Tuesday Talks are arranged by the SDHS Program Group. Direct
questions and or suggestions for 2014 to Jim Schmiechen at
l July 2: Mike Sweeney, Michigan’s Hottest Town. Procol Harum,
Alice Cooper, and others invade Saugatuck.
Sponsored by Janie & Jim Flemming and Harbor Duck Adventures,
l July 9: Mary Jo Lemanski, Looking at Dune Formation as
Abstract Art. Sponsored by Beachway Resort,
Doug & Debbie West, and Robin Bauer, Realtor, Shoreline Realtors
l July 16: Kimberly Hall, Climate Change and West Michigan.
Sponsored by Wells Street Consulting - Valerie Atkin
l July 23: April Scholtz, The Secret life of the Blanding Frog
and Other Duneland Nature Stories Sponsored
by Bill Hess & Mike Mattern to Celebrate the City of Saugatuck's
Saugatuck Harbor Natural area
l July 30: Ken Kutzel & Dave Ball, Saugatuck and Douglas Art
Discoveries & the Art of Restoration.
Sponsored by Larry & Shirley Akins and Floyd Fleming
l August 6: The State Park Hikers, To the Dunes: Photos Stories
from A State Park Hiking Group. Sponsored
by Sharon Kelly and Janie & Jim Flemming
l August 13: Elizabeth Chodos, Ox-Bow: Living In Sand For Over 100
Years. Sponsored by Monty Collins & Jerry Dark
l August 20: Jack Sheridan, Beach Stories: Low Water, High
Water and Beach Life. Sponsored by Star of
Saugatuck and Terry Burns
l August 27: Kit Lane, Goshorn Lake. Is it really bottomless?
Sponsored by Osman Flowers & Firs and
Howard & Paula Schultz
2013 Society Monthly Programs
At the Old School House History Center
July 10: Low-Key Genius: O.C. Simonds and his Pier Cove
Simonds was one of America's most important landscapers - and had an
enormous impact on our West Michigan. Meet the author, Barbara
Gieger. Wine & cheese social time.
August 14: Eat Your Way to the Top Annual Picnic at the
History Center. Celebrating the Garden's Mt. Baldhead Viewing
Station. Note early starting time: 6:00
September 11: Now and Then: Great Lakes - Hot Topics Long
time Great Lakes observer Patty Birkholz brings past and present
views of our greatest local asset - the water. Swimmingly delicious
deserts. Sponsored by Ruth and Don Wendel
October 9: Tales from the Crypt: Visitors from the Ghostown of
Plummerville (Ganges Township) Led by Kit Lane and Marsha
Kontio, a virtual tour by the Cemetery Actors Group. Refreshments to
November 13: Painting: the Town: Landscape, the Artist, and
People by Ken Kutzel who brings stories from the Society's art
December 1: Annual Society Holiday Dinner 6:00 pm. At the
Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Kick off the Holiday Season. Good
cheer, Great Food, Good Friends.
If you would like to sponsor one of the Monthly Programs, please
REPLY to this email. Sponsorships are $150.
Thanks to Valerie Atkin, Ed Kelly, Sharon Kelly, Marsha Kontio and
Renee Zita for providing yummy refreshments for our Monthly
Fr. G. Corwin Stoppel on the
Society's 2013 Museum Exhibit
reprinted with permission Fr. Stoppel from a recent edition of The
Pat and I joined several hundred other
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society members attending the opening
of this year's Pump House Museum exhibition.
In a word, it's magnificent. Those who worked on
it showed again why the SDHS and museum are acknowledged across
the state as among the best.
From the start, this museum has been a cooperative
effort between the City of Saugatuck, which owns the building and
leases it to the society for a dollar, to the friends and members
who upgraded the facility and produce new displays each year.
Back when the museum was still an idea, SDHS
president Pat Dewey led members into making a philosophical
decision not to make it like everyone’s basement or attic,
cluttered with "inventory."
No two-man saws used by someone's great-uncle
"Snoozer" to cut up the tree that fell in a big windstorm several
decades ago. No collection of antique drawer pulls or doorknobs.
Those relics might be of supreme interest to someone, but this
museum would be different.
It has remained so. Past yearly themes have
studied local architecture, complete with a large-scale replica of
the Big Pavilion as a centerpiece. One year it was an exhaustive
study of "Mr. Lincoln’s Ready-Made Soldiers" - the men who served
in the Union Army during the Civil War. Another year it was an
exhibit of Ox-Bow artists . . . some of the "interesting"
characters who lived here, and so on.
