UPCOMING EVENTS OF INTEREST
Through June 20
EXHIBIT Saugatuck Center for the
Arts, Exhibit Gallery "PIE. From Michigan Orchards to the
American Dinner Table and a Factory for the Arts." This exhibit
follows the village economy and the history of fruit growing, fruit
export, and the adaptive re-use of old pie factory into a major art
center. An SDHS exhibit in collaboration with the Saugatuck Center
For the Arts
Through July 1
OLD SCHOOL HOUSE HISTORY
CENTER EXHIBITION Exhibit of model "village places" built by
students from Saugatuck-Douglas school's fifth and sixth grades. The
student teams build models of "village places" as a way of
documenting and understanding "village life." At the Old School
House History Center, Douglas.
Private showing for Society members, Wednesday,
May 18 from 6-8 pm at the Old School House, Click
HERE for details.
Thursday-Saturday, May 19-21
MICHIGAN HISTORIC PRESERVATION
NETWORK 31ST ANNUAL STATEWIDE PRESERVATION CONFERENCE
"Just Add Water: The influence of Michigan's lakes, rivers,
ponds and streams on its culture and architecture" is the theme
of the 2011 Michigan Historic Preservation Network Annual Conference
- to be held in Saugatuck & Douglas with the SCA and the SDHS as
conference hosts. Public invited.
The MHPN is Michigan's largest non-profit
organization dedicated to recognizing and preserving Michigan's
cultural and architectural heritage. Each spring the Network
sponsors the state's largest annual preservation conference -
offering a wide number of interesting sessions relating to the
conference theme. The Conference Keynote speaker will be the Mayor
of Grand Rapids, a well known advocate for architectural and land
Thursday, May 19
MHPN "TWILIGHT WALKING TOUR"
WINE AND CHEESE RECEPTION 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the
Friday, May 20
MHPN " AWARDS CEREMONY" 7:30pm at the Saugatuck Center for the
Arts, Jim Schmiechen will receive the Michigan Historic Preservation
Network's highest honor, the "Lifetime Achievement Award." Please
REPLY to this email if you plan to attend.
Saturday, May 21
MUSEUM HOSTS' ORIENTATION Saugatuck-Douglas Museum
Saturday, May 28
SDHS MEMBERS MUSEUM EXHIBITION
RECEPTION 5:30pm-7:30pm at the Saugatuck-Douglas Museum
Open May 29 through October 30
Museum Through October 30 "A Village Patchwork: Tales of Everyday
Life in Saugatuck-Douglas." Photographs, artifacts and text
uncover the mysteries and stories of daily life in the Saugatuck
We Need Your Help to Make the 2011 Upscale Sale Collection
This years' Upscale Sale will be held on Saturday, July 16
with the preview event the prior evening. The sale will once
again focus on high-quality items such as antiques, framed
art, collectables, jewelry, small-scale furniture, toys and
games, housewares and small appliances.
Our members' donations are a key to the success of this major
SDHS fund raising event.
A reminder - new this year is the opportunity for SDHS members
and area residents to sell distinctive items on consignment.
The seller and the Society will share (60% to seller and 40%
to SDHS) in the profit of the consignment sale. The
consignment goods will be display in a special area of Old
School House during the Upscale Sale.
E-mails will be sent to all members with information about
time and location for donation collection in early June. For
additional information or questions, REPLY to this
email or call (269) 857-5751.
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
We would like to welcome these new members who have joined the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society since the last newsletter.
l Betsy Kubota,
Saugatuck, MI and Schaumburg, IL
l Tom & Donna
Farrington, Douglas, MI
l Mark Neidlinger &
Steve Merouse, Douglas, MI and Chicago, IL - returning after too
long an absence
THE GRANDSONS OF CHIEF POKAGON AT RIVERSIDE CEMETERY
Daffodils Blooming at Waugon Gravesite
One of the local gravesites
visited last fall by a band of bulb planters was the unmarked plot
of Benjamin John Waugon and his family. Benjamin Waugon, age 35,
died of pneumonia at Lansing, November 11, 1916. His obituary
lists him as "the full-blooded grandson of Chief Pokagon of the
Pottawattamies, whose father Leopold ceded to the Government in
1833, over one million acres of land on which Chicago now stands.
His death brings to a close the distinguished family of Pokagon,
all of whom lived in the vicinity of Saugatuck and are buried
here, with the exception of Chief Pokagon ---" who is buried at
the Rush Lake Indian Cemetery near Hartford in Van Buren County.
