Sunday, December 15
at the Saugatuck Center for Arts
400 Culver Street, Saugatuck
Cocktails at 5:30 ~
Dinner at 6:30
Cash Bar ~ Fine Wines
Gifts for Holiday Giving
Cash, Checks, MasterCard & Visa
Credit Cards Accepted
the spirit of holidays past, this year's holiday celebration once
back the tradition of the community potluck.
entree & tableware will be provided.
BE SURE TO MARK YOUR CALENDAR AND LOOK FOR YOUR INVITATION
IN THE MAIL
SPACE IS LIMITED
Dine Around Events:
Delicious Series of Dinners and Parties
to support the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society
From gourmet dinners in exclusive homes to casual cocktail parties,
these culinary events feature great food and great times for a great
2nd Annual Halloween
Saturday, October 26, 2013 | 7:30 pm
Tickets $40 per person
Hosted by Judi & Howard Vanderbeck
and Janie & Jim Flemming
On the Rooftop, 150 Center Street, Douglas
High spirits and dinner hot off the grill with Douglas Halloween
parade viewing at 10 PM.
THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT!
Comfortable Fall Feast with Steve
Saturday, November 16, 2013 | 6:30 pm
Tickets $85 per person
Hosted by Steve Teich
178 West Shore Court, Douglas
Cocktails and a hearty dinner for eight in the
newly transformed home of designer Steve Teich.
THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT!
Dollybrook Musical Chairs
Saturday, January 11, 2014 | 6:30 pm
Tickets $75 per person
Hosted by The Keag Family, Dollybrook Family Resort
2076 66th Street, Fennville
Park once and enjoy small plate dining as you walk
to each of the nine unique cottages at Dollybrook Resort. The
natural beauty and charming, eclectic decor of this property will
brighten your January.
DON'T MISS THIS FUN
EVENING OF DINING.
Only a limited number of reservations are being accepted.
For a reservation, REPLY to this email or call 269-857-5751
email@example.com and we'll be in touch.
Thanks to your support we
finished second in the Allegan County Community
Foundation's ArtsAlive competition. Because of our second place
finish, we were awarded a $4,000 bonus. This support is essential
for our all volunteer organization. THANK YOU!
2013 Society Monthly Programs
At the Old School House History Center
November 13: Painting the Town: Landscape, the Artist, and
People by Ken Kutzel who brings stories from the Society's art
collection. Sponsored by Arthur Frederick,
Thanks to Valerie Atkin, Ed Kelly, Sharon Kelly, Marsha Kontio and
Renee Zita for providing delicious refreshments for our Monthly
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, November 7
Thursday, November 14
Please join us to see what we
are all about and most importantly, share "lessons learned" about
the many tools available for family research.
Last month I described steps
needed to begin recording and exploring your family tree. If you
missed that, here it is again. If you have not started yet -
remember it is a long winter - and get going now!
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 start.
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 me for advice on what to get – the cost is
4] 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 cause you
will be getting it.
5] Talk to 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 grandparents. You will be doing well to
eventually identify 20-30%.
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 encouraging.
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 muttering EUREKA!
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
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 blossoms and buds on bare branches of my tree, but so far no
EUREKA! moment on the Sheridan branch.
Very interesting development
in that Ancestry.com has redefined my ethnicity from primarily
Scandinavia to primarily British Isles and Irish. This fits
closely to the 5000+ people in my tree. Going back back before
1200 AD yields the Scandinavia ethnicity.
Questions/comments/advice/needs - contact
269 857-7144 Chris Yoder
firstname.lastname@example.org 269 857-4327.
submitted by Jack Sheridan
Click on the picture for a
higher resolution copy
The photo is a classic – the characters are on the left Jay
Myers, who ran the ferry for many years, and Doc Heath. The story
setting is the same spot and the tale was passed on by my father
James Sheridan, who worked as a ferryman in the late 1920s. Whenever
I see the photo I think of this story.
