LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear SDHS Members,
I was trying to write a SDHS parody to the story, The Night
Before Christmas, but just couldn't get it to rhyme the way it
should and get the message across. Que Sera, Sera didn't fit
I know that a newsletter in December is something that has not been
done in the past, but we want to continue to keep the lines of
communication open all year long. The Society is busy and many
things are happening and much will be happening in 2009. I guess you
could say this is a small historical event.
The recent Holiday Party was a success and it was wonderful to see
so many of you come out, in spite of the weather. A Thank You to
everyone who helped plan the evening and to Mike Johnson and his
hardworking staff at Coral Gables.
SDHS continues to move forward and you should all have received your
membership renewal information in the mail recently. We hope that
you will mail your renewal back to us soon. Your membership is
important to the success of the Society. If you did not receive one,
please let us know by emailing us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the SDHS office at
269.857.5751. For those who have responded, we thank you.
Now for a plug --- we are in need of volunteers to plan the 2009 St.
Pat's Pub Party. Many of our members are away during these cold
winter months and those who remain are reluctant to take on such a
project alone. I would like to suggest that teams of two or three
volunteers work together on different aspects of the party. A team
to work with Mike and his staff at Coral Gables, a team to work on
the auction, a team to work on decorations, the mailing and tickets.
These are just a few examples. If this sounds more manageable and
you are willing to help and be a part of the party, please let me
know. Everyone looks forward to the event every year. You may call
me at 269.561.2305 or email me at
email@example.com. We will
provide a to-do list so that we donít miss anything.
On behalf of the Board I want to wish you all a wonderful holiday
season and all the best in 2009.
I personally wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New
Give a SDHS membership as
a Christmas gift! "Your friends are the most likely new
members of SDHS". It's easy - let's grow! Ed
09 SOCIETY CALENDAR
||The 2009 Society Calendar is now
up on the Society's web site --- click
and be sure to stay current on what's happening this year.
In two months the image blog has been viewed by 115 different users.
The average person looked at 15 pictures. As expected, most users
are from the local area but the site has been viewed by people from
Japan, the Netherlands and from U.S. states including Utah, South
Carolina and Virginia.
to see what all the excitement is about on the Society's new Image
Blog. If you need a little tutorial, click
HERE to go to the Society's November 2008 Newsletter and
scroll down toward the bottom.
By comparison, over a two year period our
Commercial Record on line
archive has been visited 5,000 times. Those users viewed
45,000 pages of the paper.
LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY SHOPPING?
Do it the easy way! Give Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society books.
History by Camera
- Hard Cover $100
History by Camera
- Soft Cover $30
To place your order, contact Fred Schmidt by REPLYING to this
e-mail or by phone at 269-857-1620. We accept cash, checks or credit
WANTED. WANTED. WANTED.
For upcoming 2008 Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum's 2000
Exhibition: "Summertime: A Century of Leisure and Fun on the
Saugatuck area Lake Michigan Shore" - for loan, your
photos, recollections, home-movies, memorabilia, souvenirs, menus?
theater programs? post cards? hotel items? sport equipment? fish
photos and boat photos? a water ski? cottage stuff, period beach
toys, and so on.
With particular interest in documenting the period since 1940 - but
we will take the subject back to the 1890s. Should be
Saugatuck-Douglas area related.
Contact Jim Schmiechen ASAP - 269.414.9199 or
James.Schmiechen@cmich.edu. Your help will be greatly
appreciated by the entire design/concept team of your museum.
Photos will be digitized and returned for quick loan turn around. Or
would you like to join in plan/install/manage this exhibit?
Photos courtesy of Janet Schmidt
Historic Marker located in front of Saugatuck City
Looking for a fun outing over the holidays? Maybe it's time to check
out the Singapore and South Haven exhibits at the Kalamazoo Valley
Museum. Located in the permanent history gallery on the second
floor, the Singapore exhibit tells the story of this boom-to-buried
town at the mouth of the Kalamazoo River. The glory years of South
Haven as a Jewish summer resort are featured in an exhibit, too.
Temporary exhibits on Native American quilts from the Great Lakes
region, and one about toys from the 50s and 60s are also worth your
The Kalamazoo Valley Museum, at 230 N. Rose Street in downtown
Kalamazoo just north of the Radisson, is planning a complete
overhaul of its history gallery, which is slated for completion in
2010. So you do have some time to catch the Singapore and South
Haven exhibits. You might want to go soon, however, and also take a
walk through the holiday glitz of Bronson Park to the Kalamazoo
Institute of Arts. Currently showing there is "Spared from the
Storm", a truly wonderful exhibit of masterworks from the New
Orleans Museum of Art, which runs until February 8th. This traveling
exhibit is helping the NWMA get back on its feet following Katrina
and Kalamazoo is its only venue in the Midwest.
Admission to the KVM and KIA is free. "Spared from the Storm"
tickets are $10 for non-members and $5 for members, although
everyone pays $5 on Fridays. Check out
for directions and schedules.
WHO IS THE OLDEST PERSON IN THE SAUGATUCK-DOUGLAS CEMETERIES?
by Chris Yoder
With the recent passing of SDHS stalwart Sylvia Randolph at the age
of 103, the community loses not only a much beloved citizen; but
also one of the oldest in the history of
Who was the oldest?
