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Heroes, Rogues and Just Plain Folks

The 1998museum exhibit, "Heroes, Rogues and Just Plain Folks "featuredbiographical material on 73 personalities who had lived in the Saugatuck-Douglas- Pier Cove area. Each individual display included a small notebookwhere museum visitors could record their own recollections, observations, orfamily stories that pertained to the person being honored. Below, and in futurenewsletters, we will include most of the more historical notes. Some aresigned, others are not. Together the interesting detail that they provide helpsto bring into more vivid view the picture of life in the area at various pointsin history.

William G.Butter

The very firstentry on the old abstract of our house at 256 Spear Street shows the property beingsold by Butler to Griffith in 1830. -- Bob Mersbach

 

William F. Dutcher

What apleasure this visit has been. We have learned much more about our family roots.We have always loved Michigan in particularthe Douglas area and now I feel very grounded here! -- Priscilla M. Welter,great-granddaughter of William and Josie May andgreat-great-great-granddaughter of William F. Dutcher}

 

Stephen A. Morrison

Stephen was mygreat-great-great-great grandfather. His daughter married my great-great grandfatherLeland. Names I know of: ThorntonWilkes Leland, Florance Leland, EvardLeland, Ruth Leland, Gail Hutchen.

Our house at 334 Main Street wasbuilt by Mr. Morrison in approximately 1838 and is probably the oldest house inSaugatuck. In 1857 he sold it to Captain Ames, a Great lakes skipper, and moved to the Leland Lodge downtown. -- BarryJohnson

 

Francis B. Stockbridge

Those who knewhim report that Stockbridge was pretty pretentious, especially given his humblebeginnings. He and his wife collected oriental carpets and other fashionableart. One 1892 biography, which the senator paid to have included in the book,begins with the Shakespearean quote, "Some are born great, some achievegreatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Some of his"treasures" are still in the Saugatuck Woman's Club and others, Iremember a couple of small oriental rugs, were sold by the club in the 1970s,

 

Doc A. Heath

His nickname was "Auger Eye" `causehe could stare right through you if he got mad. John Wheeler

John Wheelerwas my great-great-grandfather. His family came up the river from Singapore. Hisfamily was in the lodging business. Grandma and Auntie loved their grandfather.He was a good man!

 

Ossian C. Simonds

Right nowwe're staying at his home in Pier Cove. I wonder if it's his ghost that stillwanders throughout the house. My only regret is that there's no monument orarea in Pier Cove crediting his accomplishments and efforts to improvethe natural beauty of the area.

I remember thegreat centennial celebration at Pier Cove which marked the hundred years thatthe property has been developed and loved by friends and family of O.C. -- Studleys, Johnsons, Curtises and others.

 

Frederick W. Job

He used totake us fishing off the dock of the Big Pavilion back in the early 30s. Youcould eat the fish you caught in those days. He also invented the potatoshooters, made of seagull quills and sticking them into peeled potatoes. Very cheap and practical during the Great Depression of the 1930s.-- Bob Mersbach

 

Frank H. Wicks

Frank's nickname was "Flannel Mouth." If you'd ever been in a conversation with him you'd know why.

Heroes,Rogues and Just Plain Folks

Henry H.Hutchins

Henry Hudson Hutchinswas a remarkable man -- farmer, scientific agriculturist, historian, inventorand telephone company founder. One of those who made things happen.I had the honor to know his nephew, Evart Olney Hutchins, who lived in Henry'sold house and collected, arranged and later gave to the Bentley HistoricalLibrary at Ann Arbor, most of Henry's wonderful interview notes, letters fromearly settlers, records of the phone company, etc.

 

Charles E. Bird

The sunburnointment smelled of wintergreen and felt wonderful, but it didn't keep well,although sometimes we put it in the icebox.

Grandpa was awonderful Grandpa to me. He took me blackberrying upthe creek and taught me about the birds, trees and flowers. heworked in the drug store every morning and I went down to be with him.Sometimes he would give me ice cream. He'd say, "Don't tell your Grandma.She'll think it will spoil your lunch."

My GrandpaBird was a druggist, when I knew him in the drug store of my father, John Bird.I am also proud of his boat building. My grandson, John Short, has twoancestors who built boats at Saugatuck.

Grandpa Birdwas at the drug store seven days a week it seemed and Grandma too, aftereveryone was raised. He always let me choose some penny candy when I was there.When they "watched" me I played with empty boxes and rope to make atrain for my dolls. Old wallpaper papered boxes for doll houses and moviemagazines from the basement were rescued from the furnace. What a treasuretrove! Holidays Grandpa always carved and served the plates with goose andduck. A wonderful man! -- Jane Bird Van Dis

 

George W. Gray

This is awonderful display. I was very impressed. This person is special to me because Iwas the Director of Presbyterian Camps (1966-90) and wrote a biography of Dr. Gray.-- Rev. William Lankton, Park Forest, Illinois.

