Wednesday, August 9, Annual Potluck Picnic at Mt. Baldhead. Chips and dips at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30. Bring your favorite salad, vegetable, meat or dessert. Also bring your service ware and beverages. We hope many of our new members will join us for this country picnic. If you have questions call Jane at 857-2268

Wednesday, September 13 at 7 p.m. at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. More information next month.


Dashing for Dollars: Our team of workers for the Old School House Project are dashing around let-ting everyone know that our deadline for buying the Old School House is September 10, 2006. Now is the time for all of us to give as much money as we can. If you have given previously, thank you, and consider another additional gift. If you have not given as yet. . . it is time to do so. If you have not found a pledge card in the mail or at the museum or been given one please call any of us for delivery of that important piece of paper!

Call Judy Anthrop at 857-1183 or Kristin at 857-5751 or Jeff Wilcox at 857-1705 or June Bowman at 857-4436 or Rick Thompson at 857-life. Let’s save this national treasure. It is our responsibility to do this!

Judy Anthrop
Public Relations Committee
for the Old School House Project


At the July meeting held at the Saugatuck High School auditorium, Judy Anthrop welcomed a large crowd for a town meeting to present the plans for the Old School House Project.

President Dottie Lyon, added her welcome and mentioned that we owed a debt of gratitude to Nancy Budd, owner of the School House, for keeping the building in such good shape. She also reminded everyone of the August picnic at Mt. Baldhead Park. You are to bring a dish to pass, as well as utensils and your own beverages.

Jeff Wilcox gave a review of the Old School House project, giving a progression of the purchasing and planning for the building’s future.

A DVD, put together by Erin Wilkinson, was shown. It featured pictures of the School House and interviews with former students, who spoke of their school days.

Tim Wood, Superintendent of Schools, spoke of the joint efforts of area schools and the Historical Society. A history of Saugatuck-Douglas schools is a project being worked on. The 6th grade class has done a project on the architecture of the area and banners are displayed downtown showing their art work. The drawings are also part of the museum exhibit.

Martha Boetcher spoke of the library’s part in the preservation of local history. The Discovery Center will house the library’s historical collection when it is completed.

Bill Galligan of the Function Committee spoke eloquently on how the building will be used.

Nicolaas Wilkins presented a design plan for the School House property, both inside and out. He explained the site plan, which included a proposed park-like setting.

June Bowman of the Campaign Committee has helped develop fund raising procedures. She spoke of the need for everyone to give what they can and to ask others to do the same.

A question and answer period followed with committee chairs for the project answering questions posed to them by members of the audience.

There will be a museum volunteer in-service on Tuesday, August 8. Join other volunteers for lunch at Mt Baldhead
and then a special trolley tour with Jim Schmiechen. Call Jane at 857-2268 to reserve your seat.

President Lyon closed her remarks by saying: “Jack, you are a very, very valued member of our Society, and we are so happy that you have received our highest honor. You have enriched our lives, and we so appreciate all of your time and efforts on behalf of the Society.”


Dear Society Members,

For those of you who attended the Society's Town meeting on July 12, wasn't it an outstanding presentation? We all left knowing that our decision to preserve the Old School House was the right decision and that the committees working on this project have created a very professional and "do-able" plan. All we need now is money - lots of it! And so we hope that all of you will stretch your budgets, dig deep and help us buy this historic treasure. Al and I have made our pledge and feel very happy that we will be part of the legacy that future generations will enjoy.

If you have misplaced your pledge card or know of someone interested, brochures and pledge cards may be picked up at the Museum (noon to 4 p.m. daily) or at the Tech Center (look for the open sign). If you want us to send you information via email or mail, let us know. Or feel free to call me at 269-857-8902, and I will help you or give you information as needed.

Thank you to Jim Schmiechen and your committee for another outstanding exhibit. Local architecture is of particular interest to me and I love the accompanying book! I have noticed that book sales have been brisk, so don't put off buying your copy.

