Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society
Buffet Dinner & Sundae Bar
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Coral Gables 6:00 pm
$23.00 per person
Send Checks made out to:
6957 Lakeshore Court
Fennville, MI 49408
Deadline: November 30
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
It has been six months since the new board was entrusted with
implementing the revised structure to carry the Society forward. The
first task was to determine the roles and responsibilities of the
Board-At-Large so that we could strengthen communications between
the committees and the Board. The Board-At-Large (Liaisons) was
asked to work with committees to determine the goals and a budget
for 2009. Up to this time, we asked that all committees maintain a
"business as usual" function so that the momentum of time, talent
and financial support would not be lost.
On October 24, the Board gathered for a full-day workshop to listen
to the reports and to allow the board to discuss and determine the
best actions to bring communication Society-wide and bring a more
collaborative effort that would flow through all the committees. I
must say this meeting was very enlightening. For a community of this
size, our historical society is of the quality that is enviable by
other historical societies. Congratulations. We truly have a
goldmine of talent and passion.
To channel this collaborative effort, processes and procedures are
presently being drafted and the concept was shared with those at the
meeting on November 12. Instead of the chart showing a top down
approach, we are reversing it to show a bottom up approach to draw
on the expertise of this Society. An example is that instead of
going to your currently assigned Liaison, the committee would
present a project idea and ask any one of the Board-At-Large members
to "sponsor" them. This way the entire committee will have ownership
for the project. This project will then be presented to the board to
ensure the project is mission related, either directly or indirectly
and that it will fit the budget or we have resources to draw upon.
We then look across the Society to tie it all together and use all
resources for success.
As promised six months ago, the Board will be meeting with the
committees to discuss this new plan and to have a two-way dialog and
follow up to the information compiled over the last several months.
The first meeting is with the Tech Committee. We look forward to
meeting with all of you.
We are indeed moving forward and while it may seem like nothing is
moving as fast as we wish, we want to make sure it is done
correctly. Stay tuned as more details will be forthcoming.
With the economic downturn, our goals to reach financial funding to
finish the Old School House Discovery Center and maintain the
Society as a whole will be more of a challenge. If you know of
anyone that would like to help us complete the building, let us
know. Any non-restrictive contributions will be greatly appreciated.
We are pleased to announce that SDHS is sponsoring the Thursday
Night at the Movies at the OSHDC. The library offers free movies and
last Thursday was a great success. I hope to see you at the movies
The Volunteer Thank You was a great success and we have provided a
few pictures of those in attendance in this newsletter and we were
able to get a sneak preview of the SuperMap. It has been suggested
that we host a similar event in late January or early February. Stay
To all who are headed to warmer climates, we wish you safe travels
and just think you will be kept in the loop with the e-Newsletter.
I hope to see all of you at the Holiday Party on December 7. Tickets
are available until November 30.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving; we have much to be thankful for.
THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS
The Board of Directors of the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society
invited all of the 2008 Society volunteers to a thank you party on
Sunday, October 26. The festivities began at the Douglas Union
School where the Board served a chili supper buffet. Board members
prepared and served different chili recipes. Recipes ranged from
chicken chili and vegetarian chili to "the works" chili. Corn bread
and chips accompanied the chili.
Bill Hess and Mike Mattern enjoy chili served by
After the chili supper, the group of about 80 traveled to the SDHS
Museum for delicious cake, coffee, and a preview of the new
Jim Schmiechen, museum chairman, explained the development of the
permanent wall size map and the detailed workings of the computer.
Never has the Society had such instant access to this quality and
quantity of local history information. This is another milestone in
the work of the Society and will be available to the public when the
museum opens Memorial Day weekend 2009.
Lyons (Mary & Dick) and Lyon (Al & Dottie) enjoying
the new SuperMap display
ARE YOU E-CONNECTED?
Are you E-connected to the Society? If not, you may be missing a
Over half of the members are now on the Society's e-mail address
list. E-connected members not only receive their monthly Newsletter
electronically, but they also receive meeting and Society event
reminders, notice of local events of interest to Society members and
news of volunteer opportunities.
Most importantly, the Society still spends over $1,000 annually to
print and mail Newsletters to members who do not receive it via
e-mail. If you have an e-mail address, its easy to add your e-mail
address to the Society's e-mail list. Just REPLY to this
e-mail or go to the Society’s web site
www.sdhistoricalsociety.org and click on the e-news logo or call
Fred Schmidt at 269-857-5751 --- you’ll be glad you did!
RECOGNIZING 2008 MUSEUM VOLUNTEER HOSTS & AN INVITATION TO JOIN THE
2009 HOSTING TEAM
This year 58 Society members hosted almost 7,000 visitors to the
Saugatuck-Douglas History Museum during this season’s 117-day
exhibition. Special thanks to the following members who were this
year’s “top” hosts:
award-winning museum is free and is operated without a paid staff.
The Museum continues to be a West Michigan destination for people
from all over the globe.
