Saturday, October 25 - 7:30 PM
at the Old School House
$50 per person
Time Is Running Out!
The annual Halloween party has become a favorite for
many members and friends of the Society. This year's party will be
hosted by Sharon Kelly, Janie & Jim Flemming, Ken Carls and Howard &
Judi Vanderbeck. Don your costume (or not) and come
to the Old School House for drinks and dinner preceding the
fantastic Douglas Halloween Parade.
Still a few tickets left!
your ticket, REPLY to this email
and we'll be in touch.
Welcome from Jack Sheridan and Chris Yoder, leaders
of the Society Family History Group.
Please visit us to see what we are all about and
most importantly, share "lessons learned" about the many tools
available for family history research.
Census information -
see the September SDHS newsletter - is valuable in the
research of family history. Another information source is the
searchable family tree. The
web sites have massive databases of family trees.
requires a subscription but the other two are free of charge.
These family trees have been created by family member researchers
like you and me, who often have family lore data not found
elsewhere. The researchers upload their trees and make them public
in hope that others will connect to their tree.
Then of course, this family tree value is enhanced
greatly by the ability to easily search them. Enter the barest of
search data and search engines makes quick work of checking data
in millions of trees!
Believe me this information is a great source of
family history clues! So how about giving a search of family trees
a try? All you need is the ability to use the internet plus a bit
of patience and perseverance.
Got questions on how to get going? That is what we
are for! Call or email us and remember, the SDHS family history
group’s regular meeting schedule is the first and third Thursday
of every month at the OSH.
Upcoming meetings are:
Thursday, November 6
Thursday, November 20
Thursday, December 4
Remember, your family history does not have to have
any connection to the Saugatuck-Douglas area !!!
Still not sure how to get going? Let us provide a
helpful jump start by recording 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
We will soon be back to you with readily found data
and with suggestions on the next steps to take. Further help is
readily available from the Family History group. Again, the only
requirement is membership in the SDHS.
Mayflower ancestor, Revolutionary War vet, great
grandparents? Still wondering? Questions/ comments/advice/needs -
269 857-7144 Chris Yoder
firstname.lastname@example.org 269 857-4327.
This news letter column is produced by Jack
Click on the picture for a
higher resolution copy
Panoramas – One by One - Piece by Piece - 2
Last month started a new
HBC series of panoramic photographs taken from the top of Mt
Baldhead. We are very fortunate to have photos from this great
vantage point over a long time period. The photos to appear
span some fifty years, are accurately dated, and in most cases
the photographer identified.
Other factors make them
special. First, when the first photo was made in 1874 most of
the town trees had been logged off and there were few to block
the view. Second, the photographers used quality big glass
plate cameras that were capable of capturing details. Though
most of the glass plates are lost, the prints made from them,
faithfully contain the details. When scanned at high
resolution, the images yield marvelous results.
In order for you to see
a historical progression, I have selected a partial view of
the town at one date and contrasted that with a view of the
same area at a different date. The numbers on the images are
the key to my brief comments about the images.
I have started with the
earliest photo, taken in 1874, photographer unknown. This is
contrasted with the same area shot in 1895. The photographer
in 1895 was Miller Robinson, professional photographer and
grandfather of Peggy Boyce.
12 – Now Saugatuck
Women’s Club – Then the Brueckman home. Corner of Hoffman and
13 – Now the Whitehouse Restaurant – Brown family residence.
14 – Now Coghlin Park and east – then Griffin and Henry
15 – Logs rafted waiting to be milled at the sawmill
16 – Manmade peninsula from sawdust and fill
17 – Now Chemical Bank parking lot – then Brittain house built
by O R Johnson ca 1852
18 – Now, Saugatuck Drugstore – then Saugatuck House Hotel
19 – Now Sinbad shop – then probably a retail store or
Commercial Record office
20 – What is this? Best guesses are firewood for the Heath
gristmill which was steam powered or perhaps hemlock bark used
in the tanning process, awaiting shipment.
Next month the 1874 view
moves to the left again. Stay tuned!
