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History of the Orson Starr House

Sharing our past to enrich our future

Orson Starr Home
Orson Starr Home

The Royal Oak Historical Commission’s goal is to offer the citizens of our city a better understanding of our area’s history and provide opportunities for advancing the historical interests of Royal Oak. The group also collects materials related to the history, progress, or decay of Native Americans who habited the area and displays objects that illustrate the customs, dress, and resources of early residents.

The Historical Commission is comprised of volunteers who advise the city commission on various historical interests and activities of the city. This includes policies, displays, and accessibility of historical materials related to the history of Royal Oak.

Preserving history for a better tomorrow

The group also is responsible for the procurement and preservation of narratives of early residents of Royal Oak and the surrounding area. The Historical Commission also hosts events at the Orson Starr House Museum throughout the year.

The Orson Starr House Museum is two miles north of downtown Royal Oak and was home to descendants of the Starr family until the late 1970s when the City of Royal Oak purchased it. The house received its official project designation of “Save America’s Treasures,” awarded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Group members spend over 1,000 collectively at the Orson Starr House Museum per year to maintain the history of Royal Oak.

The Historical Commission is a policy-making body that advises the City Commission on matters relating to or advancing the historical interests of the City of Royal Oak. The members are appointed by the City Commission and serve three-year terms.

Orson Starr House Mission Statement

  1. Advise the Royal Oak City Commission on matters related to historical preservation and education of the public on the history of Royal Oak.
  2. Serve as the primary liaison with various organizations involved in achieving the established historical objectives.
  3. Assume leadership, accomplishing specific objectives as directed by the City Commission.
  4. Maintain, preserve, and direct the appropriate restoration and use of the Orson Starr Home.
  5. Acquire, maintain, and make available study artifacts and documents relative to the history of Royal Oak and the surrounding areas.

Your Donation to the Orson Starr House Makes a Difference

Community support keeps the interest of our citizens at the forefront

The generous donations from people like you are what allow us to continue to serve. Donations go directly toward the upkeep, care, and maintenance, as well as the public access to the Orson Starr House Museum. They also help with the procurement of historical artifacts.

Donations also help with the planning, implementing, and conducting of events year-round, including seasonal events like Christmas events, spring events, and our June bridal show, all free to the public.

Further, they help with updates and restorations to the Orson Starr House Museum and other projects, including security, internet, and other technological elements essential to keeping the museum running smoothly.

Donations are also used to purchase landscaping to create gardens on the property and holiday décor annually, along with any items needed to model specific time periods.

Sharing history is key to a better future.

Donate to Royal Oak’s Historical Commission by completing the form below:

Donate by Mail to Royal Oak’s Historical Commission

If you wish to donate by mail/check, please make checks payable to: ‘Royal Oak Civic Foundation.’
Click Here for the mail-in donation form to include with any mail-in checks:
Please send the donation form (above) along with your check to the following address:

Royal Oak Civic Foundation
Attn: Jill Martin, Executive Director
203 S. Troy St. Royal Oak, MI 48067