Saugatuck Township records show that a Lucy Picket died in 1882, is
buried at Riverside Cemetery, and claims she was the "oldest age,
115 years old". These records also say '"VERY OLD AGE died at
Saugatuck, somewhere in Potters field". This "fact" is supported by
the entry in the Commercial Record at the time.
She is also mentioned in an 1882 issue of THE PHRENOLOGICAL
JOURNAL AND LIFE ILLUSTRATED, which cites her age at death as
115, followed by two gentlemen at 106, and others over 100.
So was Lucy the oldest buried in Saugatuck? No! In fact she
was not really 115 years old at all. The 1880 census
shows that Lucy Picket, age 81 born New York, was living in Bear
Lake Twp, Manistee Co., Michigan. She is shown as "adopted mother"
in a household with John Montee, age 27, and his wife Caroline, age
26. The state of Michigan death records include a listing for: "Lucy
Picket - Date of death: 22-Apr-1882; Place of death: Saugatuck,
Allegan Co; County of Death: Manistee (sic); Sex: Female; Race:
White; Marital Status: Widowed; Age: 84 years 3 months 16 days;
Cause of Death: old age; Birthplace: New York; Occupation:
Speculator." She rests someplace in the Riverside Cemetery Potterís
Field without a gravestone.
There are, in fact, six individuals older than
Sylvia in our local cemeteries, all at Riverside. The
oldest of these is Mabel Dunseth Howson, who, with her
husband Louis, summered at their Shorewood community cottage for
over 70 years. Louis was the President of the Shorewood Association
for over 50 years, and was a partner in the firm of Alvord, Burdick,
and Howson. Mr. Alvord designed and put in the Saugatuck Water Works
in 1904, and it was through him that the Howson family came to adopt
Saugatuck as their yearly vacation spot.
Mabel Howson and husband Louis
Mabel at 103 years
Those older than Sylvia (all at Riverside
Howson, Mary Mabel - Block-C, R-S, L-3, Gr
#1 (Jul. 25, 1888 -Sep. 2, 1993) (105y, 1m, 8d)
Erickson, Lillian, - Block-8, R-28, L-17, Gr #1 (Aug. 16,
1895-Aug. 21, 2000) (105 years 5days)
Wright, Edna Barr - Block 8, R-25, L-13, Gr # 5 (Jun. 23,
1900-Feb. 5, 2005) (104y, 7m, 13d)
Edna Barr Wright
Wagner, Frederick John - Block-7, R-28,
L-9, Gr#1 (Aug. 4, 1859- Jan. 11, 1964) (104 y, 5m, 7d)
Konecy, Hazel Blanche - Block 1, R-OOE,
L-5, Gr 2 (Mar. 24, 1900-Aug. 31, 2004) (104y, 5m, 7d)
Thomas, Elizabeth - Block-1, R-2, L-8, Gr #1 (Jul. 1,
1891-Oct. 1, 1995) (104y, 3m)
Centenarians younger than Sylvia, (at Riverside) were:
Flack, Winifred - Block-1, R-H, L-6, Gr #3 (Sep. 15,
1901-Dec. 16, 2002) (101y, 3m, 1d)
Arends, Emma Heeringa - Block-6, R-19, L-14, Gr #1
(c1835-Nov. 4, 1936)
Walz, Helen - Block-A, R-H, L-7, Gr #3 (Aug. 30, 1898-May
6, 1999)(100y, 8m, 6d)
Zinke, Dorothy - Block-C, R-T, L-1, Gr #1, cremains (Mar.
28, 1901-Jan. 28, 2002)(100y, 10m)
Till, Augusta - Block-8, R-26, L-14, Gr #4 (Dec. 5,
1893-May 20, 1994) (100y, 4m, 15d)
Cobb, Frances A. - Block-8, R-28, L-19, Gr #1 (May 8,
1874-Dec. 18, 1974)
And at the Douglas Cemetery
Ash, Elizabeth Williams - Range 2E Lot-009 #4 (Apr. 12,
1851-Oct. 13, 1953) (102y, 6m, 1d)
For more information on these and other folks
buried in the local cemeteries, visit the Society's "On Line
Research Center" by clicking
Anyone having a good photo to share of these or
any of the other people in these local cemeteries, contact Chris
Yoder at: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE SOCIETY
To become a member or renew your membership select from the
Send check payable to the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society to:
PO Box 617, Douglas, Michigan 49406. You can also click
HERE for a Society Membership Application.
Send items for the newsletter to: Fred Schmidt, PO Box
617, Douglas MI
49406 or email
MUSEUM AND TECH CENTER
The Saugatuck-Historical Museum is located in the
historic Pump House at the foot of Mt. Baldhead on the west bank of
the Kalamazoo River. The Museum is currently closed and will open
Memorial Day weekend 2009 with a new exhibit tentatively titled:
"Summertime: One Hundred
Years of Leisure at the Lake Michigan Shore"
The Society's Technology Center is open Monday from 1
to 4 p.m., Tuesdays 10 a.m. to noon and Wednesday 9 a.m. to noon.
Society Phone: 269 857-5751
Museum Phone: 269 857-7900
Tech Center Phone 269 857-7901