Here's a Great Way to Beat the January "Blahs"!
Tickets still available!
For reservations, phone
Plan now to brighten your Saturday afternoon on January 11,
enjoying a "Musical Chairs" progressive dinner at nearby
DollyBrook Family Resort. DollyBrook, a 2011 Heritage
Preservation Award winner, is reserving all nine of its unique
rental cottages specially for this event. Doors will open at
3pm. We'll enjoy drinks and a six-course meal in small-plate
fashion as we stroll from cottage to cottage, each one
differently designed and decorated featuring artifacts from
local antique shops.
This initiates the Society's fifth annual "Dine Around The
Village Table" series of dinner or cocktail party fundraisers.
With all food and beverages donated by event hosts, this
event's guest charge of $75 per person will fully support the
Historical Society's volunteer-based programs and activities
including exhibitions at its Pump House Museum in Saugatuck,
Old School House History Center and "Back-In-Time Garden
Pathway" in Douglas. For reservations, phone 269.857.5751 or
email@example.com. Seating is limited so
early reservations are recommended.
Each cottage will be hosted by and provisioned with
specialties of different SDHS members: Kathy and John
Mooradian; Sharon Kelly with Ken Carls; Janie and Jim Flemming;
Marsha and Loren Kontio; Renee Zita and Ed Ryan; Steve Mottram
and Jon Helmrich; Bill Underdown and David Geen; Judi and
Howard Vanderbeck; Sharon and Robin Bauer.
DollyBrook owners Kim and Jim Keag will be our special guests,
on hand to tell you more about their resort. Its cozy cottages
are beautifully situated in 40 acres of woodland countryside
in Ganges, less than 10 minutes drive from Saugatuck and
Douglas, on 66th Street just south of 121st
Ave. For more about DollyBrook cottages, grounds and history,
DON'T MISS THIS FUN
EVENING OF DINING.
Welcome from Jack Sheridan and Chris Yoder leaders of the Society
Family History Group. Our regular meeting schedule is the first
and third Thursday of every month. Upcoming meetings are [note
change to Wednesday for the next meeting]:
Wednesday December 18
Thursday January 9
Please join us to see what we are all about and most importantly,
share "lessons learned" about the many tools available for family
This fall I listed eight steps I recommend to begin recording and
exploring your family tree. If you missed them, here they are
1] Vow to spend enough time on this project to get comfortable
with the basic process. You will reach a point of reasonable
competence quite quickly. Giving it a few hours a week is a good
2] Learn how/continue to easily browse the internet. Actually on
line research is a wonderful way to learn and gain experience to
become comfortable with the internet.
3] Obtain a software program for building family trees and install
on your computer. Call us for advice on what to get – the cost is
4] Discuss and gather personal data from relatives and family
members. The bare minimum such as name, year of birth/death and
relationship is fine. Do not fret if you don’t have all the
information because you will learn how to easily get it in the
5] Find relatives who have already done the some of the above so
that you can copy what they have already discovered and save
yourself work. There is plenty to discover – remember, in ten
generations you have 4092 grandparent ancestors. You will be doing
well to eventually identify 20-30% of these people. One of the
real pleasures of this research is coming together with others who
have a common interest. These folks might be close family or
6] Record the data on your computer using your new family tree
software program. Like magic the software prompts for the data and
organizes it as accumulated. The learning curve here is short and
the results are very rewarding.
7] Join the SDHS family history group for “how to and what to do”
support. We have subscriptions to many subscriber only web sites.
You can build a tree on Ancestry.com. We advise you for free. The
only requirement is that you be a SDHS member.
8] Start thinking EUREKA! with every new factoid
I must stress that your family history does not
have to have any connection to the Saugatuck-Douglas area !!!
If you need a really painless jump start - record what you know
about your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents and send
it along for a review by Chris Yoder or myself. The snail mail
address is SDHS Family History Box 617 Douglas, Michigan 49406, or
email a copy to either
Give us time for an initial assessment.
We will soon be back to you with readily found data and with
suggestions on the next steps to take. Further help is always
available from the Family History group. Again, the only
requirement is membership in the SDHS.
I have told you about the Ancestry.com DNA project. I submitted a
sample last year and have been getting about 20 match reports each
week. This has helped me grow buds and blossoms on bare branches
of my tree. During the last month I have made contact with
previously unknown-undiscovered Sheridans. It looks like our
common ancestor is Joseph Sheridan born 1754 and I hope to use DNA
to verify. Stay tuned.
