• The Peck Collection

    The Peck Collection

  • Collection of corals and shells

About the Collection

The Kalamazoo Valley Museum traces its beginnings to 1881 when Dr. H. O. Hitchcock of the Kalamazoo School Board proposed the idea of a community museum, beginning with a collection of seashells, corals, fossils, and marbles from Horace M. Peck.

The Collection that Started it All

On April 20, 1881, a local banker named Horace M. Peck donated a collection of seashells, corals, fossils and marbles to the Kalamazoo Public School Board of Education, marking the first gift to what would later become the city’s museum. According to the resolution made by the School Board, “…these specimens shall be and are hereby accepted as the beginning of a museum; they shall be known and preserved as the Peck Collection…” In addition to Horace M. Peck’s donation of natural history specimens, two other Kalamazoo businessmen also had an interest in early collecting. Founding patrons of the new museum included community leaders such as Albert May Todd and Donald O. Boudeman, who traveled widely and brought the world back to their hometown in the form of artworks and artifacts.

Peck settled near Ross Township, Kalamazoo County in 1838 at the age of 24. For the next 30 years, in the Richland area, he engaged extensively in the buying and selling of real estate, sheep and other livestock. In 1868, he moved to the village of Kalamazoo where he established himself in banking.

Kalamazoo Valley Museum
General Admission Is Free

230 North Rose Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
800.772.3370 | 269.373.7990
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The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is operated by Kalamazoo Valley Community College and is governed by its Board of Trustees.

Site by NK

2021 American Alliance of Museums.
All rights reserved.

2021 Kalamazoo Valley Museum.
All rights reserved.