 

Used to attend WestminsterLodge and Camp Grayin 30s and 40s from Chicago. -- James W. Perkins, Lansing

 

The Gleasons: Henry, Ed and Frank

The picture ofHenry Gleason, top above, looks just like his grandson, Henry Gleason, from thebank and Water Streetgrocery store if he would grow a beard.

The Gleasons must have owned a lumberyard also. We found woodin our house stamped Gleason's Lumber Yard, orsomething to that effect. Some one told us it went out of business by 1903, soit helps setting a date for our place at 904 Allegan Street. -- Sue Kurrasch

In 1946 Edwould come into The Ferry Store and order a soda. I sometimes served him. Hewas very "salty" and I was a little afraid of him. -- Jack Gage

 

L. D. Jarvis

In a real waySaugatuck owes him tribute for its new high school. It was on the originalJarvis Field that the new school was built. If the space had not been purchasedby the Rotary Club it would probably have been subdivided and unavailable. Theclock hung for years in the office of the Wright gas station on Lake Street andwhen brought up from the basement in 1968 was completely (except for the face)covered with red and then light green paint. It still runs just fine whenwound.

My father wasknown as "Jarv" not "Jarvie." The clock hung in the jewelry store manyyears prior to having it at the museum. While he directed the band andorchestra from about 1925 through 1949, he was never paid. He was given a setof golf clubs, but didn't play golf. He was happiest when working with youngpeople. We always had a lot of young people around. His main instrument wastrombone, he played all instruments. -- Aldean JarvisMorris

 

Will someoneplease inform the school and its employees and students who Jarvis is,especially the football and baseball coaches!

Miller Robinson

MillerRobinson was my great-grandfather. He hated Michiganwinters so he went to Floridaevery year by train. He loved trains! When he moved with his third wife to Florida he left hisgirls behind to be raised by their auntie -- and so we are still here. -- L. Kinnaman

 

Heroes,Rogues and Must Plain Folks

Louis R. Howson

I was a"junior resident" of Shorewood 1.936-1948. Mr. Howsonwas the "Big Boss." When we "made mistakes" Mr. Howson assigned just punishment. The most memorable wasapplying Simoniz to the shuffleboard courts. We nevercould figure out why -- but never asked for fear of receiving further tasks. --J. Dexter Smith

 

As a boy inthe mid-1950s, whenever I would see Mr. Howson forthe first time each summer, I would be asked, "How's your grip thissummer?" whereupon he'd shake my hand, hold on tight and test me out. Ithink I developed a pretty good handshake as a result of those annual tests. --Steve Clark

 

The Gothams

The effortsto raise the Gothamwere unsuccessful until my grandfather, Loring EugeneRandolph of 996 Holland Street,devised a method of securing 55 gallon metal barrels to the hull andpumping them full of air to raise the wreck. -- Chairman Randolph McKusick, Globe, Arizona

The Gotham family hired "Duckie" Swartz to dive and locate the boat and devisea method whereby it could be raised.- Caroline Gotham Seyforth.

 

Dub Schreckengust

I have suchfond memories of my grandfather, Dub Schreckengust.He was such a gentle, loving man and adored his two grandchildren, Kay and Bud Schreckengust, he was always coming across the river to Douglas to see us and give us comic books, Mounds barsand dimes. He had bright blue eyes and snow white hair. He lived where Rich'sPie Plant now stands. I'll never get the smell of his basement out of mynostril memory as he trapped coons and muskrats and skinned and stretched themin his basement. I was lucky to have had him until I was 13 years of age. --Kay Schreckengust Spencer

Mr. Schreckengust was our only "Sheriff' in the time1940-1948. Our best memory is that he could camouflage his car so well in theweeds that he never missed us "rolling through" the stop sign nearthe golf course. -- J. Dexter Smith

 

James Ethan Allen

He was my first Boy Scout leader. A pleasant fellowwith a neat sense of humor. R J. Walker

Dr. Walker isremembered as a fine doctor with a rather gruff bedside manner. In 1933 a manrobbed the Fennville bank and was shot in the jaw by a posse during hiscapture. Dr. Walker was called to Fennville and tended the injured citizensbefore tending the robber. He poured disinfectant on the wound and the robberyelled. Dr. Walker snapped, "Well, you've got guts enough to rob a bank,you've got the guts to take this."

 

Edwin H. House

With myfriend, Elizabeth Simmons, I would go to House's orchards and pick up"Cider Apples" (those which had fallen on the ground) and fill up crates.If we picked up five crates we had earned enough money to go roller skating atthe Pavilion in September and October on Saturdays. This was about 1946-1947.