The men in the story are real Saugatuck people. Gubby Gleason ran
a beach launch for many years, Whistling’ Bill was well known as a
downtown bench sitter, and Red Bolton, a Chicago gangster who
eventually died in a broad daylight shootout in the city, had a
cottage in Douglas, and his mother lived on the hill in Saugatuck.
One summer morning in 1926, not long after the sun had streaked the
eastern sky with the first warning light and brought the warm July
night to an end, three men who had been prompted to rise from their
beds with the dawn, gathered together, as was the habit of such men,
on rickety chairs in front of the ferry shanty.
Red Bolton had come there not because he sought company or
conversation, but because as usual, his bad stomach and the snoring
of Mrs. Bolton sent him roaming at daybreak. Elmer Haselgren, known
as Whistling Bill, whether it was early or late, was there due to a
desire of company. The third man was Gubby Gleason, an ambitious and
gregarious soul, a spinner of tall tales, who loved an audience. On
a nearby bench lounged the ferryman, young Jim Sheridan, winding up
the last stretch of his ferryman night shift.
A gray pot of coffee seeped on the one burner kerosene stove. The
talk was garrulous, in keeping with the hour and the mood of men who
had not yet breakfasted. The ferryman Sheridan was silent as
befitted a fellow in the presence of his elders. This day a
discussion grew about the qualities of various woods. It was agreed
that there were few species of trees which produced anything as
excellent for most purposes as the white pine. There was a lesser
mutual point of view concerning certain types of oak, cedar,
mahogany and redwood. The short-comings of yellow pine, spruce and
cypress were debated.
Eventually speculations were offered over which was the most useless
"Now you take gumwood," said Gubby. "A more worthless type of stuff
was never grooved. A feller gave me a batch of it one time and I
figgered I might make out with it if l could get the job done and
painted before a heavy dew fell on it." He paused and shook his head
as he contemplated this unforgivable error in judgment on his part.
"Lordy, how it does warp!"
Bill nodded supportive agreement and even Red nodded in the
"I was just about to nail up the last plank," Gubby continued, "when
the dad-blasted piece slipped out of my hand and bounced into the
river. Right there, I shoulda knowed enough to let her go but I
fished her out and slung her up on the bank. Well, the sun was hot,
yes sir, it was mighty hot. A minute or two later I took a look at
her and I'll be dog-boned if l didn’t see her quiver from end to
The speaker looked with speculation at his audience as if to measure
credence, or the lack of it, in the faces around him. As usual,
Bolton was expressionless, except he stroked his gut with a gnarled
hand. The ferryman winced slightly. Whistling Bill scratched an area
between his legs and leaned forward in eager anticipation of the
denouncement of this tale. Satisfied with the reception, Gubby
returned to his story.
"Then I come right over by that plank and I watched her like a hawk.
The next thing I see was that one of the edges was a startin' to
curl. She curled up and up until that cussed board started a lookin'
like a stripe on a barber pole."
Red Bolton cleared his throat as if to speak, while a faint grimace
crossed his face, but then he settled back in his chair without
Gubby's voice rose a bit, "And then - wham - she flopped clean over
on her other side!"
The ferryman turned away smiling and spat toward the river.
"You're right," said whistling Bill with satisfaction, "that gumwood
ain't worth nothing."
Next month you will hear the details and solution of a true history
Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
What You Missed
A Roan and Black Evening Dine
Cocktails in the new Blue Star Highway home of John Newland and Doug
McIntosh followed by dinner for 12 downstairs in the Roan and Black
If you haven't seen their new Gallery, please stop by at 3315 Blue
Star Highway, Saugatuck. The Gallery is open Sunday & Monday from 11
to 5 and Thursday thru Saturday from 11 to 7
You Are Invited
ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27
The SDHS Board members will again be hosting a chili
supper to show their appreciation to all the SDHS members who have
volunteered their time and efforts during the year for the Society's
many programs and projects.
