DEC. 25, 2008 -- It is only fitting a future
repository for vivid and colorful history be austere.
A visit to the 1866-built Douglas Union School -
being shaped by the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society into a
Discovery Center archive - showed blacks, whites and silvers of
under-construction rooms lined with chairs.
Officer furniture-maker Haworth Inc. has been
generous, volunteer Steve Hutchins told us. Research-ers’ minds soar
when rear ends aren’t sore.
Stacked seats create spare geometry in the west
room, to be exhibition space when completed. The visitors’ welcome
center and book-store room, main floor east, hums during center
hours, offering Society books, cards and gifts for the holidays and
The basement, intended for archives and
archiving, boasts bare bulbs and block-glass windows that illuminate
wood ribs and insulation.
Upstairs, meant for rental offices, is cordoned,
with a “Stairway closed” placard perched on a rigid-yet bending
cable, counter-posed to the linear rails that ascend/descend.
“Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we
going?” asked painter Paul Gauguin in a mural. The Old School House
Discovery Center seems like a jumping-off place. A start.