It is one thing to come up with the
latest great idea. Give anyone time doing something that doesn't
concentration, such as lawn mowing, and we all have them. The real
test is following through to convert an idea, refine it a few
times over and make it a reality. Then, when it’s something large
and ambitious, being able to play with others.
achievement to do that one time. For the SDHS to do it year after
year is a tribute to members and the wider community.
recent years the museum has added a beautiful entry way in memory
of the late Stan Wilson. More than that, volunteers have
maintained it the gardens. On the way into the building there are
outdoor learning stations to point out places of interest and
significance along that stretch of the Kalamazoo River.
here's the sales pitch. Go see the show - and take time to reflect
on its wall and floor displays. The rewards are rich and
Welcome from Jack
Sheridan and Chris Yoder leaders of the Society Family History
Group. Our meeting schedule is the first and third Thursday of
every month. Upcoming meetings are:
Thursday June 20
Thursday July 11
Thursday July 25
Due to the July 4th holiday, meetings in July are moved
to the second and fourth Thursday of the month. The time and place
are always 3:30 in the Old School House.
Please join us to see what we are all about and most importantly,
share "lessons learned" about the many tools available for family
In recent months I have told you about my Ancestry.com DNA
analysis. I am getting a steady feedback of 40-50 possible matches
each week. The matches have identified many distant cousins but no
EUREKA! moment to report yet. Stay tuned.
I think of a family tree as just that – the trunk, branches and
twigs. It consists of connections, names and dates. Interesting
yes, but the tree must bear fruit to be truly appreciated. The
fruit consists of information about the folks that populate the
tree! Who were they, their failures and successes, their
occupations, the story of their lives, what did they look like?
Truly, an “only photo” is worth a thousand words!
Here is what I mean. Yesterday Sherry Smith Coupe forwarded me an
email she received as a result of building her tree on
Ancestry.com. Her great great grandfather was Humphrey Smith born
in Massachusetts in 1811. This was a EUREKA! moment
The email said: I'm a descendant of Bunyan, brother to
Humphrey. Last year at our family 4th of July picnic, my cousin
loaned me 4 photo albums to scan. They were in the attic at the
farm. I have pics of Humphrey & wife Sophronia - they were labeled
with names (also have posted them online). They are engraved with
Chicago IL. I have one pic of a young man, with Chicago IL on the
back, but no name. I was wondering if you maybe had pics & could
identify him? I would be glad to email this pic to you. Thanks,
Deb Lowell (Waugh family)
Think about it and remember if you want to discover your family
history, but have not known where and how to begin, our SDHS
Family History group wants to help you.
An easy starting point is to record what you know about your
parents, grandparents, and great grandparents and send it along
for a review by our volunteers to 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. Future further help is always available from the Family
History group. The only requirement is membership in the SDHS.
Your family history does not have to have any connection to the
Still wondering? Questions/comments/advice/needs: Contact me at:
email@example.com or 269 857-7144. Chris
firstname.lastname@example.org is back from Arizona so his great help is
Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
A Basin Tour
The setting of this photo, known as the Basin, is where it all
started in the fall of 1830. First settlers William Butler, wife
Mary, and two young children camped near here after being dropped
off by the schooner Madison. They built a raft and poled it upriver
to build a trading post in the area of Saugatuck today.
The photo location is not obvious. So in your imagination follow the
shoreline to the left and within fifty yards you are on the south
pier of the channel to Lake Michigan. At the time of this photo, a
hundred years ago, the piers were made of wood but their location
was the same as today. Cross over the river to the north side of the
channel and you are on the now well known McClendon property. A
sheet piling retaining wall lines the river bank upriver toward
Saugatuck. Behind that wall is sand fill.
However, at the time of this photo and before, the shoreline curved
further to the northeast before joining the present day shoreline
[near the point you see a two story house in the photo]. The sand
fill – placed there by Frank Denison maybe thirty years ago – covers
part of the area today. This area was the location of the Singapore
waterfront, lumber mills, and the Village of Singapore.
The bathers are posing on sand left behind from the digging of the
new channel in 1905-06. As you see, the same sand pushed by the
prevailing wind, covers the old river course for a hundred yards to
the right. A short walk today leads to the Old Harbor lagoon.
