PINE GROVE SCHOOL - FORMER "GIDDY SCHOOL GIRLS"
Some time ago we showed you some photographs of old school houses
of Saugatuck and Douglas. This week we pass on a bit of the story about the old Saugatuck
school known as the Pine Grove Schoo - which was actually the first school in Saugatuck
proper and was located in what is now the charming house at 246 Mary Street (at the end of
block of Mary Street as one walks east from Butler Street). Up until this time the
children of Saugatuck hiked out to a school on the road to the Singapore mill settlement.
The Pine Grove school was opened in 1855 - and continued as the village schoolhouse until
the new Union School was opened in 1866 (the image we showed you in the
January 5th "Our History" edition - currently not available on the web). The
name comes from the grove of pine trees that graced the neighborhood (May Heath described
the building as being a "long building facing east"). Frederick Fursman, the
well-known American artist and the director of the Ox-Bow school purchased the building in
the 1920s and had his friend, Thomas Tallmadge, an equally well-known Chicago architect,
remodel it in about 1927 in the fashionable style of the day, called Colonial Revival.
Subsequent to Fursman, it became the home of a number of artists (there is a nice little
painting studio in the rear), including Elsa Ulbricht and Emily Faucett. Today it is well
preserved by its owners, Korry and Doug Hoeksema.
OF SAUGATUCK GET TOGETHER
The Powell Club was
organized in 1889 and was made up of Pine Grove School graduates. In the photo of 1913
shown above, several of the girls here are graduates from the class of 1862.
The woman, second from the right, is May Francis Heath - the person who wrote the early
history of the Saugatuck area and who was featured in this past years museum
exhibition as the woman who saved Saugatucks "treaty tree." Can anyone
tell us what game they are playing? We also dont know why none of the male graduates
of the school are present. The scene appears to be in the neighborhood of the school
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