Rochester Hills Museum Hosts March Cabin Fever Series

On Friday evenings in March, the Museum is the place to be for a variety of topics and speakers. All programs begin at 7:00 p.m. These are Free to Museum members and $5 for the public. Refreshments provided.

March 2 – Living with Coyotes, presented by Holly Vaughn

Coyotes are one of the most misunderstood and feared creatures in Southeast Michigan. Learn more about this adaptable creature and their habits as well as tips for co-existing with this important carnivore.

Holly Vaughn is the Wildlife Communications Coordinator for the Southeast Region of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and based in Detroit. She loves to educate people about Michigan’s wildlife. She has a BS in Fisheries and Wildlife and an MS in Park, Recreation and Tourism Resources from Michigan State University.

March 9 – Modeling the Mahogany Masterpieces of John Hacker​

Photo of a model boat made from mahogany

Modeling the Mahogany Masterpieces of John Hacker

Greg Rice is a resident of Rochester, Michigan and has been scratch building model boats for 25 years. His models have won awards at shows from New York to Missouri, and have been featured in numerous publications. Greg will be presenting the history of three unique mahogany powerboats designed by John L. Hacker between 1923 and 1939, and built in Michigan. John L. Hacker (1877-1961) was the dean of American high-speed boat designers. His designs range from small skiffs to large yachts. They included rumrunners, world record holding race boats, large yachts, and high-speed boats for the military. The company he founded, Hacker-Craft, produced boats known as “The Steinway of Runabouts.” Frequently, Hacker was commissioned to design unique vessels by the rich and famous. Some of these became the most iconic, and valuable mahogany boats ever built; and many are still in existence today. The presentation will focus on three of these boats, Evangeline, Lockpat II and Thunderbird, which have been modeled by Greg.

The models will be on display, and Greg will discuss the fascinating history of the boats and their owners, as well as some of the challenges he faced in scratch building the models.

March 16 – Antique Tools: Unusual and Obsolete, presented by Jim Cassell

Jim Cassell, Collector of History, is back to present some tools that you may never have seen or, perhaps, you have seen but had no idea what the tool was. He will entertain and educate with his knowledge and collection. If you have a tool that you know very little about, he is happy to take a look and help to identify it.

March 23 – I, Too, Sing America, presented by Michigan Opera Theatre

Photo of two African American baseball players with fans in the stands looking on - these are all actors on stage

I, Too, Sing America, presented by Michigan Opera Theatre

​Join Michigan Opera Theatre for I, Too, Sing America, an innovative lecture-recital that highlights the stories and achievements of African American artists and athletes who defied limitations and paved the way for integration in their fields.

This performance is presented in anticipation of MOT’s May production of The Summer King, a new opera centered on the life and struggles of Josh Gibson, a baseball superstar in the Negro Leagues who was barred from playing in the majors. Through live music, poetry, narrative, and video, Michigan Opera Theatre will explore Gibson’s story alongside the little-known, but ultimately unforgettable, histories of other luminaries such as Marian Anderson, George Shirley, Jesse Owens, and Florence Price. I, Too, Sing America celebrates those who have contributed to the struggle for integration and equality, and brings a wider recognition of the vibrant, parallel histories shared by the athletic and artistic communities, unifying the interests of our broader Detroit community.

March 30 – The Influenza of 1918: A Smart Towns presentation by Dr. Adam Hull, Ascension Crittenton Physician – Primary Care Internal Medicine

The Flu Epidemic of 1918 killed more than 50 million people, one-fifth of the world’s population, and affected over 25% of the population of the United States. The year of 1918 was an unforgettable year of suffering and death, and peace as World War I ended.

A quote from the Journal of the American Medical Association in December of 1918 stated: “… Medical Science for four and one half years devoted itself to putting men on the firing line and keeping them there. Now it must turn with its whole might to combatting the greatest enemy of all – infectious disease.”

Join Dr. Hull as he looks back over this tragic time that lead to great discoveries and change.

Guests can register at, by emailing, or by calling 248-656-4663. The Rochester Hills Museum is located at 1005 Van Hoosen Road, off Tienken Road between Rochester and Dequindre Roads. 

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