The Knowlton Museum is a 10,000 square-foot space located in downtown Port Huron. It was gifted by the Knowlton Family Private Foundation to the Community Foundation in 2020. In addition to the museum space is a collection of ice, dairy and other memorabilia collected by founders Mickey and Agnes Knowlton from across the country.

The Knowlton’s opened their collection to the public in 1987 and today it boasts over 10,000 pieces, claiming to be the largest collection of ice-making equipment and memorabilia in the U.S.

While the collection is lovingly stored right now, it will be publicly displayed again in 2028. There will be a series of stories about some of the unique and special ice treasures that will come back in a newly designed exhibit over the course of the next few months.

In the meantime, exciting changes have happened in the space to bring in Discovery City, an interactive play-based museum. There will be a section dedicated to the Knowlton Ice Museum and opportunities for kids to get hands on with ice and tools used in the ice industry.

Mickey and Agnes Knowlton

Documenting and inventorying the 10,000 items to create space for traveling exhibits like Discovery City was Shelly David and Emily Reitzel. They uncovered stories from the ice industry artifacts on display. Both have extensive experience at Port Huron Museums and hold master’s degrees in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University, where they learned how to describe, research, and preserve historical objects, papers, and photographs for museum and library displays. We look forward to sharing those untold stories.

The Community Foundation is proud to continue the Knowlton family’s ice industry legacy through the museum, the Mickey & Agnes Knowlton Endowment Fund, and several other charitable funds held by the family. We look forward to welcoming you back to see the amazing Knowlton Ice Museum exhibit in future years!