This newsletter column is written by Jack Sheridan.
Welcome New Members
We would like to welcome the following new members who have joined the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society since the last newsletter.
Ken & Tana Winston, Fennville, MI
Denise Zoeterman, Grand Rapids, MI & Saugatuck, MI
Jonathan Karmel & Karin Hopman, Douglas, MI
Marilyn Nor, Saugatuck, MI
Complete Set of "The
Dope" Now Available
Thanks to SDHS
member Howard Schultz, we now have a complete set of the local
WWII newsletter "The Dope". The previously missing issues have
been scanned and put up on the Society's web site. Just click
recently been able to access some family papers which included a
full set of "The Dope" belonging to his father, Howard C. Schultz
(1904-1972). Howard counts 47 Douglas service members listed (out
of the town's wartime population of around 400 people). Reports
from the field included Europe, North Africa, the South Pacific
and stateside postings. Local news about high school sporting
events, hunting, and fishing were popular topics.
(1891-1957) edited this twice monthly publication for our service
members away from home from 1942 to 1945. Included in the set is a
letter to Howard's mother from Hershel's sister, Grace K Gjesdahl
(1895-1980), thanking her for loaning the set for her to copy.
These papers are now a part of the SDHS archives.
Time To Plant Daffodils!
Want to Help?
It is that
time once more for our bulb-planting volunteers to plant daffodils
at the graves of "orphans" in the Riverside, Douglas, and Taylor
cemeteries ("orphans" being those without living descendants, or
whose families have moved away). Each year the group places a
Dozen Daffodils for the Dearly Departed (D4) at
selected sites and the bulbs have been coming up each spring for
Ky Walz and Newt Belgiun
This year, selections will include a group of folks
prominently connected to "The Dope": local barber Ky Walz; his
client pictured above, one armed wood carver Newton Belgium (who
Howard Schultz recalls paying 50 cents each for duck decoys back
in the late 1940s), and Dope editor Hershel Konold and his family.
The group will gather at Riverside cemetery on Sunday, October 26
at 2 pm. If you are interested in helping to plant, or in donating
some bulbs or bone meal, contact Chris Yoder at 269-857-4327.
submitted by Chris Yoder
Antique Pavilion Booth News
This month we
celebrated the one year anniversary of our booth at the Saugatuck
Antique Pavilion. A profit of $3,134.82 was realized. This
included the sales of 48 books ($1,011.81) previously published by
the Saugatuck Douglas Historical Society. We continue to receive
items from Society members for the booth and are grateful for the
quality and quantity of items we received in the past.
After one year
of sales we realized we needed a larger area especially to display
the historic photos that are such a popular item. When the booth
next to us became available, we moved into that one, more than
doubling our space.
Presbyterian Camps were closed we were allowed to take whatever
was nailed down. There were a number of signs we took down and
they are for sale in the booth. If you would like a really cool
remembrance, check these out at Booth #411 in the green carpeted
Part of our
responsibility towards having a booth is to volunteer 8 hours a
month. Two people each take a four hour shift. If you are
interested in meeting people and love looking at antiques this
might be a job for you. For more information Contact the archives
office on Monday afternoons at 269.857.7901 or e-mail us at
email@example.com. A big thank you goes to
Cynthia Sorensen, Sandra Thieda, Ken Kutzel and Mary Voss for
coordinating this project.
Mary Voss and Ken Kutzel
The Monster Mash
Mash Bash was the first collaboration of the Saugatuck-Douglas
Historical Society and the Saugatuck-Douglas Library for
The event drew
97 people into the OSH during the event, which ran from 1 to 3PM
on Saturday, October 18.
History in Our Backyard: A Story of the many Surf Boats named
There were a
number of "Gallinipper" surfboats. The first one, according to
James Sheridan, Saugatuck Through the Years (pp. 80-91) was
the old (abandoned) iron Francis boat of 1854, one of the
first U.S. government regulation lifesaving "surf boats," that
members of the Saugatuck Sea Scouts restored in 1929-30 and refit
as a training vessel, naming it Galllinipper. It was used
by the Sea Scouts until the organization disbanded in the 1930s.
