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.,
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
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.