Still wondering? Questions/comments/advice/needs - contact
269 857-7144 Chris Yoder
firstname.lastname@example.org 269 857-4327
This newsletter column is written by Jack Sheridan
Click on the picture for a
higher resolution copy
Saugatuck Interurban Happening
Most viewing this scene will not recognize the location. Don't
fret, you have me to guide you and to explain the photo. From
downtown Saugatuck, head north on Butler Street to Francis,
turn right and go one block, then turn left at the four way
stop onto Holland, go one block and turn right on Simonson
Drive. Here the street curves and then edges the Peterson
Preserve for fifty yards. Stop there and look to the north and
slightly west for you are at the spot where the photographer,
Herman Simonson, set up his camera and recorded this scene.
What was going on here?
Stop and think – take a guess!
Look in the background. See the trestle, hmmmm?
OK, the date is the summer of 1913. The trestle ran along
North Street between [what is now] the Blue Star Highway and
to the top of the hill a block east of Holland Street. The
Interurban was being rerouted, the new route would gently
curve south off of North Street to intersect and follow what
is now Simonson Drive and then back to the original route west
on Lucy to Water Street.
A couple developments spurred this change. Most importantly,
more electric power had become available to drive bigger
motors and bigger cars, including heavier freight only cars.
In 1899 the trestle was built because underpowered electric
motors could not drive cars up the North Street grade. In
addition the old route had sharp corners at North-Holland and
Holland Lucy that called for lower speeds. And I suspect the
trestle probably required expensive rebuilding to carry the
Today you can walk along the grade you see being built here.
Park on Simonson drive and walk the path to North Street.
Click on the picture for a
higher resolution copy
A book is being written including the Interurban history –
there is more to come including a presentation at the SDHS
monthly meeting on February 12, 2014.
submitted by Jack Sheridan
Welcome New Members
We would like to welcome the new members who have joined the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society since the last newsletter.
l Greg Plowe & Steve
Debbink, Saugatuck, MI
l Gregory Frey &
Patrick Coyle, Saugatuck, MI
l Chris Eppel, Douglas,
l John Thomas,
Saugatuck and Douglas, MI
l Carol Segrist,
News from the Archives
50 Years Ago this Month.
From a 1963 article in the Holland Sentinel: A series of pilings
ranging from 60 to 90 feet in depth will support the 560 foot bridge
crossing the Kalamazoo River on I-196 at Douglas. Half of the 500
tons of steel girders from the Gary plant of American Bridge
Division, United States Steel Corporation at Gary, Ind., have been
erected. The remainder of the steel will be erected this summer. It
will be completed by July 1964, when traffic will be able to travel
from the Indiana border to Holland on the I-96 freeway. This is one
of three bridges being erected in the Douglas-Saugatuck area of
Help Wanted: The crew working in
the archives office would like to find someone who is proficient in
Windows 7 and Adobe Lightroom for some computer assistance. Call
Mary Voss at 269.857.7901 (Monday afternoons) or e-mail the archives
The Archives are located in the lower level of the Old School House
(use lower staircase) and are open on Mondays 1-5 p.m.
submitted by Mary Voss
Renew Your 2014 Membership On-Line
get ready for an exciting line-up of programs for 2014
The Society's Programming
Committee has met to develop the schedule for the 2014 Monthly
Programs and Tuesday Talks.
While a number of the
presentations are still being finalized, Society members can look
forward to programs
l On the history of the
l A tour of the Felt
l A field trip to Joan
Donaldson's historic Pleasant Hill farm
l And another
character-filled cemetery tour.
If you haven't renewed your SDHS
membership for 2014, do it today so you can enjoy the Society's
outstanding 2014 programming.
Now its easy to renew your
membership on-line. Just click
Please remember the Society in
your year-end giving. Your contributions allow for upkeep of our
historical treasures, new exhibits, creative programming, and events
that keep us all connected. Just click
HERE. to renew your membership and contribute to
Keeping History Alive Here
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.'
~Clement Clarke Moore
Ahhhh! Tis the season. Tis the season when all is
quiet in our gardens. Tis the season when there is little life
above the soil, but much life below it. Tis the season where snow
covers our land like a soft down blanket. Tis the season when our
days are short and our nights are long. Tis the season when our
waters freeze like a sheet of glass. Tis the season of giving . .
. of loving . . . of sharing. Embrace this season. Enjoy this
season. We, the Landscape Committee want to wish all of you and
your loved ones a very blessed and happy Holiday season.
See you next year,
The Landscape Committee
A Dozen Daffodils for the Dearly Departed (D4) - 2013
Jackie Ladwein, Joy Muhlenbeck, Maria Roa, and Chris Yoder braved a
drizzle which turned to snowflakes to plant daffodils at nineteen
"orphan" plots in the Riverside and Douglas cemeteries. The
gravesites belong to people who either have no surviving
descendants, or whose families have moved away from the area.
Little Mary Sleeps
Mary Reid (d Dec 8m 1867, age 12 y 11m 8d) daughter of W. and S.