 

Arthur F. Deam

A correction for the "Heroes, Rogues and Just Plain Folks"book. The three largehand-hewn beams under the 1859 lighthouse had a cross section of 12 inches by12 inches. Not 12 foot by 12 foot as shown in the book, but still 16 times asstrong in bending as the 6 inch by b inch mentioned in Jim Sheridan's book.

 

William L. Guild Jr.

Our familyloved to take our old wooden Thompson out to Lake Michigan.One summer day we spotted a beautiful, but BIG, piece of driftwood on thebeach. Dad decided to pull the driftwood home behind the boat. As we cameupriver we noticed water coming up from the floorboards -- the transom wasbeing pulled off the boat! The driftwood still adorns the front yard of 810 Park Street.. -- Betsy Guild Kubota and Bill Guild

 

Jay D. Myers

The ferry ranall year to get children west of the river across to school. Thus Jay Myers wasthe first person hired to get children to school, Doesthis make him the town's first school bus driver?

 

Heroes,Rogues and Just Plain Folks

May FrancisHeath

I never metMay Francis Heath but the more I hear and write about her, and find things shehas written, I am convinced that Saugatuck would have been a much poorer placewithout her. She helped mold the community's sense of identity. -- Kit Lane

As a small child I lived across the street from Mrs. Heath. We used tovisit her and she was always sweet and kind to the "Boyce Kids."

Mae Heath wasmy cousin on the Leland-Morrison side of my family. When I was little Iremember going to visit her and she had paints and crafts everywhere. She was delightfulto talk to as a child. What a joy to come here and see her picture.-CherylLeland Banner

 

Stu Ruley tells of his mother operating the Holiday Hill and Beachway back in the teens. Mrs. Ruleybaked donuts and Stu and his brother, David, carriedthem dawn the hill in a laundry basket to the Ferry Store. Mrs. Ruley received 10 cents per dozen for them.

 

E. E. Weed

Elmer "Deac" Weed is remembered as the one who maintaineddecorum at the Big Pavilion. It seems odd that the only picture in the exhibitshows him seated by Bob Moore who is remembered for squandering the money thathis father had acquired in lumbering on high living, like the fancy car in thepicture. The "friends" in the back seat look like a rough crowd too.

 

My uncle, William W. Perkins won a large trophy cup for dancing in thePavilion in the 20s. -- James W. Perkins The Nelsons

 

After Eva Nelson, the first nurse at the Douglas Hospital, left in 1940 the other Nelson sisters, Lorna, Crystal andRuth continued to work at area hospitals for many years.

 

George Coutoumanos

One day he showed his just-published book to a friend. Upon looking atit the friend said: "It's all Greek to me." George answered with asmile, "Yes."

"Papou" lived next door during myearly (8-1 S) years. He was a kind and loving "gentle" man. He was agreat cook and his egg-lemon soup was delicious. -- Jim Clough

"Papou" (grandfather) was a dear man who loved people(and especially children) and it was a joy to have him for a neighbor for manyyears. When my son Mac was one to two years old he would come over, dress himin his snowsuit and carry him in his arms for "a walk downtown." --Charlotte Corrow

My husband,Gus Reiser, knew Mr. "C" and did some workfor him, I think. Anyway once Gus came home from the garagewith the story which he got from someone -- maybe Mr. C. The poet kepthis poetry manuscript in a brief case of sorts, carrying it with him as it wasso precious and he was afraid of its loss. Somehow he had set the case down andwhile he was otherwise occupied it was stolen. It was a tragedy. But my husbandcouldn't help seeing the funny side. Imagine what the thieves thought when theyopened it up and found its contents, in Greek! I can't be sure this is so, butI think it was.- Pauline Reiser

I'm sorry moreof the Coutoumanos family couldn't be here. I amhappy we came to this wonderful honor for my Papue.He was a wonderful, kind gentle person. loved by all.Thank you for doing this for the family. --Thalia Coutoumanos Wilcox

 

John W. Alvord

His house is still one of the nicest in Shorewood. It has a wonderfulverandah to take advantage of the unsurpassed lake view and mufti-windowedwalls looking out on the woods.

Actually, henever had a house in Shorewood even though he was one of the incorporators. Hishouse {pictured here in the exhibit} is a little south of Shorewood. It'sunfortunate that there's not a photo here of the footbridge to the house. Itssupports are made of unfinished tree limbs, rather than finished lumber andit's quite unique. -- James Clark

 

William C. Olendorf

I visited his studio on Erie (or was it Ontario?) Street indowntown Chicago once when he was turningsketches he made in Italy into wonderful sunnypaintings.

 

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