NOTES FROM YOUR PRESIDENT
Another summer season has ended and I want to thank all the
volunteers that have made this an outstanding summer for the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society.
The museum, our major summer project each year, is on its way to
setting a new record for attendance. The Tuesday Talks continue to
be extremely popular with over 800 in attendance. Over 150 people
took the walking tours this July and August.
The Kemah fundraiser in June was a huge success. The Heritage Tour
of Ox-Bow was very well attended, in spite of rain. Sally Winthers
and Kristi Mueller and their committee, along with all the
volunteers, gave our guests a once in a lifetime chance to see the
Ox-Bow School of Arts and Artists' Residency. Thanks to Jason
Kalajainen, Executive Director, the Ox-Bow Board of Directors and
the Chicago Art Institute for allowing the Society this wonderful
chance to show off one of the historical treasures of Saugatuck, and
to see Ox-Bow as few people get to see it. It is100 years old and
The Old School House is almost complete on the inside and we have
full use of all the rooms. Work has started on the outside gardens
with the sprinklers completed in the front as well as grass seeding
to take advantage of the fall growing season. The Society has
received a $47,000 grant from the Museums For America for the
Francis Life Boat Pavilion. This grant is a matching grant so your
society will be raising monies over the next year to complete this
Your society is looking forward to an active fall and winter. I hope
you have sent your response in for Dining Around Town, a palatable
fundraiser, being chaired by Judi Vanderbeck. It promises to be a
very special evening. A "Thank You Chili Dinner" for all volunteers
is scheduled for Sunday, October 31. A number of your board members
will be coming in costume and there will be a pumpkin carving
contest (and your president plans on winning). And in closing,
remember to mark your calendar for our Christmas Party at the SCA on
Sunday, December 5.
submitted by Harold Thieda
Wednesday, October 13, 7PM at
Old School House. Annual Heritage Preservation Awards.
The Past, Present and Future??? of The Presbyterian Camps. More
details in October
NANCY BUDD PASSES AWAY
The Holland Sentinel, September 20, 2010
Nancy Budd & Dottie Lyon ringing the Old
House Bell, Aug. 14, 2008
Holland, MI - Nancy Johnson Budd, age 88, of Holland, passed
away peacefully August 23, 2010, after a brief illness. She was
a resident of Freedom Village. Nancy was born and lived most of
her life in Hinsdale, IL. She attended SMU and the University of
Miami, received her Master’s in Counseling Psychology from
George Williams, and worked for Catholic Charities in the
Chicago area. After retiring, Nancy moved to Holland to be
closer to her favorite place, her summer cottage in Shorewood.
She wrote and published histories of the Lakeshore Chapel in
Douglas, Shorewood in Saugatuck and the Douglas Union School.
She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and
the Colonial Dames.
Nancy was predeceased by her parents, Ernest and Elizabeth
Johnson of Hinsdale, IL; niece, Nancy Mitchell; and nephew,
Peter Mitchell. She is survived by her sister, Martha Mitchell
of Holland and Saugatuck; son, Scott Redmon (Phyllis) of
Southwest Harbor, ME; nephews, David Mitchell of Canyon, TX, and
Mark Mitchell (Chriss) of Reno, NV; nieces, Alex Mitchell of
Reno, NV, and Kelly Mitchell of Atlanta, GA.
Nancy wrote "I leave with the hope that my existence has been
justified by having touched the lives of others in such a way
that the scales are tipped by friendship, goodness, and love."
She truly believed in and lived by "Do unto others as you would
have them do unto you". A memorial service will be at Lakeshore
Chapel in Douglas next summer. She will be missed.
BUSY WEEK AT OLD SCHOOL HOUSE
Greg Raymond, of Ecogardens (Chicago)
spent the holiday on a "bobcat" stripping turf.
Tyson VanDam, foreground, and Brian Johnson, of Winchel
Irrigation (Grandville) bore beneath walkway and pull sprinkler
system tubing through.
Labor Day week was a week of labor at The Old School House in
Douglas. Outside, the yard was stripped of turf and rough-graded in
preparation for lawn development, then a sprinkler irrigation system
was installed, while inside the front entry, work began on a glass
vestibule enclosure that incorporates etched panels recognizing the
many donors whose contributions have supported the project to-date.