Jonas S. Crouse (1824-1899) - Born in Stillwater, NJ, he learned the
carpenter trade, working in WI, MN, and MO before coming to Douglas
in 1860. For the last 20 years of his life he served on the Douglas
Village Board either as President or Trustee, earning the title
"Watchdog of the Treasury" for opposing extravagant waste of the
peoples’ money (would there were more such as he).
Emily Blanchard Brown (1818-1900) Born in Rouse's Point, NY came to
Michigan in 1876 with her children.
Fabian Snay (1810-1876) – He and wife lie in unmarked graves.
Reportedly helped Louis Campau set up an Indian fur trading post on
the banks of the Grand River in 1826 which is now Grand Rapids, MI.
Served in the Black Hawk War. He married a Native American and
fished the waters in and around Lake Michigan. His sons also lived
off fishing and navigating western Michigan waterways.
Gerod Alonzo Pratt (1810-1872) Born Sandisfield, Berkshire,
Massachusetts, Married Mary Celestia Grover of Windsor, OH. Had
their home in Pier Cove, Ganges Twp
Anna Belle Curran (d. 1869 age 7) Daughter of Archibald Curran and
Berton & Homer Wiley (both died 1873)- Sons of Hon. David W. Wiley
(after whom Wiley Road was named). Their father was born in Ohio,
and came to Michigan with his parents in 1852. In 1860 he bought a
half interest in 100 acres of land near Douglas. His partner was B.
S. Williams of Kalamazoo. They set out a large peach orchard in 1867
and in 1874 shipped 15,000 baskets of peaches.
Earnest Miller(1894-1906)- Son of Charles Miller and Anna Atto.
Chris P. Carston (1898-1965) - Chris Carsten was born in Chicago, IL
and baptized Stanley Paul Jaszkowski. He and his siblings changed
the surname to Carsten sometime between 1910 and 1920 and,
apparently he also changed his given name from Stanley to Chris. He
was a veteran of WWII.
William Godfrey Rickert (b &d 1926) Born prematurely to William
Rickert and Anna E Godfrey. Lived one day.
Timmie Coates died 1873, age 3, son of Capt Lintsford B Coates and
Alice Nichols Coates. Capt. Coates came to the village in 1844 and
in 1866 built and sailed the ship "O.R. Johnson".
Carl, Christina and Rowland Hoerman - Famed local artists Carl and
Christiana Hoermen rest with their baby and only child Rowland (d.
1908). With the present-day Hoerman family recently selling the
Chalet on Pleasant Street and moving to New Hampshire, the Hoermans
are now among our local "orphans".
Elisha Tracy (1810-1899) - Born in Pennsylvania, he moved to
Michigan in 1833, settling in Allegan County.
Samuel Petheram (1839-1896) - Born in Lympsham, Somerset, England.
Came to Canada, then later to Michigan. He was a shoemaker in
Holland and Saugatuck.
Catherine Reif Pfaff (1838-1903) - Katherine Reif born in Coblenz,
Germany and married to August Pfaff, a carpenter. They arrived in
America on 4th of July, 1867, living in Chicago for 21 years before
moving to Saugatuck.
Cynthia Bulloch Ward (1836-1905) - Born in Booneville, MO and
married Wm. H. Ward, moving in 1869 to Chicago. Came to Saugatuck
for many years as a resorter before moving here. Died three weeks
after the move.
James Francis (1869-1909) - Born in Port Morrison, Cape Breton,
N.S., James Francis was on a tug employed as a lineman when he
drowned in the drainage canal near Chicago. He was found 12 miles
away after 5 days.
Carlton (1859-1864) and Mary Ann (1862-1864) Clipson - Children of
Samuel and Susan Mason Clipson - Samuel was a brewer of beer in
Saugatuck, Michigan. The ice-house is now Twin Gables Bed and
Breakfast, which is on the Michigan Historic Registry. He also was
also a farmer, and had his farm south of Douglas.
Flora E. Dunton - Died of lung fever, age 19 yrs in 1878. On the one
year anniversary of her death in 1879, a remembrance was published
in the Lake Shore Commercial which included a poem composed by
Saugatuck historian May Heath’s grandmother, Mary E. Morrison).
Catherina Geerst Helbach and infant son (d. 1877 age 38) died after
childbirth of 6th child- wife of Matthias Helbach who is buried at
the Pearl Cemetery, Fennville.
submitted by Chris
A lovely picture of the
Society's Museum at night photographed by Society member Elliott
Click on the picture for a
higher resolution copy. Be patient, it's a large file but worth the
Last minute Holiday Shopping
Stop in at the Society's booth in the Blue
Star Highway Antique Mall
The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society Booth at the Blue Star
Antique Pavilion on the Blue Star Highway in Douglas has
to support Society programs and projects.
Thank you Mary Voss, Ken Kutzel and Cynthia Sorensen