Empire was first settled in the 1850s by John LaRue. Less than 40 years after it was established, the Empire Lumber Company was formed and Empire became a burgeoning lumber town. Through hundreds of historical artifacts and antiques, the Empire Area Museum chronicles the history of Empire from its humble beginnings to the modern village it is today.
Visit the museum to see history up close. The main building features the Roen Saloon, a local watering hole that was popular during the heyday of lumbering in Empire in the 1900s. The main floor houses the original parlor from the salon and the lower level has a blacksmith shop, woodworking shop, buggies and sleighs along with several railroad and lumber company displays.
Behind the main building visitors can explore more of Empire’s history in the original one room schoolhouse, barn and a 1911 Hose House.
The Empire Area Museum is open:
Weekends from Memorial Day until July 1st from 1 pm to 4 pm. Open Daily July and August from 1 pm to 4 pm (closed Wednesday). Open Weekends from Labor Day through Heritage Day (Early October) from 1 pm to 4 pm. Groups by appointment: 231-326-5568