Joe VanderPloeg, foreground, and son Duane, of Lakeshore Glass &
Metals (Zeeland) align etched-glass donor wall panel.
Reminder - The final SDHS 101 session for this year has been
rescheduled for Saturday, September 25. It will be held at the Old
School House, beginning at 10 a.m., lasting about an hour.
New and former members are invited to attend and discover how valuable
our Society and its history are to our community. If you plan to
or call 269-857-5704.
Saugatuck Douglas Art Club Calendars since 1966
In 1965, Claire Allen of the Saugatuck Douglas Art Club had an idea.
The Club would produce an annual calendar, featuring black and white
drawings of local scenes by local artists, and this would help
generate funds for the Art Club’s activities.
From the 1973 calendar by Jane Van Dis
That first calendar (for the year 1966) had a calendar page (and
drawing) for each half-month, for a total of 25 drawings. Among the
contributors that first year were Allen, Ruth Turner, Alyce Bartz,
Fred Stearns, Peggy Boyce, Pauly Brockington, and Jane Van Dis.
Forty-four years later, the Art Club still is publishing its annual
calendar. At $6 a copy, it doesn’t generate a great deal of revenue
for the Club, but members still annually produce their calendar
pictures, preserving aspects of the local scene, some homely, some
spectacular, just like our community. The 2011 calendar, available
now at several local stores, features a cover by Collette Snydacker
and calendar drawings by Boyce, Brockington and Van Dis, among
This year, we set out to record the history of the calendars. We had
to gather up copies of all the years and scan a digital copy of each
calendar drawing. Jack Sheridan of the Historical Society had
digitized some of the calendars some years back. Peggy Boyce made
her (nearly) complete file of the calendars available for the
copying, and the ones Peggy didn’t have, Jane Van Dis found. A
review of popular themes and favorite artists was presented by Peggy
at an Art Club meeting in June.
A total of 791 drawings have been published in the calendars since
1966. Drawings have been duplicated, however, either accidentally,
or intentionally. Peggy Boyce, long time calendar chair, has taken
to writing the month of publication on the back of the originals
when she gives them back to the artists, to try to avoid the
accidental duplications. Intentional duplications include the 1986
calendar which showed a "best of" selection for the calendar's
twentieth anniversary. The number of unique drawings published,
through 2011, is 752.
Among the artists who contributed the most drawings through the
years are Sylvia Randolph with 59, Jane Van Dis with 54, Peggy Boyce
with 52, Cathie Moore with 45, and Pauly Brockington with 44. Among
specific subjects, the most popularly depicted include Peterson Mill
(14 drawings), various views of Butler Street (13 drawings), Mount
Baldhead (10 drawings), the SS Keewatin (10 drawings), and West
Shore Golf Course, Oval Beach, and Pier Cover (each with 8
drawings). Of course, there are a lot of drawings of the Lake, or of
the river, or of woods, or of farms, as well.
What did we learn from a review of how a group of local artists saw
our familiar landscape over the years? The area has changed. In the
early years some of the most picturesque scenes that artists tried
to render were the activities around boat building and fishing -
including boat building yards and reels of fishing nets. Today's
artist is more than likely depicting a view of Kalamazoo Lake that
might include condo buildings in the background. It's a pleasure too
to look at some of the landmarks we no longer have - the Pavilion,
the Britton House, or even the root beer barrel - as the artist saw
them in an earlier year. Some things they drew don't change though - the edge of Mount Baldhead against the sky, or the broad sweep of
the Lake opposite the dunes along the coast, as viewed from Oval
submitted by Jim Hanson
MEMORIES OF MAY FRANCIS HEATH:
A SERIES - May Heath: Business Woman
Ferry Store about 1920
Perhaps because as a girl she had to delay her education to help
support an impoverished family, May was a very hard worker and
thrived in the business arena. She once wrote "When asked if I had a
hobby, I replied 'Yes I have two, Business and Writing, both of
which I really love.'"
"In 1917, I moved the Heath Shop (Now the Ferry Store) across the
river and had a wonderful lucrative summer business for six years-
Mr. Heath having the Boat Business across the river on the village
side. " The Commercial Record of June 7, 1917 reported "A concession
has been opened in the Heath boat house at the west side of the
ferry landing". May's little account book shows the opening of "The
Little Handy Shop" on June 1st, and her first day sales were $1.80.
