Flowers, Artifacts and History
April 1, 1976 DearMrs. Lane:
Amsorry to answer your letter of Mar. 15 so late but we were gone all last month.It will take me awhile to unearth the information you want on the Saugatuckiris. I had 2 or 3 of Mr. Nies' iris planted along our fence, but they have notbloomed for several years and some have died out. I don't believe I have theold iris catalog from which I ordered the Nies iris but think I can find theold garden magazine in which they were written up. As soon as I can locate anyinformation I'll let you know.
Inotice that your museum is asking for souvenirs of Saugatuck. I can give youthe following if they fit your needs:
1.A 4" sterling spoon inscribed "
2.A 5 I/4" sterling spoon with "
3.A 5 3/4" sterling spoon in a well known pattern (
4.A ceramic pin tray or ash tray in artist's palette shape inscribed"Saugatuck" made by the Saugatuck Pottery located on the old FrankHayes farm on the
whichis on a flower bowl I have. I sold some other pieces to a woman who advertisedfor them in your paper.
Gettingback to the iris again. I remember that the woman who lived in the house nowowned by Marc Waugh north of the Cong'l Church planted some Saugatuck iris.They might still be there. Mrs. Heath's didn't do well, I know, too much shade.
[Welooked but couldn't find any of the iris at either location. However, there aresome outside of the `flea market" on
Iwas interested in the old letter from Lee Leland in your paper. I would guessits date would be in the 40's or 50's. He mentioned Griffin & Henry mill.John F. Henry was my mother's uncle and I have his old scrapbook but nopictures of the mill. I might give the scrap book to the museum or library oran historical society. His home is now occupied by a Mr. Coe, I believe, abrother of Mrs. Fred Koning. It formerly belonged to one of the big shots inthe 0. R. Johnson mill and the two houses, adjacent and around corner from itwere once part of it. It was always painted dark red in the old days. The BigPavilion orchestra men roomed in the 2nd floor rooms every summerfor many years.
[Doesanyone know where this house was located? One member of the Coe family laterran a car agency in
Thenext week Mrs. Barr sent an entire box of materials for the new museum, alongwith a second letter with many more tidbits of area history.
Iam mailing the three souvenir spoons and the pottery ash tray to you. I am gladto give them to the museum. The spoon commemorating Maplewood Hotel was givento me by Mr. and Mrs. E. S. Pride who were the proprietors in 1902 when I wasborn. It was one of my baby gifts. The spoon with peaches on it commemoratesthe great peach growing boom which began in the last century and at one timesuffered a disastrous freeze.
Inconnection with Mrs. Pride who with her sister Mrs. Whipple conducted a privatehospital in Saugatuck for my father's patients (Dr. Walker).
Atone time you asked for information about local authors. There was a Mrs.
Thenthere was a Mrs. McDonald in Douglas, mother of Claude and sister-in-law ofMrs. McDonald of the funeral home. She wrote short novelettes that were printedin folders advertising Saugatuck as a resort. They were all romantic in theme.
Therewas also a Mrs. Baker in Douglas, mother of the late Mrs. Robert Dempster whowrote stories for magazines. I used to have samples of all but the lastmentioned and if I can find any will send them to you.
Aboutthe iris: All of my catalogs, notes and correspondence about them havedisappeared. A local friend who used to grow them has no memory of them either.Mrs. Nies was related to the Nies family that ran Nies Hardware in Holland formany years, now Vogelzang's. It's the same family as the Mr. Nies who was apartner of Griffin & Henry in the boat line. They had two boats, one ofwhich collided with a Bird & Rogers boat off
[Thiswas the historic crash of the Pilgrim and the
Nowback to the iris: the current Flower and Garden Magazine advertisesan illustrated iris catalog from
Manysmall tidbits of history can be gleaned from even the simplest letter. For thisreason ye ole editor asks that members look over old letters in theirpossession for insights into area history. As these two indicate the lettersthemselves need not be ancient to have wonderful, useful information. The itemsthat Mrs. Barr gave to the 1976 historical museum are now in the archives ofthe Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society where they may figure in futureexhibits.