The A.J. Phillips Fenton Museum is an original building from 1900. AJ Phillips' heirs donated the building to the city in 1906. Most recently, the building housed the Fenton Library (now the Jack R. Winegarden Library) until it moved to its present location in the old Post Office. The building is maintained and owned by the City while its contents are owned and kept by the Fenton Historical Society. The Museum is divided into areas by theme.
The Museum houses an extensive genealogy room for the Fenton and surrounding area. It has cemetery records for all over Genesee County.
The Victorian Room is an exact reproduction of what AJ Phillips' personal office looked like. This wasn't his professional office where he conducted business but a personal office, akin to a study. Even some of the furniture housed in the room are original pieces which belonged to AJ Phillips.
The Historical Society is the keeper of school history for Fenton and has an area of the Museum devoted to it. The Museum has the names of every Fenton graduate dating back to 1869.
There are many vintage pieces of clothing, tools and other materials from earlier periods, all of which with local ties. There are tools on display which date back to about the mid-1800s. There is a fully-set kitchen to depict what such a room looked like at that same time. The Museum houses a collection of early Fenton area newspapers dating back to the 1840s including the Fenton Independent from 1869 onward (minus a gap between the 1920s to 1950s which is a story in itself). Getting slightly more modern, there is also a sights and sounds room which houses many old televisions and photographer studio cameras.
One of the prime areas of the Museum is the display of military and war items tied to Fenton. This area showcases pieces from the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, the World Wars and Vietnam. A key piece is the sword which belonged to Col. William Fenton himself, given to him by the City of Flint when he took command of the 8th Michigan Infantry.
Many pieces came to the Museum through John Cox, an auctioneer who often acquired pieces on behalf of the Historical Society. The Society gets offers of new pieces for the Museum on a regular basis but does not have sufficient room to house everything. They do welcome offers and will take pieces of significance as they can.
The Museum is staffed by Historical Society volunteers and is open to the public on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., but arrangements can be made for group tours as well.