Then, with the revival of the Sea Scouts after WW II, Carl Bird
and others put the iron hulk back into commission with a rudder
and centerboard to make her into a better sailing craft. But it
too was abandoned when the wood-lapstrake one that Frank Lovejoy
worked on (see below) replaced it, taking the same name:
Gallinipper. Finally, our original 1854 boat (one of 2
remaining in the U.S.) was restored and now rests in the History
Center boathouse - a testimony to the heroic and sometimes tragic
history of Lake Michigan and a big note in the origins of the U.S.
historic time, there have been four Gallinippers - the
first three being the old iron Francis boat of 1854. A
salute to the SDHS restoration team.
The Society is
in process of submitting the1854 iron Francis (aka
Gallinipper) surfboat (at the Society's History Center garden)
for inclusion on the United States Register of Historic Sites.
Below is Frank
Lovejoy’s description (and photos) of the Sea Scouts "wood"
I took these pictures (not sure of the date) in the mid 50's
spring launch. In the pics are Charlie Gilman, our scout master,
Stan Showers, in the white bucks, Guy Francis, whose parents owned
the Francis Food Store, Frank Fiala at the bow of the boat and Don
Kuehne in his runabout. Don's Mom owned a restaurant in Saugatuck.
Other members not shown here were Ralph Birkholz, Ted Nielson,
Mackie Clough, Pat Devine.
time with the scouts, Charlie acquired a 20' sailboat from a
person in Holland. The boat had broken its moorings, banged into a
dock and caved in the port bow and snapped the mast. It was a fun
learning project for our group. While some worked on restoring the
hull, Ralph Birkholz and I were assigned to repair the mast. We
contacted Mr. Forester who at the time worked a Chris Craft. We
explained what our project was and in a few days we were called to
his home to pick up a fabricated mast. It was in the rough. Four
pieces of timber glued together that didn't look like a mast at
all other than it was the correct length. After many hours of
planning, sanding, sealing and varnishing the mast was stepped in
the completely repaired hull. A job well done. Charlie spent many
hours with the crew teaching us the fine points of sailing not to
mention seamanship, boat handling and responsibility.
I have no
idea what happened to the sail boat. As for the Gallinipper? While
I was in the Navy I heard that Charlie had decided for some reason
to pull up the self baling decks and make some changes whatever
they may have been I don't know.
contributed by Jim Schmiechen
We're #1! We're #1!
The SDHS finished at the top of the pack in the 2014
Keep YOUR ArtsAlive! Campaign sponsored by the Allegan County
Community Foundation, earning a $5,000 bonus!
Thanks to all who voted for us at $1 per vote and to
Board Member Renee Zita and member Val Atkin who led and coordinated
our efforts. And a big, big thanks to the ACCF for this and all they
do for non-profits in the County!
Bill Hess receiving the Society's First Place Award from Theresa
Bray, Executive Director, Allegan County Community Foundation
2014 Monthly Programs
Michigan's Hottest Town Revisited with Mike Sweeney
December 14, Holiday
Party at the SCA
Society's Online Bookstore Now Open
Thanks to Jim Cook,
the Society's online bookstore is now open for your shopping
pleasure. Just click on the image above and start shopping.
"I'm so glad I live in world
where there are Octobers." --- L.M. Montgomery, Anne of
October truly is a month full of
wonder and excitement, from the beauty of the season to the
spookiness of Halloween. What a treat! Even though our gardens are
putting on their final show and getting ready to go to sleep,
plans are happening for the spring. This winter the Garden
Committee will be planning and designing the Children's Garden
through brainstorming sessions and possible field trips to well
known Children Gardens in our area. Although our space is limited
our ideas are not, and we hope to be able to install our plan this
spring for our many visitors. Also in the works is our Peach
Orchard/Pollinator Habitat graphic sign and planting design. Sally
Winthers and Jim Schmeichen are diligently working on a truly
creative information sign for this station, due to be installed
next spring. Many thanks to Joan Donaldson and John Van Hoorhees
for peach crates that we will use in the construction of our sign.