The event is on Sunday, October 27 at the Old School
House beginning at 6 PM. If you will be attending, please RSVP by
REPLYING to this email.
If you are unable to attend, please accept the
Board's thanks for your support of your Society this year.
submitted by Bill Hess
Nancy Mundinger of Downers Grove, IL and a long time member of the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society passed away September 25th.
She was born September 21, 1938 in Wheaton, Illinois and is survived
by her husband, Fred; a son Fred Mundinger III, (Megan) and three
We Have Graveside Daffodils To Plant
Once again, we will be planting daffodils in Riverside, Douglas and
Taylor Cemeteries on the graves of selected "orphans" (people who
either had no surviving family, or whose family has long ago left
the area - our annual "DDDD project" - Dozen Daffodils for the
If you would like to join the planting crew, give your name to Chris
Yoder at email: email@example.com
or phone 269 857-4327.
Do your Holiday shopping early at the Society's booth in the
The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society Booth at the Blue Star
Antique Pavilion on the Blue Star Highway in Douglas has been a great success!
Stop in to see
the display of Society books and other great items! All proceeds go
for Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society projects. Check us out
Another Edgcomb Autograph
Morgan Edgcomb (1877-1964), the son of William
Edgcomb and Ellen Greenhalgh, was born in Muskegon and came to
Saugatuck as a boy of seven. He sailed the Great Lakes for more than
50 years, serving on the Alabama, the North America and the South
America, all ships of the Georgian Bay Line. For many years he was
ship Captain. He retired in 1947. Thanks to Susan Edgcomb Dickens of
Tempe, AZ for sharing her family materials. Theses have been scanned
and are now part of the digital "Edgcomb Collection" at the SDHS.
Like his sister Nellie, who was featured in last
month's newsletter, he followed the Victorian fad of having an
autograph book, filled with short sentiments and words of wisdom by
his friends. Some of these are as follows:
It begins "Morgan Edgcomb, Saugatuck, Allegan Co.,
Friend Morgan, Apr. 28, 1889
When You are Blind
And cannot see
Put on your specks
And think of me.
(James Brown served as Saugatuck village clerk for
11 years and Township clerk for over 20 years. He was the father of
Bea Finch. He died in 1948 and rests in Riverside Cemetery. Robert
Krause owns a sled which has his name on it.)
Think of me and all my wishes,
When I am home and washing dishes,
Estelle Tedman, Jan. 26, 1886
Never trouble trouble
Till Trouble troubles you
Your friend, Henry Schnobel, Feb. 9, 87
(Henry was to work as a Master Plumber in Chicago
until retirement. He was a member of the Congregational Church, died
in 1960 and is buried at Riverside Cemetery)
Remember me when far far off
Where woodchucks die of whooping cough
Yours truly, Willie Dunton, Jan 31, 1887
(Willard P. Dunton died in 1962 in Portland
This album is a golden spot
In which to write Forget me not
From your friend and school mate
Bertie Pride, Feb 8, 1887
(Gilbert Pride was the son of Edward S. Pride and
Laura Bird, daughter of Henry Bird. His father opened a furniture
store, cabinet shop and also undertaking parlors, continuing the
business until 1897 when he sold and converted his place of business
into a summer hotel, calling it The Maplewood, which remains today.
Gilbert died in 1953 in Patton, California and is buried at
Dear friend Morgan, Feb 2, 1887
Think of me long
Think of me ever
Think of the fun we've had together.
Your friend Lanus Zwemer
(Lanus Zwemer was the son of Adrian Zwemer who
came from Holland with the Van Raalte colony in 1847. Lanus became
an electrical engineer working in Ohio. He died in 1944 and both
Morgan Edgcomb and James Brown were among his pall bearers when he
was interred at Riverside Cemetery.
Away, away, in the dark blue sea
Blow your nose and think of me.
Your friend John Cummings, Jan 26, 1887
(John was the son of Capt. Dennis Cummings and
sailed with his father on the steamers Kalamazoo and Saugatuck.
