DETROIT (AP) — The Dossin Great Lakes Museum will reopen this weekend following a five-month, $2 million renovation that includes a new core exhibit.
The museum on Detroit's Belle Isle holds reopening events that begin at noon Saturday.
The museum has been closed since early December for the overhaul. The new core exhibit "Built by the River" will highlight the ways in which Detroiters have relied upon the river and lakes to build industries, engage neighbors and pursue recreational interests.
The Detroit Historical Society, which operates the museum, reopened the Detroit Historical Museum last year after a renovation. The society launched a $20.1 fundraising campaign in 2009 to pay for the renovations, and it is more than 85 percent of the way toward reaching its goal.
"This renovation project at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum is the latest manifestation of the society's five-year (campaign), which funded our ... makeover at our flagship Detroit Historical Museum," Detroit Historical Society Executive Director Bob Bury said in a statement.
On display in the John A. and Marlene L. Boll Foundation Gallery, the early history section of "Built by the River" will examine Detroit's place at the center of the fur trade, and how its geographic placement made it a strategic spot for the French, British and American armed forces.
Later, its location on the river made Detroit a center of industrial development, manufacturing capital and marine transportation.
Hands-on interactive elements include a display simulating a speedboat racing down the Detroit River and a re-creation of an 18th century canoe, where visitors to the museum may climb in and experience what early settlers to the region might have felt upon arrival
"A River's Roar" is a new temporary exhibit in the museum's Great Lakes Gallery that provides an overview of the history of hydroplane racing in Detroit.