Exciting things are in the works, and we are glad we have the
upcoming winter season to work on them.
We hope to see all those volunteers
that helped us this past season at our annual Chili dinner,
October 26, so we can thank you in person, because, as the saying
goes, we couldn't have done it without you!
Root Camp is on again for
next year and we couldn't be more excited. We will be holding only
one session next summer, June 22-25. Our committee will soon start
meeting for our upcoming camp and we will keep everyone posted as
to what next year's camp will entail.
Until next month,
The Garden and Root Camp Committees
Maxine Jeltema, a member of the
Society passed away recently. Click
HERE for more details,
Hometown Stories: Saugatuck-Douglas Taking Shape Spring Premiere
Michigan Hometown Stories: Saugatuck-Douglas is
continuing towards completion. Generous support from the community
from the beginning of this exciting project has made it all possible
and we thank you, once again. The taping of the program has been
completed. From October 2013 to September 2014, the television crew
has shot multiple days all around the area. We have interviewed over
30 people including residents, business owners, visitors, artists,
and many more. We have captured the natural beauty, many shops and
restaurants, galleries, historic sites, and events in the area
including a Music in the Park, an Art Fair, and a performance at the
SCA. The beauty of our area from winter to autumn has been
completed. Our production partner, the Saugatuck Douglas Historical
Society, has allowed us access to their archives and deep knowledge
of our history.
We are now entering
the phase to edit and finish this exciting program. The original
plan was to produce an hour program and then was revised to
hour due to the budget realities. We are making a new effort
to meet the original goal of a one-hour program to fully tell our
story which will be broadcast on WGVU and distributed to PBS
stations across the United States.
The good news is
that we do not need to double the budget to make the full hour, but
we do need to raise an additional $21,000 to expand the current
show from a
½ hour to an hour. Your
continued support can make this a reality. The footage we have
captured is amazing and we would like to be able to share most of
the vibrant community with everyone.
We hope you will
consider making a new or additional tax-deductible gift to WGVU
Public Media for the Michigan Hometown Stories project. You can
follow the progress of the project at the
michiganhometownstories.org website which includes donor
acknowledgment and features some video highlights of the tapings.
You can also see the highlights on the
WGVU Engage Facebook
page. Donations can be mailed to: WGVU, PO Box 1668, Grand
Rapids, MI 49501 or on-line at
Plans are to
premiere the program in Saugatuck next Spring!
If you would like
to discuss supporting the project to expand it to an hour, please
contact Timothy Eernisse, WGVU Development and Marketing Manager at
firstname.lastname@example.org or our local production consultant, Jon
Helmrich, at 269-857-3574 or
Thank you so much
for your continued support. The program will be a great profile and
promotion of the community for years to come.
submitted by Jon Helmrich
"Thank You" Chili Supper
The SDHS Board's
annual chili supper for all Society volunteers is being held on
Sunday, October 26 at the Old School House beginning at 6 PM.
You'll be treated
by a variety of chilies. Spouses and partners are also invited.
We look forward to
thanking you. An RSVP is not necessary.
Gleason’s Last Trip as Captain of the Star of Saugatuck
Starring's posting on the "You know you're from Saugatuck when . .
." Facebook page. "This was from Saturday, October 11th.
His Captain's license expires this winter and he's not gonna renew
it. Says 35 years is long enough."
Henry is a Society member and long time community leader and
Sinclair Smith, Saugatuck Congregational Pastor, 1886-1888.
Rev. Ed Sinclair Smith and Helen Kingsley Smith
From the 1938
memoirs of Rev. Ed Sinclair Smith (1858-1938), as provided by his
great-great nephew, Byron Smith of Orange, CA. Rev. Smith came from
Monroeville, Ohio and had churches in: Angola, IN; Saugatuck, MI;
Beatrice, NE; before settling in Coalinga, CA. They retired in Eagle
theme was Jesus words 'The Kingdom of Heaven was like Leaven which a
woman took and hid in three measures of meal.' The leavening power
of the Gospel. Sort of a key theme for my entire ministry. I
supplied a church in Northern Michigan as a candidate. They had a
brick church, pipe organ, nice group of young people. On the way
there Dr. Roxx of Port Huron who taught Church Policy told me the
Church was peculiar, as there were two or three hard headed
Unitarians who paid the bills and ran the Church. Told me to soft
pedal my message until I got control. Knowing Ed Smith, I took for
my text 'I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the
Power of God unto salvation to everyone who believeth.' Needless to
say I did not receive the call. Thank God."