Later he sailed on the Goodrich lines before engaging in commercial
pursuits in Chicago. He died there in 1921 at a hotel dinner table,
aged 44, and is buried at Riverside Cemetery).
My pen is broke and my ink is blunt
And my hand shakes like a puppy dog tail.
Frank Schnobel, Feb 2 1887
(Frank, a brother of Henry, went to Chicago for
employment in about 1891. He lived, married, and died there in 1944,
at which time his body was returned for burial at Riverside
Cemetery. Friends Morgan Edgcomb and James Brown were among the pall
submitted by Chris Yoder
1830's Bureau of Land
Management Data Added To SDHS On-Line Research Center
Click on the picture for a
higher resolution copy
Thanks to the efforts of property researcher
extraordinaire James Faasen, early land records from the Bureau of
Land Records are now available on line. This includes a wonderful
area map showing the initial land grants. Click
HERE to visit the "Maps" section on our Online Research
submitted by Chris Yoder
Welcome New Members
We would like to welcome the new members who have joined the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society since the last newsletter.
l Rod Aiken & Lynn
McClure, Saugatuck, MI
l Michael E. Rash &
John H. McElwee, Douglas, MI
l Sheryll Van Portfleet,
l Ellen Carnahan & Bill
Daniels, Chicago, IL
l Michael Van Genechten
& Judy McCabe, Grand Rapids, MI
"Well, it's a marvelous night for a Moondance
with the stars up above in your eyes
a fantabulous night to make romance
'Neath the cover of October skies."
--- Van Morrison, Moondance
October is a month of blazing color, moon-filled
nights and spooky winds. It is also the month we say good bye to
the flowers that filled our gardens with amazing color all summer
long. But remember, even though the petals are gone, the seed pods
are not. They can be a delicious meal for our feathered friends.
Please be kind and keep some of the pods on your flowers in your
own garden. Lee will do the same in ours.
The birds and the bees are hot topics at the
monthly garden meetings! First the birds --- the Gerber bird
houses that is. We want to thank Judy Anthrop for taking the time
to research companies to move the houses to the garden. Thoughts
and ideas are being passed around as to how we can move these
beauties. They will be a great addition to our garden. Thanks to
all working on this project.
Now come the bees!
The Garden Committee wants to bring awareness to
our visitors about these amazing little creatures. We would like
to bring a hive into the children's area. No, not a working hive,
but one that children of all ages can take apart and put back
together. Rumor has it there are a number of bee people in our own
little Society. If so, can someone possibly donate an old hive ---
or better yet help us set up an area with information about bees
and their hives. Anyone interested please contact Ruth Johnson at
and we can work on it this winter. Please and Thanks!
We noticed some of our giants are not doing so
well in our garden. Although most of our trees are suffering with
a dead branch or two, one of our beauties needs to come down.
Please know that it bothers us just as much as it bothers you.
Christmas is right around the corner, unlike
Walmart, Target, K-Mart and the rest of the huge stores, you can
give a gift to your loved ones and help out our garden. Gift cards
will be available for you to purchase or better yet how about one
our beautiful benches complete with gift wrapping and name tags!
Please remember daffodils will not be installed
this fall. We will have another bulb party in 2014 to add to our
Volunteer Opportunities. Our little Garden
Gnome recently saw Cynthia Sorensen wiping the history boards at
the museum on a very blustery morning. Now that is dedication.
Thanks to all of you and everything you do to make our gardens
beautiful. Come out, come out wherever you are --- that one
amazing gardener that will help Mike at the museum next year. I
heard the pay wasn't great, but the rewards are amazing. If
interested please contact Mike Economos at
Also we would like to name the plants in our
garden next spring and need someone that is quick on the keyboard.
We will provide you with a list and materials and all you have to
do is type in the names and apply to stake. Really simple and a
ton of fun! Please contact Ruth Johnson if you are that person.
See you next month,
The Garden Committee