Street Address
414 West St.
Dowagiac, MI 49047
Mailing Address
204 W. Telegraph St.
Dowagiac, MI 49047
Tues. Evening from 6:30 to 8:30 and the last Sunday of every month from 1:30 - 4 PM. Call at 269-782-5698 for an appointment, anytime.
Museum Type(s)
Gift Shop
Group Tours
Don Lyons, Co-owner
phone: 269-782-5698
Joan Lyons, Co-owner
phone: 269-782-5698


Located in the former Heddon factory at 414 West St. in Dowagiac MI., the Heddon Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the Heddon family's many contributions to the fishing tackle industry as well as the city of Dowagiac.

The Heddon family's many activities are chronicled, from James' bee keeping and newspapering, to his son Will's 1891 parachute jump from a balloon, to his second son Charles's National amateur billiard championship in 1918

The center piece of the families many accomplishments, and of the museum, is the James Heddon's Sons Co., at one time the worlds largest manufacturer of fishing tackle. From its inception in 1902 until its departure from Dowagiac in 1984, the company made not only fishing tackle but many other items including golf club shafts, ski poles and violin bows as well as box kites and radio antennae for the military during WWII. All are on display.

Over 2000 Heddon lures, 170 reels and 265 Heddon rods are on display, including an original James Heddon frog, one of the most sought after of all collector lures.<

The Heddon Aviation Company played a pivotal role in the history of commercial aviation in the United States and several models of their famous "flying fish" airplanes are on display.


The building was donated to the city when Heddon left Dowagiac in 1984. The city was not able to find a good renter or a buyer. We purchased the building in 1991 to save it from distruction and to use it as a manufacturing satalite plant. We were asked, by a family friend and retired museum curator, to set aside a portion of the factory and start a Museum dedicated to saving the history of James Heddon: his business and family. Being history buffs and fairly clueless about the work involved, we thought it was a good idea and opened in May 1995. We both grew up fishing, but were not collectors, so this has been a learning experience for us.

Artifacts Collections

Over 1500 Heddon lures, 150 reels and 200 Heddon rods. Advertising, bee keeping, golf club shafts, ski poles, manufacturing and other related fields

Research Collections

Everything related to the James Heddon's Sons business's and family

Educational Programs

We offer a history of the Heddon family and a guided tour when people arrive at the museum. We would request that any money spent i.e. postage, packaging, coping etc. be reimbursed for any borrowed material.


    Access: General Public

    Appointment required: Yes


    Wheelchair Accessible


    Gift Shop

    Group Tours