The Fourth of July commemorates a moment in history when Americans decided
that freedom was the desired way of life. These people took matters into their
own hands to remove an oppressive government and create their own country. Similar
to late eighteenth century Americans, the founders of the credit union movement
in the U.S. believed in a banking system that provided freedom from loan sharks
and other unfair financial practices. The pioneers of the movement took matters
into their own hands to create an organization that offered financial independence
for all individuals.
Credit unions were founded on the principal of independence. Immigrant mill
workers from Manchester, New Hampshire and their pastor at St. Marie’s
Church, Monsignor Pierre Hevey, started the first U.S. credit union in 1908
as a way to safely save money and access credit at a reasonable cost. Local
attorney Joseph Boivin, a sympathizer of the credit union cause, opened his
Manchester home to serve as the first credit union office. This first credit
union, St. Mary’s Cooperative Association, ignited the movement in the
United States. Monsignor Hevey’s vision of financial freedom for the Manchester
mill workers is now enjoyed by more than 80 million people across the country.
The pioneering spirit of the founders of the credit union movement comes to
life at America’s Credit Union Museum. The Museum is located in the restored
home of Joseph Boivin. This beautiful three story Victorian house looks out
onto the Merrimack River and the same mills whose workers gave rise to the movement.
The Museum is designed to tell the human side of the credit union story. Exhibits
throughout the Museum involve, inspire and personalize the credit union experience
for visitors. The first floor includes the original credit union ledger book
and the office Attorney Boivin used to conduct credit union transactions for
mill workers. Experience the defining moments in history that made credit unions
one of the leading options for consumer financial services in the U.S. The Museum
tells the complete story of the credit union movement. America’s Credit
Union Museum awakens a sense of pride in the incredible value the credit union
industry provides to U.S. consumers today.
America’s Credit Union Museum has two floors packed with compelling exhibits
and powerful stories. The ‘Credit Union Office’, a special safe
sold by CUNA in the 1940’s, highlights the developing stages of the industry.
The video gallery at the Museum provides visitors with interesting stories such
as the Estes Park, Colorado meeting that resulted in the formation of CUNA and
other important points in credit union history. The third floor of the Museum
includes a state of the art conference facility with seating capacity for 85
Experience America’s Credit Union Museum. A virtual tour is available
at www.acumuseum.org. Schedule
your next strategic planning session or business meeting at the Museum. Develop
the future of your credit union under the roof of the first credit union. Special
hotel, food and conference packages are available. Contact Peggy Powell, the
Museum’s Executive Director, at 603-629-1553.
America’s Credit Union Museum is a celebration of credit union history.
The Museum is run completely through donations from the credit union industry.
For information on how you can contribute artifacts and support the Museum financially,
contact Ms. Powell at 603-629-1553 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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