new 2010 calendars
Wednesday, February 10, Tell Your
Story ---You Are The Program, 7:00 PM, Old School House
meeting is going to be very informal! You are going to be the
program. Most of our members are new to the area, and it will
be interesting to hear how and why we have moved to the
Saugatuck-Douglas area. I suspect we will hear some very good
stories, and even a few tall tales. Bring any pictures you
would like to show to the group. Also bring your friends and
neighbors who might be interested in joining the Society. We
will crank up the heat at the Old School House, and Alice
Haight will have hot coffee and home baked goodies. It should
be an informative and fun evening.
submitted by Jane Underwood
Wednesday, March 10, Other Female
Artists of the Saugatuck-Douglas Area, 7:00 PM, Old
| We are
especially looking for biographical information on Olive
Williams, Mabel Wheelock and Minnie Harms Neebe as well as
images of works by Olive Williams, Mabel Wheelock, Minnie
Harms Neebe and Elsa Ulbricht. Contact Ken Kutzel evenings at
269.857.4475 or by email at
Wednesday, April 14, Annual
Heritage Preservation Awards, 7:00 PM, Old School House
MUSEUM SAYS THANKS TO 2009 EXHIBIT SPONSORS
Our 2009 exhibit cost $92,130 in professional services and materials
- of this $79,125 was donated. As we look back to the popular
"Summertime" exhibit of 2009, we call your
attention to the professional services donated to the Museum in 2009
by the following - without which we could not remain as a 'free'
museum. The list does not include our on-going non-paid professional
research, writing and curatorial volunteers.
Affordable Tree Service & Landscaping, Holland [616-886-9399]
Hillman Associates, Saugatuck [269-857-7197]
Ken Carls Graphic Design, Douglas [kencarls.com]
Sally Withers Graphic Design, Saugatuck [616-928-7488]
Julie Abel Website Design, Saugatuck [www.jabberdesign.com]
Jarzembowski Home Builders, Holland [616-499-2013]
Lakehome Builders, Saugatuck [lakehomebuildersmi.com]
The Nines Gallery, Holland [theninesgallery.com]
Rick Vanderleek+Fairly Painless Design, Holland [fairlypainless.com]
Steve Teich, Interiors, Saugatuck [theteichgroup.com]
Secure ní Safe Security Systems, Fennville [630-701-8242]
Convey your thanks to the above - and extend them your patronage if
your have the opportunity. The above does not include, of course,
our amazing team of museum hosts which makes it all work so well.
Your support to the Historical Society is a way of saying thanks to
all of these dedicated folks. We also extend "Museum Thanks" to the
members of Saugatuck-Douglas area business members of SABA and the
CVB for their efforts in promoting greater public awareness of the
museum exhibition and the museum garden-outdoor exhibit.
We look forward to an even more spectacular 2010. Stay tuned. Jim
Schmiechen, Museum Chair
SAUGATUCK PROPERTY REFERENCES ON-LINE
City Hall and Environs - 1910 Sanborn Map
Henry Brady was a partner with his father, Lemuel, in Saugatuck's
Brady Insurance Agency. Among the items he has contributed to the
Society's archives are Sanborn Insurance maps which provide detail
on the buildings in town in 1900, 1910, 1916, and 1928 (with a
pasted update to 1953). The earliest issues of these maps are in the
public domain and have been posted to the SDHS Online Research
Center for some time. The Society has just received permission from
the copyright holder to post the later years, and all of the Sanborn
maps can now be seen on-line (Click
Our thanks to Mr. Brady!
The Sanborn Company began making fire insurance maps in 1867.
Insurance companies used them to determine the liability of a
particular building through all the information included on the map;
building material, proximity to other buildings and fire
departments, the location of gas lines et cetera. The Saugatuck maps
vary slightly in area covered between the different years, but each
year includes the primary downtown area. The 1916 edition also
presents a supplement for Camp Gray - Forward Movement, drawn on a 1
in to 50 ft scale. You can see the location and dimensions of all
buildings as they existed at the time of the map.
Other property research references currently available at the "SDHS
Online Research Center" include:
1) Selected Saugatuck-Douglas Tax Records ranging from 1880 to 1915
2) Over 900 clippings from the Commercial Record ranging from 1868
through 1903 which relate to buildings being built, added to, torn
down or burned down.
3) Other maps including links to city and township plot maps.
submitted by Chris Yoder
1950s Saugatuck Policeman Now Sgt At Arms of the US House
In the last newsletter, former Saugatuck Chief of Police Russell
Colling wrote about policing in the late 1950s. In his full article,
he writes about one of his departmental initiatives:
"A rather unorthodox police activity was performed by the officers
themselves, who formed a loose animal shelter type of program. A
role of the town police was that of animal wardens and these
officers often had the very unpleasant duty of putting the animals
to "sleep". What developed was that in many cases the officers would
temporarily care for the animal at their homes while they sought the
owner or could get someone to "adopt" the animal. A good many
animals found new homes. The American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) learned of this work and presented the
department with an honorable mention award."
