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.
Using DNA as an aid in family history research has
come into wide use and no doubt it is the wave of the future. In
this column I will attempt to give you a brief and understandable
explanation of a very complicated subject.
There are three types of DNA tests available for
genealogical testing. Briefly these are Maternal Line [mtDNA],
Paternal Line [Y-DNA], and Autosomal DNA [atDNA].
I will stick to the Autosomal [atDNA] type as I am
familiar with it as presented by Ancestry.com. I submitted a test
sample to Ancestry.com about two years ago and have been receiving
the results for about two years.
Ancestry's Autosomal DNA program procedure is to
compare each sample submitted with every other sample received.
Based on their matching criteria [a future topic here] they
identify matching samples and notify the submitters.
On a weekly basis I receive new match information
consisting of matching family trees links, and common surnames in
the two trees. I then look at the matching tree and for a
connection. Usually there is no obvious connection but in 5-10%
there is. I am particularly interested in Sheridan surname
connections which will lead to the family of Joseph Sheridan born
in the Colonies about 1750. No Eureka! connections yet but I am
confident that day one will come! In the meantime the program has
helped me fill out the many branches of my family tree. I am up to
some 6000 individuals.
Ancestry.com now has a growing data base derived
from analyzing about a half million submittals and their program
results are evolving as their data base grows and DNA research
Stay tuned - more next month.
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, February 19
Thursday, March 5
Thursday, March 19
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 either firstname.lastname@example.org
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 -
contact Jack Sheridan at
269 857-7144 or Chris Yoder at
This newsletter column is produced by Jack
Panoramas – One by One - Piece by Piece - 6
Click on the picture for a
higher resolution copy.
Be patient, it may take a while to download.
Last September I started a new HBC series of
panoramic photographs taken from the top of Mt. Baldhead. We
history buffs are fortunate to have photos from this great
vantage point over a long time period. The photos appearing
span some fifty years, are accurately dated, and in most cases
the photographer is identified.
Other factors make these photos special. First,
earlier photos had few mature trees to block the view. Second,
the photographers used quality cameras with large glass plate
negatives 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 December we had full photos of 1895 and 1906
without comment, last month was the south one third of 1895
and 1906. This month is the middle of 1895 and 1896. The 1906
photographer is unknown but may have been Herman Simonson.
The numbers are keyed to my comments about
points of interest.
9 - Currently the Singapore Bookstore and the
Saugatuck Gallery which are next door to the Women’s Club.
10 - Currently part of Renuar and Wine Sellers shops.
11 – Currently the White House Restaurant [now closed]
12 – Was the Clipson Brewery.
13 – Interesting little peninsula in front of the Griffin and
Henry sawmill. This was a shallow muddy area filled with
sawdust which was used for bridge approach fill in 1936.
14 - 1871 Wooden bridge which was replaced by a steel truss
bridge in 1902.
15 –Was a fine home built in the 1850s by lumber baron O. R.
Johnson - now site of bank parking lot.
16 – Pumpernickels Restaurant
17 – Currently empty shops and the Boardwalk Ice Cream shop on
18 – Today the spot of Wicks Park gazebo
Next month we have the same panoramas with
detail of the area to the south of town.
This newsletter column is written by Jack Sheridan.
From California Gold Fields to Allegan
Seth W. Loveridge (Dec. 20, 1824-Nov. 21, 1906)
From the SDHS Archives
(Click on either image for a higher resolution copy)
immigrants to Allegan County would come here from the East, but one
in particular had a long trip back from the far American West before
settling in Ganges Township.
Seth W. Loveridge
was born in Monroe Co., NY in 1824 to Caleb and Mary (Loomis)
Loveridge, natives of Massachusetts and Connecticut respectively.
Seth's father served in the War of 1812, and as a result became a
strong supporter of Andrew Jackson. His maternal grandfather, Jacob
Loomis, was a soldier of the Revolutionary War.
Seth moved to
Genesee County, NY to work as a farm laborer for three years. On
August 6, 1849 he married Catherine Collins, daughter of Joseph and
Mehitable Collins. Soon after that, he took his bride to Southfield,
Oakland County, MI and farmed there for three years. Then, in 1852,
the lure of the California gold fields called him westward. He
worked in the mines for three years and "was very successful in that
venture." Back he came to Michigan in 1855, settling in Allegan
County, and buying a farm of 140 acres. The land was densely wooded,
but he erected a "shanty" and starting making improvements, later
building a substantial residence.
