Information Contacts:


Click HERE for a pdf of
the news release.

John Peters
(269) 857-2967

Maryrita Peters
(269) 857-2967
Charlotte Van Neck
(269) 857-4596



SAUGATUCK (MI), AUG. 28, 2007 -- The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society will present its sixth annual Heritage Festival: "Windows on Water -- Then & Now", Saturday and Sunday, September 15-16. Highlighting the event is a Saturday open-house tour of seven homes selected for uniquely reflecting this beachtown's affinity for living in view of lake and river. Among the fun and educational activities also featured are a pre-tour presentation, an authentic sternwheeler cruise down the Kalamazoo River to Lake Michigan, an outdoor "Clothesline" Art Show, an 1860's vintage base ball match, a new exhibition at the Society's award-winning Museum, and more.

This year's Home Tour, with sites open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., honors the diversity of home designs reflecting individualized interpretations of traditional water-view "cottage" lifestyles -- some elegant, some casual -- some contemporary, some historic -- some recent, some renovated...all done with respect for this area's traditions of style, scale, materials and compatibility with their surroundings. With sites including lake shoreline, river bank and mill pond settings in Saugatuck, Douglas and Pier Cove, the tour is structured for self-driven / start-anywhere / enjoy-at-your-own-pace visits, with free parking, docents and information sheets to point out interesting details at each home. Click HERE for a copy of the tour map.

Davis House
SITE 1 -- DAVIS HOUSE / 3440 Riverside Drive, Saugatuck: A two-story Greek Revival design with comfortable, casual interiors set with fieldstone floors, contemporary artwork and large screened porches on both levels enjoys a beautiful view over the Kalamazoo River to Tallmadge Woods.

Schipper-Seros House
SITE 2 -- SCHIPPER-SEROS HOUSE / 3438 Riverside Drive, Saugatuck: This stone-and-cedar-shingle home reflects the Eastern Seashore "salt-box" motif with classically detailed interiors finished out by the owners and beautifully complemented by eclectic furniture and artwork. Site overlooks the Kalamazoo River and Tallmadge Woods.

Peterson House & Mill
SITE 3 -- PETERSON HOUSE & MILL / 844 Holland Street, Saugatuck: Careful renovations and additions to an historic home and authentic grist mill compose this picturesque setting. Portions of the 1860s "Brittain House" moved from downtown Saugatuck survive in a unique residence and mill guest house beside a pond where Moore's Creek meets the Kalamazoo River.

Hoffman-Doriean Log Cabin
SITE 5 -- HOFFMAN-DORIEAN LOG CABIN / 11 Lakeshore Drive, Douglas: In an inviting garden setting overlooking Lake Michigan, this historic 1900s log cabin features a sensitively designed addition and meticulous renovation with period style materials, details and decor, creating a charming rustic showplace.

Schumann House
SITE 4 -- SCHUMANN HOUSE / 296 Lakeshore Drive, Saugatuck: On a dramatic spring-fed hillside setting, this Frank Lloyd Wright inspired, eco-friendly prairie style house features artistic wood detailing, exceptional landscaping and impressive back view over a rain garden tumbling down to the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Matteson-Baty House & Studio
SITE 6 -- MATTESON-BATY HOUSE & STUDIO / 175 Washington Street, Douglas: Once the site of an old basket factory, this elegant residential compound on Lake Kalamazoo combines a nautically themed, renovated/expanded main house featuring imaginative use of space, with a carriage house/guest suite and "barn" storage/party room.

Studley House
SITE 7 -- STUDLEY HOUSE / 2288 Lakeshore Drive, Fennville: Built in 1903, this once-endangered Pier Cove cottage was rebuilt in 1998-9, specially engineered to preserve its bluffs-edge perch and magnificent vista of pristine Lake Michigan shoreline, both from windows and multiple decks...a "hidden gem" well worth the 10-minute drive from Douglas.

The tour includes a free refreshment stop at The Old School House, 130 Center Street in Douglas. One of the country's few remaining 19th century multi-room schools, the building was purchased by the Historical Society in November, 2006 and is being renovated as a heritage Discovery Center. Accompanying the refreshments will be an informative outdoor display of a rare 26-ft. metal-hulled Francis Lifeboat, ca. 1860. The boat was abandoned at Saugatuck Lighthouse in the 1930s, but its remains were kept in storage for decades until Historical Society volunteers recently restored it as one of only two remaining along the Great Lakes.

Before the Tour, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., ticketholders will enjoy a live, illustrated presentation in which two well-known local personalities will lend historical perspectives to our Tour theme: author/historian Kit Lane shares insights from her Rivers of Michigan book series about how a river shapes community development, and actress Mary Ann Curtis offers a light-hearted look back at raising her family and chickens on a lakeshore farm in Pier Cove.

This presentation will take place at the Saugatuck High School Auditorium, entered via the school's south door near Elizabeth & Main Streets, with free school-lot parking at that location. Admission is included with the Homes Tour ticket.

A new exhibition at the Historical Society's award-winning Museum will extend the visitor's understanding and appreciation of the area's architectural heritage. "Walls Talking: Stories Our Houses Tell" portrays the 175-year evolution of styles characterizing this area's built environment in rare historic photographs. The centerpiece of this exhibit is a small house, open on three sides to offer a peek into stylized full-scale rooms filled with artifacts evoking the lifestyles of three very interesting "locals": a farmwoman who saved everything four generations of her family accumulated since the 1880s; an artist who lives in a house her ancestors moved to Saugatuck in 1868 from the nearby "buried village" of Singapore; and the Chicago muralist who invented the WPA style of mural art in the 1920s and enjoyed summer respites here.

The Museum is located in Saugatuck's historic Old Pump House, 735 Park Street at Mt. Baldhead Park, across the river from downtown Saugatuck in a picturesque riverside garden overlooking Saugatuck's harbor, shops and residential hillside, with directional views enhanced by informative plaques. The Museum is open from Noon to 4 p.m. on Festival weekend and all Saturdays and Sundays during September and October. Admission and parking are free.

On Festival Saturday, a traditional "Clothesline" Art Show presents paintings, drawings, sculpture and craftwork by members of the Saugatuck-Douglas Art Club, with many artworks hung in the Club's traditional outdoor display on clotheslines. Admission is free; the show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Old School House grounds in Douglas.

That afternoon, a Vintage Base Ball Association Match played under the very different rules and gentlemanly demeanor of the 1860s pits the Douglas Dutchers against the Eau Clair Cherry Pits at Beery Field, Main & Center Streets in Douglas. The Dutchers, co-champions of this year's Silas K. Pierce Tournament, also were honored to host the 2007 VBBA Conference and All Star Match in April. Both clubs take the field for warm-up at 3 p.m., with the Match beginning at 4 p.m. Peanuts, popcorn and hot dogs will be available as usual plus, being introduced this year, Dutchers Sarsaparilla. Admission and street parking are free.

For Homes Tour ticketholders, the Star of Saugatuck river cruise will discount its standard fare to $10, applicable to its Saturday evening sunset cruise at 7 p.m. as well as Sunday afternoon's 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. cruises. Star of Saugatuck is a 150-passenger, authentic sternwheeler offering 1-1/2 hour cruises down the Kalamazoo River into Lake Michigan, with live narration recalling local lore and the maritime history of the area. Cruises depart from 716 Water Street, Saugatuck; street parking is free.

Saturday night at 8 p.m., jazz chanteuse Chantal Chamberland opens the fall 2007 Mainstage season at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck. Acclaim following her latest album, “Dripping Indigo”, has cemented this smoky-voiced torch singer's role as one of the best interpreters of classic songbook favorites. Tickets $30, available on-line at or by phone at 269-857-2399. Lot parking is free.

On both Festival days, Fenn Valley Vineyard and Winetasting Tours combine a 30-minute narrated wagon ride with learning about local grape-growing and winemaking, then tasting the pride of this family-owned-and-operated producer of award-winning wines. A special Heritage Festival schedule starts tours on the hour and half-hour, Saturday 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. Admission and parking free. The vineyard is located at 6130 122nd Avenue, Fennville: take I-196 to Exit 34 (M-89), or Blue Star Highway to M-89, follow vineyard signs.

Also on both days, Fennville's Crane Orchards offers apple picking and a corn maze, featuring a field of popular "Honeycrisp" apples freshly opened for the Festival at 55 cents/lb., 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The corn maze will open from Noon to 6 p.m.: adults $7; ages 5-12 $5; under 5 free. Crane Orchards is located at 6053 124th Avenue (M-89). Parking is free.

For visitors who would like to start the day with a competitive run, the annual Mt. Baldhead Challenge offers a 1K Kids Run at 8:40 a.m., a 15K run at 9 a.m., and a 5K run at 9:15 a.m. For details and a course map, visit  or call (616) 355-9156.

Heritage Festival Tour ticket price is $20, with proceeds benefiting the Society's all-volunteer operation and programs. Tickets are available in advance at The French Cottage, 33 Center Street, Douglas, and in Saugatuck at Uncommon Grounds coffee shop, 127 Hoffman Street or the Historical Society Museum, 735 Park Street (at Mt. Baldhead Park across the river from downtown). On tour day tickets also will be offered at the Pre-Tour Program, all Tour home sites, and the Old School House at 130 Center Street, Douglas. For Heritage Festival information, visit  or call (269) 857-7900.

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