Officers Livingood, Piatt and Vaneter
Each of these officers went on to distinguished careers away from
Saugatuck. Wilson "Bill" Livingood had a 33 year career with the U.
S. Secret Service, serving at the side of John F. Kennedy in Dallas,
and with Richard Nixon in China. He retired after rising to become a
top administrator with the Service, and in 1995 was appointed
Sergeant at Arms of the United States House of Representatives, an
office he still holds. Robert Piatt went on to become an executive
with State Farm Insurance. Dr. Clifford Van Meter became the
Director of the Illinois Police Training Institute at
Champaign-Urbana, then in retirement an instructor at Grand Valley
State. Dr. Van Meter has since passed on.
submitted by Chris Yoder
WIN A COCKTAIL/DINNER CRUISE FOR TEN
The days are getting shorter and itís time to start planning for the
You and nine friends could be the lucky winners in the SDHS
Cocktail/Dinner Cruise raffle. The afternoon or evening cruise
(between Memorial Day and September 30) on the vintage Chris-Craft
Mahagra includes cocktails and dinner catered by Butchís of Holland.
The raffle drawing will be held at this yearís Pub Party at Coral
Gables on Saturday, March 13.
Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25. Hereís an idea, join with a group
of friends and buy the tickets as a group! Hereís where you can
Uncommon Grounds in Saugatuck
Respite in Douglas
At the next two monthly SDHS meetings
By phone - 269 857-5751*
By clicking HERE
and then on the "Donate" button*
* You can pay with a credit card if you purchase tickets by phone or
Bonnie Keller generously donated the cruise, which was originally
donated by Matt and Cindy Peterson. All proceeds benefit the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society. Rules, restrictions and
scheduling information is available by calling 269 857-5751.
SAME PLACE/NEW NAME
The Old School House has a new, official name. The Board approved a
proposal to designate the building as the "Old School House HISTORY
Center" The new name better reflects the purpose and use of the
FACES OF THE SOCIETY
Robin and Sharon Bauer
We've added a new feature to the Society's web site - Faces of
the Society. Click
to see those who attended and had a great time at the Holiday Party
at the SCA. If you can help identify some of the Mystery Guests,
please REPLY to this email and let us know who they are. Thanks and
stay tuned for more Faces
MEMORIES OF MAY FRANCIS HEATH - A SERIES
Granddaughter of the Man Who Named Saugatuck
MAY WITH GRANDFATHER STEPHEN A MORRISON (1815-1905),
MOTHER JULIA FRANCIS (1846-1924) AND DAUGHTER GLADYS
It was natural for May Francis Heath to become Saugatuck's first
historian. Her grandparents, Stephen A. and Mary Peckham Morrison,
were among the first settlers and a "living history" of the town.
Morrison had been born in Vermont in 1815 and trained as a tanner.
When he arrived in the 1830s there were only 4 other white families
in the whole of Saugatuck Township and there were no roads or other
marks of civilization.
Morrison bought out the Johonnett and Crosby tanning interests,
built a frame house near the tannery, and continually lived in
Saugatuck for the next 70 of his 90 years. In his 1907 History
of Allegan County, Michigan, Dr. Henry F. Thomas writes:
"During the latter thirties, Singapore overshadowed Saugatuck as a
commercial center. At one time it was said that the place was almost
abandoned of all inhabitants except S. A. Morrison and family." He
was a great friend of Saugatuck founder William G. Butler
(1799-1857) and when the Butler monument was installed in Riverside
Cemetery in 1892, Morrison hosted Butlerís son who came from St.
Louis for the dedication.
Morrison held the office of County Treasurer and was Supervisor for
more than twenty. President Martin Van Buren appointed him the third
postmaster of the village in 1842 and he held that position until
President Grantís administration. When the village Post Office was
first established it was he who suggested that they call it
"Saugatuck", an Indian word meaning "mouth of river".
Morrison built a new tannery building on the river bank between
Butler and Griffith streets. He conducted an extensive and
successful business for sixty years, retiring about 1892, and was
active in community affairs until his final days. His residence,
built in 1857, was on the north east corner of Butler and Culver,
directly across the street from the town hall. It burned down in
Stephen married the Singapore schoolteacher, Mary Elizabeth Peckham,
in 1842. It was she who told stories to May when she was very young
about the experiences she had as a pioneer, with few around except
Indians. She may have actually set the seed for May's interest in
May was a young mother in her early 30s when her grandfather died,
and her interest in his stories of the early days is apparent. She
inherited his many papers, diaries, and photo albums, as well as his
dedication to the town of Saugatuck.
As we approach the golden anniversary of the death of Saugatuck
Historian May Francis Heath (MFH) in September of 1961, the MFH
Memorial Committee will be preparing monthly articles for the
newsletter to highlight aspects of her history. Anyone interested in
contributing to her public memorial is invited to contact Chris
857-4327 or Marsha Kontio (616) 566-1239.
Up and down Mt. Baldhead