"When I arrived at
Oberlin, I found a letter from Dr. Curtiss of Saugatuck asking me to
come as a candidate for that pulpit, at the munificent salary of 70
dollars per year and parsonage. I was disgusted with candidating so
wrote back I would come for one year at terms mentioned, and awaited
the reply. There was an interesting History back of that call. Ed
Pride the treasurer, Dr. Curtiss and Helen Kingsley were in favor of
a young minister, as there was quite a group of young people who
were interested in the work of the church under the leadership of
Miss Kingsley. When a Church meeting was called to act on my letter,
good old Deacon Moffatt thought it risky to call a young preacher
without sight or seeing. It was."
"Miss Kingsley got
up and said they were 100 to one and if the new minister could get
along with them, they ought to get along with him. Ed Pride backed
her up and I received the call. So I packed up our household goods.
I went ahead to survey the field. To my surprise, I found it all the
Railroad at the Mouth of the Kalamazoo River connected with
steamboat to Chicago. When I arrived, Helen Kingsley was visiting
her sister Mrs. Trimm at Park Ridge. Her friends Mrs. Bird, Mather,
Geer all began to tell me what a wonderful girl she was etc. When
she came home, Ed Pride stood behind me saying, 'How do you like
him?' The next time I called, she was, her own sweet self. So I say
'It was love at second sight.' She, with Mrs. Geer and Mrs. Bird,
was the Leader of the young people, vitally interested in the church
work. It did not take me long to realize how indispensable she was
and is. So one day I called and in my tactful way told her, 'I would
take her into my life or put her out of it.' She says I pinned her
up on the wall. She took a week to consider, then consented to
become my wife, providing mother, who was back taking care of
grandfather Platt did not object. She had better sense. When Mrs. Aliber heard of it she said,
'She did not believe it,' that Mr.
Smith was after souls not girls. I told her later I thought Helen
Kingsley had a beautiful soul. When she accepted me she was on a
committee working for self support. Has been working for it ever
since. I was afraid she was working too hard packing peaches, so I
gave her an all year job. She said she married the preacher, his
mother and sister, afterwards including numerous other members of
our branch of the Smith family."
"We planned to marry in the spring. But my generous hearted brother,
Ralph wrote urging us to marry by Christmas. We were
married December 22nd. Dr. Curtiss of Grand Rapids officiating. I
gave him ten dollars. He gave it to the bride. Not having a pocket
she gave it to me, says she has never got it back. I reply I was
never able to get ahead. She was a charming bride. Wore a golden
brown silk. She felt she was called to the ministry as truly as I
was. I agree with her. She has doubled my ministry, shared my entire
live. We loved the same things, loved Christ and His Church and
loved each other what more could you ask?"
I wanted to have a
church wedding, but Helen thought it too sacred. Preferred to have
it in her little home, present Dr. Curtiss, Father and mother
Kingsley, the Dunns from Allegany and daughters Mabel and Helen,
mother and Abbie, Arthur Doud, Dr. Mather. It was a beautiful crisp
It was a beautiful
night indeed. I took my bride to the parsonage. A two story house
with a large yard. The wall paper was very dark, so I had gone to Ed
Prides and ordered new wall paper for our room. As his stock was
limited, I chose a ceiling with a large oval surrounded with flowers
suitable for a Bridal Chamber. Mother thought I was extravagant, but
Helen threw her arms around my neck and called me a dear, so I felt
rewarded. Ralph and Jeanie started from Texas for the wedding. He
to buy my wedding outfit in Chicago. Jeanie was taken worse so they
had to go on to Milan. I had to rustle my outfit in Saugatuck.