Benjamin Waugon, who was
unmarried, was educated in the Saugatuck Schools and finished at
the Haskell Institute in Kansas (an Indian school). He was raised
in the Saugatuck area and "spent his young manhood with his
parents at Indian Point." He had training as a machinist and at
time of death worked for the Reo Automobile factory in Lansing.
His brother Frank Waugon, age
about 21, died February 24, 1907 from pneumonia, and the obituary
notice in the Commercial Record reported "John Waugon who lives
near the bayou received a message Monday announcing the death of
his son Frank, who had been attending school in Arkansas the past
year". Frank's remains were returned to Saugatuck for burial.
Their father John Waugon (1850-1909) and his wife Mary Snay
Shashagquay Waugon (1848-1915) also rest in this unmarked plot.
What were the details of the
Waugon family and its connection to Chief Pokagon? As with most
things dealing with local history, you can't dig far without
coming upon the work already done by our master historian Kit
Lane. She writes of the Waugon and related Indian families in her
book "Saugatuck Visitors". The Pottawatomie Census of 1895 lists
John Waugon, age 36, living in Saugatuck, as the son of a Waw-o-gun,
b. about 1820 of Lake City, MI. His sons Benjamin age 12 and Frank
age 10 are shown, and it's written for each of them "lives with
Simon Pokagon at Lee, MI". No wife is shown for him, but Mary
Shashagway age 60 is listed separately with two Shashagway
children - Joseph and Frances.
newspaper article of 1977 said of Simon Pokagon "During his
lifetime he became known as the best-educated full-blooded Indian
in North America and was called "the Redskin Bard," "the
Longfellow of his Race." He visited President Lincoln on two
occasions and smoked a pipe-of-peace with President Grant." "A
pauper at the time of his death, he was 69 years old. Chief
Pokagon --- lived in slab shanties around 60th and 109th Avenue,
near Pullman, Lee Township Allegan County Michigan." This location
seems likely to be where his grandsons lived with him in 1895.
Simon Pokagon died in 1899.
Kit Lane writes "Simon
Pokagon and his first wife Lonidaw (or Angela or Angelique)
Sinagaw had four children: Cecilia, William, Charles and Jerome
and the mother died at the age of 35 --- Another source says that
the lone daughter Cecilia (also sometimes called Hazeleyes,
Teresa, or Sarah) "died young" in accident that had something to
do with two drunken white hunters and a boat, but I am beginning
to wonder if she, perhaps, had two children before she died -- Ben
and Frank". Her speculation seems confirmed by the marriage
records on file in Allegan County which show:
CACEILIA - POGAGON -- m
-- JOHN - WAGON -- 01 FEB 1887
The date appears to be a
"recording" of the marriage as both sons were born before this
time. The story of Cecelia's drowning can be read in Chief
Pokagon's book "Queen of the Woods" which can be read
on-line at the SDHS web site (Thanks to Google books).
The wording of Benjamin's
obituary makes it seem like he was the last of the Pokagon line.
Kit Lane writes "After his first wife died Simon Pokagon married
again. His second wife was called Victoria, and the two had an
indeterminate number of children -- some accounts say as many as
four." His death certificate records that he had 9 children, only
1 of whom was living as of 1899. While we have not succeeded in
putting together a complete tree for Simon Pokagon, we know that
an obituary for WWII veteran Frank Shagonoby (Shagonabe) refers to
him as having been a grandson of Chief Simon Pokagon. Frank died
in 1971, age 56, and is buried at Oakwood cemetery in Allegan. One
Michigan death certificate gives a hint. It shows a stillborn baby
born/died Jan. 2, 1916 to John Shagonaby and Mary Pokagon of Paw
Paw Twp, Van Buren Co, MI. A number of Shagonaby family members
are buried at the Douglas Cemetery.
contributed by Chris Yoder
"A Village Patchwork: Everyday Life in Saugatuck and Douglas"
the 2011 exhibit at the Pumphouse Museum of the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society will concentrate on
village life outside of summertime activities.
"It is natural to want to display summertime activities," said
curator Kit Lane." The area is a delight when the water is
sparkling and the sand is warm, but there are another nine
months of the year. Summer visitors have often asked us what
happens in Saugatuck in the wintertime. This is a partial
answer to the question."
The exhibit, designed by Judy Hillman and Sally Winthers,
includes many photographs of fall, spring and snow-related
activities, and groups of residents meeting together,
including the almost-championship football team of 2010. In
addition the archives were searched for artifacts of working
and living --not just resorting.
