New Museum Exhibit Honors Late Husband of Councilwoman | Lifestyles
The Linden Mills Historical Society and Museum has a new attraction, and it’s an attraction very close to the heart of a Linden councilman.
The museum now houses a collection of 160 Michigan license plates. They were all donated by Councilor Pamela Howd after the death of her husband.
Rick Howd passed away on December 19, 2021. He had been collecting license plates since he was a child.
“He always loved plates and still collected plates until just a year before his death. My son Jon-Claude and I always bought him the plates he needed. He collected plates from around 9 years old to today, approximately 54 years old,” said Pamela Howd. “We donated the plaques to the museum for several reasons. After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, Rick told us he wanted the collection be donated to the museum. We also wanted everyone to be able to see the collection, so we donated it in Rick’s memory.
About 160 colorful license plates now line the walls of the museum’s top floor. They had been decorating the walls of Howd’s Garage since March 2005 when they first moved to Linden.
This is a comprehensive collection of Michigan automobile license plates dating back to 1910, as well as plates for motorcycles, trailers, farm vehicles, veterans, repairs in transit, reposted, government vehicles, manufacturing, dealership, disabled , vanity plates and sample plates. It includes the years of the metal tag and the current renewal of the sticker. They donated over 175 items. Some were duplicates, so not all are shown.
Howd said they didn’t have all the new college, fundraiser and cause plates, but Rick collected all the standard issue plates. Rick has also collected plates from other states, such as Arizona. This could be one of the largest collections of Michigan license plates available to the public in a museum.
“My husband had marked out the space and then labeled the wall, so he knew which plates he was missing. He finally finished the collection at Christmas 2020. We bought the 1910 and 1911 porcelain plates from him,” he said. she declared.
They also donated a license plate bearing the name “Howd” which she used when she started working at Lansing for the Department of Environmental Quality, now called the Department Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE).
“The U of M Vanity license plate wasn’t popular with my fellow MSU graduates. After a few years of seeing my jeep tipped every football season with green and white paper, sticky notes or whatever, I finally settled on a regular standard plate,” she said.
Members of the Linden Mills Historical Society, Joe and Pat Burgess, along with Barb and Pete Mass, who is the president of the LMHS, came to the Howd’s garage on June 8. They very carefully removed the plates.
Pete Maas said it took most of the day to remove the plates from the garage and an entire weekend to clean them. The collection is now on display on the top floor of the museum as part of the Transportation Tools and Antiques Exhibit built by Aaron and Lucas Wiles, which also includes exhibits from the Aetna-Portland Cement Co, a Cushman scooter of 1947, which belonged to the former Linden Mills. Historical Society President Nettie Holtslander and WF Close Chevrolet dealership. The Howds also donated a variety of oil cans.
Joe Burgess, a carpenter, framed the east window and erected a new wall to accommodate the 160 plaques.
“The museum has only been open for several weeks since the upgrades to the top floor, and the new exhibits have already attracted a lot of attention. People seem interested in locating the plate of the year they were born or that of their first automobile. We are so lucky to have this wonderful collection in our museum and extremely grateful to the Howd family,” he said, adding that there was “no better place” for this exhibit than near the venue. birth of the automobile.
Howd said Pete and Barb had been “wonderful” working with them. Rick spoke with them a few years ago about donating the plates.
“So when I spoke to Pete and Barb right after Rick died, they weren’t surprised we were going to donate the plates. The historical society took great care in removing them from the garage wall. Jon- Claude and I really love the exhibit in the museum and it’s a fitting tribute to Rick,” she said.
Howd and his son have visited the museum several times and plan to sign up as members.
“The best thing about donating this collection to the museum is that we can go see it every Saturday and remember my husband, Jon-Claude’s father. We have had many wonderful years collecting plates and fetching plates for Rick. We went to Frankenmuth, antique shops in Waterford and Williamston, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Detroit and Mackinac, all over the place. I’m just glad they provided a beautiful display and a home for the plates,” she said.