One of the reasons that Saugatuck and Douglas received the federally awarded Preserve America designations was because the society puts on the Heritage Festival Weekends.

This year we will only have Saturday events because of our commitment to the Old School House Project, but we have a busy, fun-filled day with a lecture and great Home Tour planned.

So save September 16 to work and enjoy and celebrate. We have a Volunteer Party planned on Friday evening for workers and if you didn't volunteer last year, you probably heard about what you missed!

Oh, and you will be hearing more about the Preserve America Award and the fact that the State of Michigan received a federal grant to feature the old route, formerly designated U. S. 31 from New Buffalo to Ludington, as an historical highway. The old highway went right through the middle of both Saugatuck and Douglas, down Center Street, across the bridge and entering Saugatuck on lake Street. Both cities will be featured in this heritage corridor. I will keep you informed as this project develops.

In closing, I again remind you that your support of the Old School House has never been needed more than it is now. We need you to be our cheerleaders to spread the word that this is a worthwhile project - and that we need everyone's financial support as well as their approval.

As always, I thank you all for your time, efforts and support of our Society. You are so appreciated!

Dottie Lyon



Hope you find the new Member Directory useful. I’ve already received input from some “eagle eyed” folk who tell me they have found errors. Important you let me know of any changes; addresses, phone numbers and in particular email addresses. Call me or send a message.


Since the last newsletter Tim Wood (made it into the new directory), C. Baars and Margo Bultman, David Colwell and Mary Ann Quick have joined the Society. Say “Hi!” when you meet them.


This new SDHS program provides a very good way for new members to meet each other, to understand the breadth of the Society’s organization and to encourage involvement in our many exciting current activities. The next program will be held on Saturday, August 19 at 9 a.m. New members will automatically receive invitations. If you would like to be invited, write to or phone 269 543 4626.


The USPO continues to tighten its requirement that your PO Box number be included with your address and shown as part of the Zip code; (e.g. 49406-0617). If you do not receive home delivery of your mail it is very important that you let us know your PO Box number asap.


You can make a difference in saving an important, historical building and creating a new Discovery Center for the Community. September 5, when we hope to have raised funds for the purchase and renovation of the Douglas Union School House is very close. You’ve all received an invitation to donate. Making a gift is easy! If you need a pledge form for yourself, your neighbor or a friend call Kristin Gebben at 269 857 5751. Let’s have a lot of reach-out donations.


Feedback, telling us what we are doing right – or wrong -- is always welcomed. Call me at 269 543 4626, use a feedback card, write to me at the Society address, or email to Have a great summer.

Mike Phillips-Membership Chair


This month the volunteer spotlight falls on Chris and Caroll Yoder. This couple recently moved back into the Saugatuck area and even though they are fairly new members of the Historical Society they have become very active.

Since January of this year Chris has taken over the Commercial Record project. He spends over 45 hours a month photographing the pages of the old original Commercial Record editions which have been preserved into bound books. After photo-raphing they are then digitally recorded in a computer program which will at a later date be read by other volunteers and information placed in an index for easy accessibility. At present Chris is working on the 1917 edition. The digitized years begin at 1868 and are now available to everyone by checking out the C.R. link on the Saugatuck Douglas Historical Society web page at

Caroll has been helping Kristin Gebben and Mike Phillips with a Michigan grant application. If this grant is accepted it will be a great boost to the School House fundraising project. Lots of thanks goes to this dedicated couple for making such a big contribution to the society!

If you are a person who is interested in reading old newspapers then perhaps the indexing project would be of interest to you. This is something that can be done from your home. Contact Chris Yoder at 269-857-4327 for more information.


Your June Newsletter revealed initial plans for our 5th Annual Heritage Festival coming Saturday, September 16. This article provides additional information.