The high school contributed decorated boxes, in the style of
Joseph Cornell, displaying additional artifacts, and there is
one entire wall covered with old birdseye views of the
The Village Table A Delicious History of Food in the
By Stacy Honson and Kit Lane
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society, 2011
This new book celebrates the Saugatuck-Douglas area by
exploring its food: what the settlers found, what was fished,
what was gathered and grown, what each wave of newcomers
brought, what the restaurants served to visitors, and what we
Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the food scene
and concludes with a selection of menus and recipes that favor
This richly illustrated book is a great gift for anyone who
loves history, cooking, or understanding local food. Copies
are available at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Museum.
You can also REPLY to this email or call Fred Schmidt
at 269-857-1620 to order your copy. Soft bound books are $35
and are individually shrink-wrapped. A limited edition of
hardbound books will also be available at $125. Sales tax and
shipping are not included.
Chicken Dinners a Summer Feature
Until at least 1930, one item that appeared on every menu during
the resort season was fried chicken. When asked why fried
chicken was a particular Saugatuck thing, an old timer responded
that it wasn’t just Saugatuck – it was a "summertime thing."
In northern climates it was too cold in the winter to incubate
eggs and raise the peeping chicks. Chicks were hatched only in
the spring and summer. Hence, a chicken was only young and
tender enough for frying in the summer and early fall. In winter
the more mature chickens were stewed or cooked into pies.
The June 11, 1920 Commercial Record carried an
advertisement for the Leland Tea Room noting: "Special Chicken
Dinner for Tourists and Home People $1.50." The Leland Tea Room,
a project of Thornton Leland and his son, E. L. "Lee" Leland,
was located in the Leland Building on Butler Street. It was
quite an elegant restaurant with a French chef. Its
gray-and-lavender décor featured a dozen live caged canaries,
which sang both for their suppers and the customers.
The Village Table is published in conjunction with
the 2011 exhibition: A Village Patchwork: Everyday Life in
Saugatuck-Douglas and is supported by the
Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and
Endowment for the Arts. For more information about
The Village Table, contact Sally Winthers, 269-543-2112 or
Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
Wallace Kirkland Life Magazine Superstar.
The summer of 1954 was a busy one for the Simonson Photo Studio. A
steady stream of customers brought in rolls of vacation snapshots
for our 24 hour service. The Studio [founded by Herman Simonson in
1906] was located in the middle of the first block of Culver Street
in Saugatuck. Carlton and Irene Simonson were the owners. Sixteen
year old Jack Sheridan [that's me] was their only employee and my
job was to wait on counter customers and assist in the processing of
film. It was my third summer working at the studio and living across
the street with my Grandmother, Sarah Sheridan.
Our most prestigious and interesting customer was Wallace Kirkland,
renowned photographer for Life Magazine and summer resident at
Oxbow. I still remember his smile and his flat top crew cut. Mr.
Kirkland would frequently bring in multiple rolls of film. His photo
subjects were sand spiders and nudes! The spiders were photographed
– closeup - as they moved out of a sand hole to attack passing prey.
The nudes were photographed posing in a heavily wooded glade. Shadow
patterns created by sunlight through the leaves on the female form
were most interesting - especially to my teenage eyes!
The gentleman below was a mover and shaker - no doubt a very strong
personality! Find out about him next month.
submitted by Jack Sheridan
GLAD YOU ASKED
"Glad You Asked" is a new column to answer
questions that have been asked by Society members. Hopefully the
information will be informative to all members.
Q. I work during the week so I miss
the Tuesdays Talks and the Monthly meetings. Can these programs be
moved to the weekends?
A. Society membership is wide and
varied, including singles, families, snowbirds and year-round
residents. Many members, like yourself, work 9 to 5; others are
retired. To best serve the most members, some SDHS programs are
offered during the week, while others (like the Holiday Party,
Members Museum Opening Reception, and Heritage Festival) are held on
Editor's note: We will ask the 2012 program group to consider the
request. Also, we need more volunteer help in organizing and
presenting programs. Can you help?
Lt. James Avery (1832-1911) - Riverside
Horace G. Welch (1857-1932) - Douglas
Stella Tobey ( - 1866) - Taylor Cemetery
Here are a few more results
from last fall's project to plant a Dozen Daffodils for the Dearly
Departed (D4). This project selected "orphans" in the Douglas,
Riverside and Taylor Cemeteries (people who either have no living
family, or whose family has moved away) to remember with a spring
time bouquet. Click
HERE to see the list of names. Thanks to our bulb donors
(including HuntTree) and our bulb planters. Hope to do it again in
the fall with a new batch of "orphans" (Nominees and volunteers
welcome- contact Chris Yoder,
firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 857-4327).