Seth and Catherine
had two children: Judson who died in 1861 at age 11; and Frank, who
was born October 13, 1856. Frank was to marry Miss Philena Belle
Snyder and have children Catherine B. and George S. Seth's first
wife died in 1861, and he subsequently married her sister Charlotte.
By the second marriage he had a daughter, May B. "Mertie" (who
married F. J. Silcox). May died in 1897, age 32, leaving a 5 day old
infant daughter, Mamie, and a son Wyman L.
father-in-law, Joseph Collins, had moved to Saugatuck (Newark) in
1849 according to Joseph's 1881 obituary and he appears there in the
1850 census with his children. In old age, Joseph moved in to live
with Seth and his wife. The obituary for Joseph (1795-1881) says
that he first voted for President in 1816 for James Monroe, and had
voted in every Presidential election since that time except for that
of 1844. Although his Taylor cemetery marker lists wife Mahitable,
we don't know if she rests there, as she died in 1843 before his
reported move to Allegan County.
In 1864, Seth
enlisted in Company H, 13th Michigan Infantry. He served as a
private under Gen. Sherman, and his regiment took part in the famous
march through Georgia, and the battles at Savannah and Bentonvilie.
The unit participated in Grand Review at Washington, and he received
his honorable discharge at Detroit, June 20, 1865. (From Wikipedia -
The Grand Review of the Armies was a military procession and
celebration in Washington, D.C., on May 23 and May 24, 1865,
following the close of the American Civil War. Elements of the Union
Army paraded through the streets of the capital to receive accolades
from the crowds and reviewing politicians, officials, and prominent
citizens, including the President of the United States, Andrew
Click on the image for a higher resolution copy
home from the War, Seth was to become an active member of the Jacob
Fry Post, No. 46, Grand Army of the Republic, of Ganges, and his
name appears among the Civil War Veterans on the monument in Taylor
Cemetery, where his body now rests.
Seth and his wife
were members of the Baptist Church, and in politics, Mr. Loveridge
was a Republican, "though in early life he supported Democratic
principles" (meaning he probably followed his father in supporting
Gen. Jackson). Beside his home farm, he owned forty acres in
Saugatuck Township, twenty acres of which was in peaches, five acres
in apples and one acre in grapes. It was said of him "He is a man
whose cordial, kindly spirit has made him warm friends".
references include: History of Allegan County, Michigan, by Dr.
Henry F. Thomas, 1907; and Portrait and Biographical History of
Kalamazoo Allegan and Van Buren Counties, Chapman Bros., 1892.
submitted by Chris Yoder
Welcome New Members
We would like to welcome the following new members who have joined the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society since the last newsletter.
David Moore & David Blatt, Saugatuck, MI
Paul Marineau, Douglas, MI
Helen DeGeatano, Douglas, MI
Todd Noonan, Fennville, MI
Todd & Kim Martinson, Saugatuck, MI
What You Missed
Richard Donovan and Pat Dewey
On Wednesday, February 11 at the Old School House,
Richard Donovan presented the history of the Pump House and the
early water system in Saugatuck.
The presentation focused on the state of
fire-fighting in town before the new water system, the process to
approve and design the system, the role of part-time resident and
engineer John Alvord, and the subsequent renovation of the building
and lease to the Society. A review of the procedure to place the
building on the National Register was also presented. Lots of photos
from the Society's archives were included.
If you are interested in viewing the complete
HERE. Be patient, the file will take a while to
During the Q&A following Richard's talk, Pat Dewey
discussed the "Birth of the Museum". Click
HERE for her article.
Mark Your Calendar
2015 Monthly Programs and Tuesday Talks
If you would like
to sponsor one of the Monthly Programs, please
REPLY to this email and we'll be in touch. Sponsorships are $150
March 11, Postcards
with Jack Sheridan
The Big Pool + Other Water Recreation
sponsored by Lynne Snyder
May 13, Rosebay
Nursery Field Trip
History of Coral Gables
sponsored by Jolene Jackson & Lonnie Hannaford
Field Trip to
August 12, Society
Picnic at the Old School House
Commercial & Recreational
Fire, Storm and
Ice: Shipwrecks sponsored by the
Star of Saugatuck, Marilyn & Bruce Starring
December 13, Holiday
If you would like
to sponsor one of the Tuesday Talks, please
REPLY to this email and we'll be in touch. Sponsorships are $150
and Howard Rochte
7, Blue Star Trail
14, Drone Photography of River and
21, Bee Keeping
28, Perimeter: Photo Talk by Author Kevin Miyazaki
4, Peach Belt School
11, Invasive Species: On Land and Water
18, Water and Art (watercolor painting?)