In the late 1800s David Cook, a wealthy businessman from Chicago,
began to buy the surrounding property on both sides of the river. It
was Cook, over a twenty year period, who acquired contiguous parcels
which made up the property. Cook’s family sold it to David Bennett
in the 1940s and the Bennett estate sold it to Frank Denison in the
1950s. Aubrey McClendon bought it from the Denison estate. The
buildings just visible across the river were built by the Cook
family in the early 1900s.
More on Franklin Augustus Denison next month.
Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
Welcome New Members
We would like to welcome the new members who have joined the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society since the last newsletter - an
l David & Ellen Heyer,
Western Springs, IL & Saugatuck, MI
l Thomas Morris,
l Sandra Jensen &
Thomas Mooney, Saugatuck, MI
l Jay & Beth Hernly,
l Patricia Meyer,
l Bob Ruddy & Gene
Coburn, Douglas, MI
l Henry & Lynn
Zavislak. Douglas, MI
l Elizabeth Chodos,
And members who renewed their membership as Life Members.
l Tim Wood & Wendy
Nancy Boylan, a Life
Member of the Society, passed away recently. Click
HERE for more details.
Jean Flanigan Clark
Jean Flanigan Clark, a Life
Member of the Society, passed away recently. Click
HERE for more details.
Civil War Photo
When Sgt. Levi Tutle
(1829-1921) died in Saugatuck at the age of 92, he was one of the
last Civil War survivors in our area. He had served in Company L,
4th Michigan Calvary and had lived in Heath Township at the time
of enlistment. He is renowned for having been present at the
capture of Jefferson Davis on May 10, 1865 at Irwinsville, Ga.
Sgt. Tuttle was later placed in charge of the 22 man detachment
which escorted the Confederate President from Macon, GA to his
imprisonment at “Fortress Monroe” (now Ft. Monroe), VA. You would
think that the historical society would have a photo of a person
with such an interesting story and long life, but none has
surfaced until now.
The newly discovered photo of Levi Tuttle
Thanks to Nancy Robison, a
"Find-A-Grave" correspondent from California for sharing this
wonderful photo. Barry Johnson, of Cleveland, Tenn., found an old
bible in a bookstore in Chattanooga which had information and
photos of her great-great grandfather Gurdin N. Kenyon. Mr.
Johnson tracked down Nancy as a living descendant. Nancy writes
that “inside had Obit, descendants charts, old clipping, etc from
the Kenyons. He sent me some photos by e-mail. There were photos
of 3 CW soldiers: Levi Tuttle, Charles L Knight and Edward Reed.
They all served in Co L, 4th Michigan Calvary with my 2nd Great-
grandfather.” How this bible made the trip from California, where
the family all lived, to Tennessee remains a mystery.
Levi married twice but left
children when he died. He shares a tombstone in the Taylor
Cemetery, Ganges, with his second wife Amelia, but his part of the
stone does not have a death date. There was no one living to
arrange to have his date of death added.
The death notice at the time
commented that as a member of the J. M. Pond Post G.A.R. it was
"his duty to read the burial service at Grand Army funerals, and
on every occasion, notwithstanding his advanced age, it was his
custom to repeat the long ritual from memory in a most impressive
Company L was commanded by
Captain Benjamin D. Pritchard, of Allegan and 1st. Lieutenant
Isaac Lamoreaux, of Manilus Twp. Saugatuck soldiers shown in the
company roster included:
Allen Ash, (1835-1907 bur. Selma, MI)
Henry C. Braman, (1834-1893- bur. Hutchins Cem.)
William M. Oliver, (1836-1914- bur. Douglas Cem.)
Jonathan D. Squires (possibly bur. Van Buren Co, MI)
And from Ganges Township
Ira F. Austin, (d. 1863, bur. New Albany National Cem, IN)
William H. Baker,
Edwin R. Crawford, (d. 1863 of disease, Breadsville, MI, buried
William H. Elsworth,
John C. Evarts,
Andrew T. Foot, (d. 1863, bur. Nashville National Cem.)
Alexander N. Fry, (1841-1905, bur. Taylor Cem.)
Lewis C. Goodrich,
David H. Hall, (1836-1915, bur. Rochester Cem.Topeka, KS)
Hiram B. Hudson, (1834-1909, bur. Fairview Cem, Mancelona, MI)
George F. Nichols, (1833-1877, bur. Taylor Cem.)
Lyman R. Warren, (POW at Andersonville)
Edward Reed of Monterey Twp, Allegan Co. (1835-1905, bur. Westside
Cem., Hubbardston, MI)
contributed by Chris Yoder