First year sales totaled- $1856. That year the shop closed on Sept.
16th. In October it was reported that August Pfaff had completed an
addition "to Mrs. D. A. Heath's store in Baldhead Park". Sales in
1918 totaled- $3,129; in 1919- $5,808; and in 1920- $7,623.
The Commercial Record in Jun 3, 1921 reported that Mrs. Heath had
rented the Heath Shop to Henry Baker for the summer. No sales
records are logged into May's little book for that year. In 1922,
however, she lists sales May-Sept of $4,895.
Nothing is shown for 1923. In the Mar. 7, 1924 Commercial Record it
was announced that the Heath Real Estate and Exchange Agency had
been formed and that their offices were on the second floor of the
Heath block, over Bird's drug store.
May writes "We sold out --- and opened a Real Estate office and we
had a most successful business for 25 years selling the town over
and over again" until the death of her husband Doc 1947.
She apparently did not slow down in "selling the town over and over
again", for on her birthday May 13, 1949, she wrote that she was
"ambitious (?crazy) to sell real estate" and that she was "working
on my 3rd sale this year - pretty good for an old woman of
Have you seen the Art Poles at the 2010
Historical Society Museum Exhibit?
HERE for details.
THE OX-BOW TOUR SUPER-TROOPERS
Saturday, September 18 Heritage Festival
Despite two spells of rain, the Ox-Bow tour volunteers pulled
together to make the event a success.
Volunteer guide Dick Lucier (with folded umbrella tucked under his
arm) gathers his tour group. John Sanford (in yellow rain slicker)
can be seen in the distance.
Tour goers observed sculptor Jill Lareaux (of the Peachbelt Studio
in Fennville) at work. Rain forced the artist to take shelter in the
Ox-Bow Inn's North porch.
Jim Birkes (far left) recounts tales of the "Sheriff of Ox-Bow" for
Jane Underwood (above) told the story of the Norton Cottage while
Kay Smalley was busily guiding groups around the Ox-Bow campus.
Vic Bella and Judy Hillman on a coffee break outside the new
Metternich Lodge. Schuil Coffee provided coffee, Clearbrook Golf
Club & Restaurants provided a massive tray of fresh fruit and
cheese, and Vander Veens Dutch Store provided cookies to recharge
both tour goers and volunteers. Joanne Gilliam baked 300 "Happy
Birthday Ox-Bow" cupcakes.
Tour goers learn about the Burials that are scattered across Ox-Bow.
Patti Birkes (left, in navy raincoat) tells about the Ceramics
studio. Note the index cards in Patti's hand. Every one of the
tour's site hosts made a special effort to give informative and
Cloudy skies; bright spirits. Tour goers and tour volunteers took
the rainy weather in stride.
THANK YOU to all the volunteers who made the 2010 Heritage
Festival Ox-Bow Tour a success --- Kristi Baker-Mueller, Charlie
Terry, Fran VanHowe, Judy Anthrop, Bill Hess, Fred Schmidt, Steve
Hutchins, Alyssa Fisher, John Peters, Judi Vanderbeck, Howard
Vanderbeck, Mort VanHowe, Kathy Sturm, Dottie Lyon and Ed Kelly.
Tour Guides: Kay Smalley, Sandra Thieda, Priscilla Lynch, Jim
Searing, Marylynn Webster, Brenda Chambers, George Schumann, Barbara
Lucier, Dick Lucier, Mary Pat Carollo and Tony Carollo. Site Hosts:
John Sanford, Harold Thieda, Peg Sanford, Dawn Schumann, Jim Birkes,
Jim Schmiechen, Jane Underwood, Kathleen Markland, Vic Bella, Mike
Van Meter, Judy Hillman, Randy Chambers and Patty Birkes. Crow’s
Nest Hike Guides: James Cook, Kat Cook and Linda Charvat. Plein Air
Artists: Holly Leo, Dawn Stafford, Jill Lareaux, David Baker, Roy
Brown and Sheryl Drenth
and to the event sponsors:
Garden Cottages & Suites
Janie and Jim Flemming
● Janet and Fred Schmidt
Submitted by Sally Winthers
Enter for your chance to win a dinner for eight (you and seven
friends, age 21 and over) at Saugatuck's historic Park House Inn,
planned for late autumn on a mutually agreeable weekend.