Again, please mark your calendars, tell your friends, plan to enjoy our program and stay tuned for later updates. Meanwhile, remember that your Heritage Festival Committee needs volunteers to deliver promotional materials, place and retrieve tour signs, serve as docents at the tour homes, serve at the refreshment stop, etc. To sign up or get more information, call Merle Malmquist at 269-857-4817 or Paula Schultz at 269-227-3661

To briefly recap the plans announced in June...our highlight activity will be a self-driving, enjoy-at-your-own-pace, tour of ten award-winning homes honored by the Society for new construction or renovation that respects our mutual interest in heritage preservation. Homes will be open 11a.m. to 5 p.m. Ticket price of $20 ($10 for ages 4-16 and Festival volunteers) includes a refreshment stop at Woodland Realty, hosted by Jeff Wilcox. As an added attraction, the Francis Lifeboat will be on display at Woodland at that time.

Before we leave the subject of volunteers, note that all who help with this major annual Society event will be invited to a Thank-You Reception on Friday, September 15 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. hosted by Joyce Petter Galleries, 161 Blue Star Highway in Douglas. Spouses/partners of the volunteers are invited as well. The event will feature a great light supper with appetizers, wine and soft beverages, amidst the artwork on exhibit at the gallery.

A new key piece of the plan is a pre-tour Panel Presentation intended to enrich the tour experience with behind-the-scenes insights about the process of heritage preservation. Designed and coordinated by Dee Dee Hanson of Century 21 Frank Smith Realty, this program will feature several area builders showing examples of and sharing their experiences with new-home construction and old-home renovation which is compatible with the architectural traditions of our community. Moderating the discussion will be Jim Hanson, Chair of the Saugatuck Township Planning Commission. The one-hour program will begin at 10 a.m. in the Saugatuck High School Auditorium, which affords convenient (and free) parking at the school's south entry, off Elizabeth Street. This venue also affords easy access from Blue Star Highway via Allegan Road, which will help attendees avoid the traffic and congestion typical of downtown during the Baldhead Challenge run scheduled for that morning.

Festival highlights are now available on the Society web site with Calendar of Events summary listings on the frequently-visited web sites of Saugatuck/Douglas Convention & Visitors Bureau Saugatuck/Douglas Area Business Association and several other Michigan tourism web sites. Heritage Festival Tour tickets will be available by mid-late August at The French Cottage in Douglas, or in Saugatuck at Uncommon Grounds and the Museum.


Summer presentations are at 11 a.m. Tuesdays at the museum. The subjects are designed to accompany the 2006 Exhibition. There is only limited seating, arrive early.

August 1 Kemah. The Construction and Restoration of Saugatuck’s Grandest Arts & Crafts House with Danny Esterline.

August 8 Building With Style: Veneklasen Brick and 19th Century Dutch Architecture in Ottawa and Allegan Counties with Michael Douma.

August 15 The Big Pavilion: Saugatuck’s Most Famous Building Project with Jack Sheridan and Rob Carey.

August 22 Restoration Projects.

August 29 The Architecture of Mt. Baldhead with Kit Lane.


Meetings are usually the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m., but time and place may vary. To become a member or renew your membership select from the following membership categories:

Individual $25
Household $45
Senior (65+) $18
Senior Household $30
Student $5
Sustaining $75
Corporate $150
Life, Individual $300
Life, Household $500






and send a check made payable to the Saugatuck- Douglas Historical Society to:
                    PO Box 617, Douglas Michigan 49406

Send items for the newsletter to:
                    Kit Lane, Box 250, Douglas MI 49406


The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Museum is located in the historic Pump House at the foot of Mt. Baldhead on the west bank of the Kalamazoo River. This year’s exhibit:

“Raising the Roof – Second Story”
will be open May 28 to October 29
noon to 4 p.m. daily Memorial Day to Labor Day
weekends in the fall.

The Society’s Technology Center is located on the lower level of historic Dutcher Lodge, Douglas.

The Tech Center is open Monday from 1 to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays 10 a.m. to noon; and Wednesday 9 a.m. to noon.

Museum Phone: 269 857-7900
Tech Center Phone: 269 857-7901
Visit our website: