A banner designed by Nick Zemaiduk for Hillsdale’s 150th anniversary cel­e­bration. Courtesy | Michelle Loren

When Jeremiah Arnold arrived in Hillsdale as the first Europen-American settler, it’s likely he had hopes that the city would con­tinue pros­pering more than a century later. 

The City of Hillsdale will be hosting a sesqui­cen­tennial cel­e­bration to com­mem­orate its 150th anniversary as a char­tered-city. The event will take place from 12 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 at City Hall.

Throughout the afternoon, local his­torian Dan Bisher will be giving tours of City Hall. The public will get the chance to tour rarely seen parts of this 108-year-old building which once housed the fire department in its basement. Decade-dis­plays will also be out for guests to view, along with a display of the Dawn Theater. 

Addi­tionally, the fire department will be grilling for the public from 12 to 3 p.m. and has invited the com­munity to join them for some food.

“We welcome anyone,” Hillsdale Recre­ation Director Michelle Loren said. “It will just be a casual open house for anyone over the course of the day to just come and walk through and look at the building.”

At 2 p.m., 10 stu­dents from Hillsdale High School’s Advanced Placement U.S. History class will be dressed as his­torical figures from the city’s founding as they give a pre­sen­tation on the founders of Hillsdale. 

Dean Potter, who has taught AP History at Hillsdale High School since 2006, has enjoyed con­veying the sig­nif­i­cance of some of Hillsdale’s former res­i­dents to his class. 

“My stu­dents have been working very hard on getting to know the dif­ferent people,” Potter said. “It’s been a neat project for the stu­dents to really get some enrichment and dive deep into Hillsdale’s history.”

At 3 p.m., local artist Nick Zemaiduk, who created the graphic for the cel­e­bration banner, will be selling num­bered com­mem­o­rative art prints and note­cards of the 1911 building.

There will be a final cer­emony at 5 p.m. Hillsdale City Manager David Mackie will give a brief speech, and Mayor Adam Stockford will hand out keys to the city to certain deserving non­profits. City Assessor Kim Thomas will also present a long-awaited plat book to the Hillsdale His­torical Society. 

In addition, Heather Tritschka and Connie Sexton of the Her­itage Asso­ci­ation, a non-profit orga­ni­zation founded in 2016 to pre­serve the local her­itage of Hillsdale, will present a por­trait of Henry Keefer to C.L. Real Estate. 

The por­trait will be show­cased at City Hall and other busi­nesses downtown and even­tually dis­played in the Keefer Hotel upon its reopening.

Hillsdale native Rep. Eric Leutheuser will give the final remarks for the evening.