While nibbling hors d’oeuvres, sipping featured wines from Fenn
Valley Vineyards and feasting on a three-course harvest dinner,
you’ll learn about the Inn, built in 1857 by the locally prominent
Moore family, its special connection to Ox-Bow, and all the rest of
its colorful past.
If you choose to stay overnight to experience the beauty of fall in
Saugatuck, special room rates will be available. Coffee and ghost
stories, however, will be on the house.
Drawing will be held Wednesday, October 13th at 7 pm at the Old
School House History Center in Douglas, Michigan. To obtain Raffle
Tickets, just REPLY to this email and we'll send them out to
DINING AROUND TOWN
Saturday, October 9
An evening of tasty fun and palatable
You are invited to experience a special evening of dining! Enjoy
cocktails [at 6:00] and a fabulous dinner [at 7:00] at one of nine
venues. Then come together [at 9:00] with other diners at the Old
School House for coffee & dessert.
9 Homes | 10 Seats at the Table | $85
You Choose the Venue | Click
HERE for details
SAVE THE DATE
Sunday, October 31 - Volunteers Thank You Chili Supper
All Society volunteers and their guests are invited to the annual
Volunteers Thank You Chili Supper. This event gives the SDHS Board
the opportunity to recognize all the time and effort our many
volunteers give to the Society. More details to come.
STORIES FROM THE TURTLE POND
Elizabeth Pamperien with two turtle friends, 1931 ©
In this 1931 photo taken from the side yard of her family cottage at
the south end of Maple Street, 12 year old Elizabeth Pamperien of
LaGrange, IL, holds a baby painted turtle in each hand. By the time
these babies reached maturity, the old bridge in the background had
been replaced by "The New Bridge", and "the turtle pond" had come
into existence. The painted turtle was declared the state reptile of
Michigan in 1995 (bet you didn't know that, did you?).
April 2010 newsletter, we published a photo of "The Turtle
Pond" at the north west corner of the "new Bridge". Readers were
asked to send in their memories. Here is some of the input received.
From Kit Lane: "I hope you are aware that the
existence of Turtle Pond dates only from the new highway in 1936.
Prior to that there was a long low stationary bridge from the
Saugatuck side of the river to the island (where the East Shore
Condominiums sit today) the road went across the island, and then
there was a bridge over the water to the Douglas side. It was first
a lift bridge and in 1903 or so was replaced by the swing bridge.
"When the new highway was built by Lamb Inc in 1936 they filled
around the island to make it bigger, and then built the causeway
replacing the long bridge on the Saugatuck side leaving the
depression that caused that part of the river to be commemorated in
"It IS aptly named, more than once I have discovered a turtle trying
to cross the highway to open river and had to help him along before
he got smushed. You seldom see anyone fishing there."
"Before the village started building an ice rink every winter it was
often used for ice skating and the Lions Club even built a little
shelter house about 1970."
From Art Lane: "One day in about the 1970s I was
driving from Douglas to Saugatuck and spotted a big turtle ambling
across the Blue Star bridge in medium traffic. "In front of me, a
gray Porsche stopped on the bridge. As the other cars stopped or
slowed down, the driver got out, picked up the turtle, and carried
it to the bank of Turtle pond. Then he got back in his Porsche and
From Marsha Kontio: "When the condos were built there
was a big to-do in the paper about the threat to turtle pond. Until
then, I didn't even know it existed."
From R J Peterson: He owned turtle pond at one time
and it had been a dumping ground for the city, a "real trash bin".
There were refrigerators and other trash in it. At one point he had
a permit to fill it in, but ended up not doing so. When he sold it
to the people who built the condos there was a lot of public outcry.
One fellow even lay down in front of a truck. He reports that there
is storm drainage into it from the uphill side of Lake St, and at
the other end, drainage which runs out between the condos to the
From Jack Sheridan: "A pond in that location was kind
of mysterious in the first place. As I remember the turtle pond
there were few trees and bushes surrounding it - so there it was -
this pond below the roads and sidewalks in a very unlikely place.
The logs on the edge were clustered with turtles sunning that would
scuttle into the water upon approach. The waters were a murky brown.
I wish we could find a photo that captures the turtle pond essence."
submitted by Chris Yoder
The painted turtle (Chrysemys picta)-Complements Wikipedia