Information Contacts:  


Kristen Gebben
(269) 857-5751

Judy Anthrop
(269) 857-1183

Click HERE for a pdf of
the news release
and on the picture below for a
higher resolution image.




SAUGATUCK, JUNE 7, 2006 -- Eleven different artwork renditions of "The Old School House" (Douglas-Union School), donated by the local artists who created them, are offered in miniature reproductions as an elegant set of personal notecards being sold for a fundraising contribution of $12.00 by the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society and Museum. All proceeds less production costs will benefit the Society's campaign to buy, preserve and rededicate The Old School House as a unique new Discovery Center, in a cooperative effort with the area's District Library and Public Schools.

The art-card set comprises seven colorful paintings plus four ink drawings individually reproduced on the covers of single-fold white cards measuring 5-1/2" by 4-1/4", folded. Each card carries a brief explanatory tribute on the back panel and offers two blank inside panels for written messages. Eleven size-matched envelopes are included. Sets are available at the Historical Society Museum located in the old Pump House in Saugatuck on the west bank of the river and Thistle Gallery at 10 W. Center St., Douglas.

Set of eleven notecards bearing locak artists' renditions of The Old School House offered by the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society.


Contributing artists are Judy Bowman Anthrop, Peggy Boyce, Renette Glass, Kathy Kingsley, John Leben, Diane Lenters, Johnn Malloy, Margaret McDermott (two images), Collette Snydacker and Kathy Van Tubbergen.

Discovery Center plans envision a community resource where children and adults alike can explore the area's history, culture, ecology and architecture through recreational activities, educational programs, special events and access to a unique archive of objects, photos and records.

The Discovery Center also is expected to enhance the area's destination appeal in the growing heritage tourism industry. A prominent historic landmark along Center Street in Douglas since 1867, The Old School House is listed on both the Michigan and National Register. It is one of the oldest multi-classroom school buildings in Michigan and considered one of the finest examples of 19th century school architecture in America. The structure served as a public school until 1957 and has many alumni among current area residents.

The fundraising campaign, initiated late last year, targets a purchase option agreement to be exercised in September of this year and has already generated a matching grant for up to $425,000 plus $150,000 in donations toward matching it. The Society projects a total fundraising goal of $1,110,000 to provide for renovation and endowment for on-going operation in addition to purchase, and urges area businesses and residents to contribute toward the preservation of this distinctive community asset.

A series of fun events promoting broader public support is planned for coming months, including a mid-June "Show & Tell" at the Old Schoolhouse to walk the site and view Discovery Center plans, plus a public Town Meeting on July 12 (7:00pm, Saugatuck High School auditorium theater) to provide an update with more background and details. For more information about the Old School House Project, call Kristin Gebben, SDHS Development Director, at (269) 857-5751.

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