25, Ship Building in Saugatuck
sponsored by the Star of Saugatuck, Marilyn &
"One kind word can warm three winter
--- Japanese Proverb
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! It is cold outside.
Imagine that in just a few short weeks, the little Snowdrops will be
blooming, snow or no snow. The days are getting longer and the birds
are starting to sing. We know that soon our garden will come alive .
. . once again. In the meantime, a little patience and a lot of
planning will keep the Landscape Committee busy.
The Root Camp committee is also very busy. We
had meetings with both the Douglas and Fennville Elementary
principals, and are hoping to provide scholarships to our local
kids. Kim Sharda was instrumental in helping us develop a Root
Camp scholarship form. We are also so very proud to announce
that campers will be able to register on-line this year. With the
much needed assistance from Jim Cook, on-line registration will be
ready to go in March. Many, many thanks to Kim and Jim. We couldn't
have done it without their help. What a great community we live in.
Please start thinking of all those kids who would love to go to
HERE for an article that will appear in the Commercial
Record's Allegan County Community Foundation's Non-Profit Spotlight
insert this coming April on this summer's Root Camp.
Until next month,
The Landscape and Root Camp Committees
We are very excited to announce a potential project
that takes history to the streets! Entitled "Framing History", this
project is based on a highly successful program of the Provincetown
Art Association and Museum in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
The plan involves installing a series of frames in
front of historic sites in Saugatuck and Douglas. On one side of the
frame, visitors could view a historic photograph or a photograph of
a painting, while the other side remains empty, showing visitors
what the same site looks like today. This dramatic "then-and-now"
effect will help connect us to people, places and events of the
HERE to see an example of the frames from Provincetown and
HERE to learn more about the Provincetown Exhibition. The
graphic below shows an example of Framing History for the Old School House!
The frames are not just for looking . . .they're also for
sharing. Visitors will have a hashtag (see note below) they can use while posting
photos to social media, allowing all of us to become historians and
share our past with the people of the present.
To pursue this
fascinating project, we need your support! The History Center will
need volunteers to design, construct and install our frames
throughout the community. Just REPLY to this email if you
would like to help with this new Society project and we'll be in
Our very special thanks go to Monty
Collins, who saw the Provincetown project and encouraged us to
pursue something similar. We are fortunate to have community members
like Monty, who always have a keen eye for ways to enrich the lives
of our citizens.
Note: So, what exactly is a hashtag? When users
post a photo to a social media site (e.g. Facebook, Instagram,
Twitter, etc.) typing a hashtag along with a phrase (e.g. #FramingHistory)
allows anyone searching the site for that term to see your photo. If
we all use the same hashtag, we can create our own community album
of locals enjoying history!
Fresh from Facebook
This month we have
a trivia question fresh from our
Facebook page. When a circus came in town in the late 19th
Century, what kind of animal got loose and paid a visit to Miller
Robinson's souvenir shop at 526 Butler Street?
Miller Robinson and his shop, undated.
(Click on the image for a higher resolution copy.)
Give up, the answer
is at the bottom of this newsletter.
Recent Additions to the Archives
(Folders that held a package of sewing needles.) They were given
away as promotional items from 1910 to as late as the 1960s.
Please REPLY to
this email if you have a story to tell about the recent
submitted by Mary Voss
Who remembers Buck Barry?
Click on the image for a higher resolution copy
Buck Barry, born
Chester Joseph Burry, February 12, 1917 was an early TV personality
out of Grand Rapids, MI. He hosted a highly rated Children's program
on WOOD TV called the Buckroo Rodeo.
During the Buckaroo
Rodeo days an audience of boys and girls sat in bleachers on the
stage to watch Popeye cartoons and The Three Stooges shorts. Barry
warning his young viewers not to try a particular dangerous stunt,
such as hitting someone in the head with a hammer. He occasionally
sang a cowboy song, did a rope trick or twirled his twin six guns.
The sponsors provided the kids with candy, potato chips (one of the
sponsors was BeMo Potato Chips) and other snacks. The show ran in
the afternoons for more than a decade from the mid-1950s to the late
1960s. One of the shows features was a section called, "Can Buck Do
It?" where Barry attempted various feats requested by his TV
audience such as tearing a phone book in half.
1960s Buck Barry's big Buick station wagon was well known among the
children in West Michigan. Gold in color, the Buick had fake wood
sides with "Buck Barry" written in large cursive on both sides in
real rope. The hood was adorned by a large pair of forward looking
television years in Michigan, Barry was known for visiting and
performing for children in local hospitals. Barry retired in the
early 1970s to El Paso, Texas where he lived for 25 years before he
died in 1997. submitted
by Mary Voss