By Jessica Mathews /

A local museum is highlighting historic businesses as part of a new exhibit.

Milk bottles, ice augers, and drink tokens are all on display, along with dozens of other artifacts, at the Hamburg Township Historical Museum to illustrate a new exhibit. Titled "Early Ingenuity: Businesses That Once Called Hamburg Home" the display highlights a sampling of prominent businesses that drove the township’s economy from 1900 to the 1970s.

Museum Administrator Patricia Majher says fur trading, farming, and milling were how the earliest residents of Hamburg Township made their living. She says the exhibit covers what came after that: when the first stores and services were established, tourism-related businesses developed, and industry first gained a toehold in the area. Among the tourism artifacts are drink tokens that were given to customers of J.W. Winkelhaus’ Hamburg Hotel, once located in the old village of Hamburg. Majher commented that every customer who brought a token back to the hotel was guaranteed a five-cent drink in the saloon. Also included in the exhibit are said to be matchbooks from long-past restaurants, augers and saws from Lakeland’s ice harvesting operation, and a large drawing of what the founders of Brown-McLaren manufacturing hoped their business would grow to be.

Admission to the Museum is free. The museum also doing a drawing as an extra incentive in which guests can register each month for Hamburg Pub gift cards.

The Museum is located at 7225 Stone Street and is open 11 am-3 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays.