NEWS from SAUGATUCK/DOUGLAS HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Charlotte Van Neck
FESTIVAL & HOME TOUR
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.
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 www.sc4a.org 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 www.mtbaldhead.com 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 www.sdhistory.com or call (269) 857-7900.
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