo Trading Post.

The Navajo still is in operation as a restaurant and is owned by Dana and Joan D’Agostino. It has and continues to draw many out of town guests and residents with its excellent food.

Bridgman library exhibit celebrates Navajo Trading Post and Zoo

Library exhibit looks back at Navajo Trading Post Zoo.

Photo Collection

Take a walk down memory lane. The society’s entire collection of photos is now available for you to view……..just click on the picture

Bridgman History Pictures

Walter Briney Talks Bridgman Basketball History

1960 Basketball Quarter Finals
Bridgman vs. Newaygo
Pre-game interview

A special thank you to Ron Schaffer for sharing this audio with Bridgman Athletic Director Ken Schmaltz, and to Ken who shared it with the Historical Society. 

An illustration of old Bridgman, including Knacks store.