Helen's sisters, Annie and May, objected to her marrying a country
preacher on such a ridiculous salary."
"The reason Helen took a week
to consider was she thought it might be her duty to stay and care
for her parents. They were generous and thought first of her
happiness. When at Helen's suggestion I asked father Kingsley for
her hand. He replied, 'She evidently wanted to marry me and they
would not stand in the way. He added with tears in his eyes, I was
taking away the best part of the farm.' I agreed. We planned for a
wedding reception the following week. While I was dressing for the
wedding, I heard a revolver shot and scream. Chris Zwemer a neighbor
boy had shot himself. It took the joy out of my wedding, as he was
dying next door. I was called in at the funeral and assisted the
Douglas Pastor at the Service."
"So we deferred our reception and
called it a church social. When Helen was a young girl she put on a
widow's bonnet and remarked she would like to be married long enough
to be able to wear a widow's bonnet. One night I drank Ergo instead
of lemonade and she was greatly worried. I told her if the Lord took
us up on all of our foolish remarks we could not live long. Annie
came over in the spring. We were riding out to the Bayou, Walter was
sitting between his mother and myself. When he looked up and said,
'Well , I like Uncle Ed anyhow.' Annie blushed furiously and said,
'We did not know Ed.' I had a good year at Saugatuck, rather 22
months. Received 70 members, brought the church to self support. My
first baptisms were interesting. Found two lovely Christian girls
Edith and Edna Hopkins who were not members. I found they had
Baptist training. After foolishly trying to convince them that
sprinkling was equally efficacious I agreed to baptize them at the
mouth of the River. Captain Hopkins took us down the River in a tug
boat to the mouth of the river where the service was held. He was
very much affected, so I told him there was only one thing wrong,
and that was, the father should lead the way. I received the father,
mother, and daughters. While down the river I went up to a small
cottage and baptized child of Phil Neilson, also received him in the
church. Afterwards, he became an influential member of the Sandusky
Church and welcomed me to his lovely home as 'The man who helped him
in the Christian Church!'"
"My first wedding was interesting. A
middle aged man knocked at the door and finally made me understand
he wanted me to marry him to a maiden lady who lived on the hill.
When I got through with the ceremony I sat down to a bounteous
repast. Finally excused myself as we had guests at home. The Groom
followed me out and handed me a bill. I understood that a Minister
gave his first fee to the bride. I felt sorry for her, but l got my
money's worth. My pastorate at Saugatuck was a happy and fruitful
one. One looks back on a pastorate with tenderness. I was ordained
there in July. The ladies served a bounteous repast across the river
in a building in the Park."
"At the ordaining Council I noted that
Helen Kingsley was greatly interested as the theologians fought over
my head, the question of the day was to the probation after death.
She also helped mother get ready for the ordination service. I do
not know that my answer was to the question of death being a
decisive point but probably leaned toward the growing conviction
that God is the same both sides of that change men call death, and
that He will do His best for all men everywhere. He does not change.
Men die at all ages from childhood to old age so in my judgment it
cannot be decisive. You see, I am a good deal of a heretic. But the
great heresy is to claim that God's love ends at the grave. The
dedicatory prayer was a solemn moment setting me apart to the Gospel
ministry. My grandmother's dedication preceded it. I owe much to my
Christian mother and grandmother. They may not care for children's
bodies as scientifically as the young mothers of today, but they did
care primarily for their souls. 1886 was an eventful year for me.
The death of my loved father March 19th. Graduation at Oberlin June
20. Ordination Saugatuck July 20, death of my grandfather Platt. And
crowning it all, my marriage to the sweetest, most unselfish girl I
ever knew who has enriched my life with her love ever since, sharing
each others joys, sorrow and mental and spiritual life. Chums and
After they had moved on to
other pastorates, Rev. and Mrs. Smith, then of Indianapolis,
returned to Saugatuck to bury their infant Ralph Platt Smith in
1893. The child rests in the Riverside cemetery and will be one of
those "orphans" selected this year for daffodils.