The mission of the Historical Commission is to foster an understanding and appreciation of local history and to identify the heritage of our City.
The Historical Commission strives to promote an awareness of the community’s heritage, to identify local preservation concerns, to attend workshops and seminars relating to preservation management, to study public policies designed to protect and preserve local history, and to provide opportunities for residents to share and shape their historical legacy.
Through membership in the American Association of State and Local History, the National Council on Public History, the Historical Society of Michigan, and the Macomb County Heritage Alliance, the Commission works to expand its perceptions and knowledge of current practices in the field of local history. It keeps informed of state and federal legislation, as well as identifies sources of funding such as grants and endowments.
The 7-member Historical Commission acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council. Members serve uncompensated terms of three years. The Commission, established in 1970, meets bi-monthly. The Library Director, , is the staff liaison, relating the activities of the Commission to City Administration.
The Historical Commission has the responsibility to identify structures and sites of historic significance; to study the value of their preservation, and make recommendations for future use. The Residential Date Plaque Award Program, established in 1992, has recognized 34 homes of historic value in Sterling Heights as identified by age and architectural significance.
Upton House Museum
To encourage an appreciation of local history, the Sterling Heights Historical Commission is also responsible for the development of the Sterling Historical Collection in the Upton House Museum. The Commission collects and exhibits items reflecting life and times in our community since its inception as a township in 1835.
Library staff will be at the Upton House Museum every Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. The Historical Commission will also host tours on the second Sunday of the month from 1 to 4 p.m. Households of up to six members can schedule a tour through our calendar of events.
You can call the Upton House Museum at (586) 446-2495 during open hours.
Veterans History Project
The Commission is also a participant in the Veterans History Project created by the United States Congress in 2000 as part of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. As such, the Commission collects and archives the personal recollections of United States wartime veterans from Sterling Heights to honor their service and share their stories with current and future generations.
Click here to see the archived videos or to learn how to participate.
The Commission, in partnership with the Friends of the Library, produced a book entitled, Seven Miles from Home: An Oral History of Sterling Township, a Michigan Farm Community. In addition, in partnership with the Sterling Heights Public Library, the Commission authored Sterling Township: 1875 - 1968, a pictorial history. The Sterling Heights Public Library's most recent book, published in 2018 in recognition of the City's 50th anniversary, is Sterling Heights: Images of Modern America.
As Sterling Heights continues to change, it is important to remember that learning about our history creates a bridge from the past to the present. What is happening here today will be tomorrow’s history.
- Commission meets bimonthly at Upton House Museum at 6 pm unless otherwise noted.
- Upton House Museum
40433 Utica Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48313
- April 10, 2024
- June 5, 2024
- August 7, 2024
- October 2, 2024
- December 4, 2024
- Bryan Wojciechowski, Chairperson - Term Ending: June 30, 2025
- Cynthia Appleton - Term Ending: June 30, 2023
- Nicholas Cavalli - Term Ending: June 30, 2024
- John Connor - Term Ending: June 30, 2024
- Theresa Krol - Terming Ending: June 30, 2024
- Stanley Ortwein - Term Ending: June 30, 2025
- Administrative Liaison - Tammy Turgeon - Library Director
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
Upton House Museum Donations
If you would like to support the preservation of the Upton House Museum, please send checks to:
Sterling Heights Public Library
40255 Dodge Park Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48313
Please make your check payable to City of Sterling Heights and write Upton House Museum Donation on the memo line. Your contribution may be tax deductible. Please consult your tax adviser.
Historical Marker Project
The Michigan Historical Marker Project was designed to reveal the important stories surrounding persons, places, or events. The markers show the potent significance of a community’s heritage and history.
If you think a home or other building in Sterling Heights is worthy of such a marker, read about the application process.
If you would like guidelines for researching the historical significance of a building, read our Historical Home Guidelines Workbook.
Did You Know...
One-time librarian Debra Vercellone wrote a book on Sterling Heights' history titled Sterling Heights: Images of Modern America. Copies are available for checkout at the library. If you would like to own a copy, you can also purchase copies of the title at the library's circulation desk.