The key to our success is our members who
volunteer at the Museum. Talk with your fellow members who have
hosted in the past. You’ll learn hosting is a great opportunity to
meet interesting people while learning more about your community’s
history. If you would like to be added to the 2009 hosts’ roster,
contact Bill Hess at (269) 857-1081 or by e-mail at
ADULT STUDY GROUPS
Years of Leisure at the Lake Michigan Shore
Oval Beach Parking Lot - 1959
For a major
exhibition on summer life in a resort area and all it entails, to open in
May of 2009 --- we are looking for you to JOIN IN: with PHOTOS? OBJECTS? IDEAS?
for more details on how you can become part of next year's Museum
AN ARTIST'S LIFE
One of Sylvia Randolph's last paintings
The members of the Society were sorry to hear of the death of our
esteemed member Sylvia Randolph. Sylvia supported the Society and
its projects with donations and service. Over the years she made
centerpieces for the Christmas party and helped with decorating for
various parties. She always arrived at the meetings with a smile on
her face. Her question always, "What can I do to help?" and then,
"Can I do more?"
Sylvia presented various programs for the Society's monthly
meetings. In 2001, at the age of 91, she presented a program titled
“An Artist’s Life”. The audience sat in awe as she
told the story of her life in Saugatuck. Sylvia served as a mentor
to many members of the Society. We all hope we will live up to her
standards as we grow older.
The Society held a special meeting to celebrate Sylvia’s 100th
Birthday in October, 2005. Tributes were given by Ellen Sprouls,
Tony Vettori and James Brandess. Sylvia was given a special Society
card, flowers and a charm bracelet. We all enjoyed the pictures of
Sylvia through the years. A special celebratory cake was presented
and cut by Sylvia. Her sweet thank you note ended with the comment:
"How did I ever come to deserve all this? I am very grateful."
We were so fortunate to have her home as one of the highlights of
the 2007 exhibit "Walls Talking: Stories our Houses Tell ---" She
was generous sharing her treasures to create this museum exhibit.
Who will forget the picture of Sylvia studying her treasures at the
opening and then correcting the placement of items?
Our Society members ask the question: "How did we deserve Sylvia?"
"SDHS 101" IS BACK!
After a 2-year hiatus, the Society will once again be offering
orientation for new members - and former members - who are
interested in learning about the organization and history of the
Society and opportunities for volunteering. This will be the first
of four regularly scheduled sessions throughout each year.
The meetings are designed for new and interested former members to
meet each other and discover the wonderful opportunities that the
Society has to offer. The first meeting will be held at the Old
School House Discovery Center in Douglas, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on
Saturday, November 22. After the meeting, refreshments will be
served and then participants will travel to the Museum to take a
peak at the new "Super Map" permanent exhibit.
If you plan to attend SDHS 101, please RSVP by
November 20 to Nyla Hensley - 269-857-5704 or email:
Future SDHS 101
sessions are planned for April, June, august and October. Stay tuned
Look for your 2009
Membership Renewal letter in your mail box shortly. We have great
things planned for 2009!
THEY BUILT SAUGATUCK DRUG STORE
Pearl and Charles Parrish in front of their store
Thanks to Mara Comer for providing this photo of her grandparents in
front of the “Parrish Drug Store” store. In 1903, Charles Parrish
graduated as a pharmacist from the Ferris Institute in Big Rapids,
MI. He married Pearl A. Braman, also a graduate pharmacist. In 1913
he built the structure which now houses the Saugatuck Drug Store.
From the February 14, 1913 Commercial Record
In his Commercial Record column "Around Town" dated September 5,
1913, Alex Thompson writes:
"The fine new brick building erected this year, is an ornament
to the town and would be to any town. If our enterprising druggist
goes on in his prosperity he will soon be able to wait upon
customers in a swallow tailed coat, and will not only have the swell
place, but be the swell citizen of the town."
They operated their store for fifty years. Pearl passed away in
1949. Charles retired in 1953 and was succeeded by James D.
Christensen. Charles and Pearl are both buried at Riverside
Do it the easy way! Give Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society books.
History by Camera
– Hard Cover $100
(includes shipping & gift wrapping)
History by Camera
– Soft Cover $30
(plus $5 for shipping & gift wrapping)
Other Society Publications
Painting the Town
Fire & Ice
Raising the Roof
Lincoln's Ready Made Soldiers
Western Allegan County History
Early Memories of Saugatuck
(plus $5 for shipping & gift wrapping)
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
BOOK SALE AT THE OLD SCHOOL HOUSE
Saturday, November 22, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
(in conjunction with Douglas Holiday Preview)
Friday, November 28, 1:00 – 5:00 PM
Saturday, November 29, 1:00 – 5:00 PM
The Board of Directors is moving ahead with plans to fill the
position of Director which has been open for two years and been
handled on an interim basis which we would now like to formalize.
The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society is seeking applications
from its membership for the position of Director. The Society
Director is a part-time job that has responsibility for
administrative, operational, and some development tasks for the
Society. The Director reports to the President of the Society and
works with the Board, committee and project members, the public, and
the membership at large.
The Director plays an integral role in the operations of the Society
and its two facilities: the Pump House Museum and the Old School
House Discovery Center. Certain budgetary and fiscal
responsibilities and working closely with the Treasurer are a
critical part of the Director’s day-to-day tasks.
The Director is also charged with the monitoring of projects and the
communication among all members and the Board. Candidates should
possess strong organizational, communication, and administrative
skills with a background in non-profit organizations. Experience
with fund-raising and historical preservation are required.
A three-member panel of the board led by Vice President, Jon
Helmrich, will be interviewing candidates for the position.
Interested members should send a resume and cover letter via e-mail