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History Lives Here Text

Continuedfrom Pages 93-96

Heroes,Rogues and Just Plain Folks

The 1998 museum exhibit, "Heroes,Rogues and Just Plain Folks" featured biographical material on 73personalities who had lived in the Saugatuck- Douglas- Pier Cove area. Eachindividual display included a small notebook where museum visitors could recordtheir own recollections, observations, or family stories that pertained to theperson being honored The fast of the notebook texts appeared in the Januaryissue. ,below, and in future newsletters, addition comments are printed Someare signed, others are not. Together the interesting detail that they providehelps to bring into more vivid view the picture of life in the area at variouspoints in history.

Carl Bird

Don't stop to see Uncle Carl, you'll be there all day!

Our mother, Betty Beckman, bought theCorner House on Lake Shore Drivein Douglas. She took many pieces of antiquefurniture over to Mr. Bird and he did excellent repairs and rebuilt ourgreat-great-grandfather's high chair. We all have fond memories of Mr. Bird,especially what good work he did with two fingers missing on one of his hands.How did he lose his fingers? -- The Beckman Children

My brother and I loved racing in the boat he built at the SaugatuckYacht Club. -- M. O. Evans Warnock

My Uncle Carl's boat shop was one of myfavorite spots when I was growing up in Saugatuck. There was always somethingnew and interesting going on in his shop.

I inheritedthe "Amiga Mia" which Carl Bird had built. Mr. Bird constantlyadvised I didn't sail it well enough to suit him. -- J. Dexter Smith

I am TomMcCollum. My father, Earl McCollum, bought a boat built by Carl Bird about1928. Carl built three boats off a single mold. Webster Corlett also boughtone. Boat price $250 plus $85 for sails about 1927. It was sold tosomeone on Black Lake about 1940.

 

Charles H. Gilman

What a wonderful exhibit! It is the peopleof Saugatuck that make it so special. It's good they are remembered. -- JanGilman Esch

Mr, Gilman was the Sunday school teacher atthe Congregational Church. The Sea Scout boat was at the home of David Van Diswho tried to get people interested in restoring it.

 

Adelbert E, Jenkins

Grandpa Jenkins died November 23, 1929, in Chicago of a heart attack.He was born April 25, 1863, at Singapore,Michigan. Heis buried in Riverside Cemetery, Saugatuck,beside his wife of 42 years, Anastasia E. Whyte (Blanco). His parents, CharlesSamuel Jenkins and Mila Dunning are listed in the 1860, 1 870 and 1 880 Megan Countycensus. Charles and Mile were married about 1858 in Allegan County.I was born March 10, 1930, so I never really knew my grandfather. However, hiswife, my grandmother, .Ana E. Jenkins, lived with my mother father and I untilher death, March 16, 1956, in Holland,so I heard a lot about him in my early years. He was a man of very strongconvictions and wasn't afraid to express his opinions. One story I grew up onwas about the Twisting Factory that Cappy Wilsonbuilt about 1921 on Butler street.Cappy and Grandpa were old friends. They had gone to the Ward Schooltogether and then shared a love of the Lucy Street area. When Grandpa came backin the spring of 1921-22 and found a factory built on residential property, hetold Cappy he believed the valuation of all the residential property had gonedown with the addition of the factory in the midst of homes. It was a noisy,truck-attracting addition to the neighborhood until this summer, 1998, when itwas town down. Cappy and Grandpa never spoke again even thought they lived inthe same block. I've spent at least three months of my life every year since1930 on his Lucy Streetproperty. Since 1973 I have lived at 333 Lucy Street, his favorite home, the Singapore house that was added to Lot 52, Judson's Addition in 1868. He had plans toimprove the house and make it his permanent home. He had put running water into333 Lucy and an inside bathroom so he and Ana could live there in the winter.His Chicagobusiness was stocks and bonds, but he had given that over to his sons, Charlesand Harold, and was retired to Saugatuck when the heart attack happened. he andGrandma had come to Chicagoto spend Thanksgiving with the family and were staying with my parents. Theyhad one daughter, my mother, Elaine Mila Jenkins Watson and he was lookingforward to his "little Elaine," his youngest child, having a baby inMarch. He was sure it would be a boy named after him. I foaled everyone. (Myfather was sure I would be a boy, too -- both families had many more boys thangirls.) Instead I was named Ana Isabel, after my two grandmothers, Anastasiaand Elizabeth Klein Watson Sauers. Grandpa Jenkins was called the"Landlord of Lucy Street"by many and "The Boss" by his family. He and all the rest of thefamily to this day love the Saugatuck/Singapore area and even though theirlives have made it impossible to live here, they think of 333 and 303 Lucy (allthat remains in the family) and, still consider this their roots and come backwhen they can. His great-grandchildren are: Comdr. Charles Erber of Washington D. C. and Augusta.,Georgia, and Diane Boss Walker of Tampa, Florida and Lynn Boss of St. Petersburg, Florida.He has one great-great-grandchild, Catalina (Caty) Erber, 16 years old, of Washington D. C. I havestepchildren and grandchildren who also "come back," one inparticular who plans this for a retirement home. -- Ana Isabel"Betty" Watson Molder (Mrs. Warren Molder)

 

Ruth Wright, Vera and Mike Kinney

Every time wevisited Granma in Saugatuck myself and my eight brothers and sisters would headdirectly to the Soda Lounge and order grilled cheese with hot dogs and icecream sodas. -- P. Enright

They treated us kids great and always referred to all Saugatuck High Schoolkids as "our kids."

I'll neverforget the Soda Lounge. I spend every summer of my youth there. They had thebest hot dogs and hamburgers in the world. -- Nicki Gallas

The SodaLounge was definitely the place for any "teen action" in town. It iswhere we went with friends and, when alone, to meet friends. ,As apre-teen I'd go to the movies at the Pavilion for 25 cents and follow it upwith a 5 cent chocolate phosphate at the Soda Lounge. The movies changednightly so this was a frequent evening of fun far 30 cents. I remember beingable to select juke box tunes from my booth (5 cents each or six plays for aquarter!) and having sundaes in paper cups that fit into stainless steelholders. In those days I'd babysit for 50 cents an hour so the night out waspretty reasonable.

I knew I wasgrown up when my grandfather took me in and let me have the "LuckyMonday" sundae; so named because there was only one dish shaped for it.

I used towork: at the Soda Lounge, 1955. Ruth, Vera and Mike were very kind to me and Iloved working there. We made 50 cents a hour and all our tips were to be saved(we were urged to open a savings account at the bank across the street). Awonderful place for us teenagers to meet and just hang out.

They were thegreatest Grandma (Ruth) and Aunt (Vera) and Uncle (Mike) that any kid could askfor. Auntie Dee Dee was the sweetest that ever was. She would cry when she sawdead animals on the road. Uncle Mike smoked a pipe and had every flavor andsmell of tobacco there was. -- Rosie Enright-Jones

 

The Bolton Brothers

A correction:Robert Bolton died of a heart attack at the Bum's Camp. William Bolton died ofcancer in Chicago.Marie Bolton, their sister wrote a column for The Commercial Record for manyyears. She died at the age of 98 at her house on Holland Street. The house at 651 Holland was purchased byEllen Mahoney Bolton in 1907 and the family has been coming to Saugatuck sincethen. Marie Bolton was a member of the Saugatuck Art Guild for many years. -MichaelL. Tracy

My great aunt"hitched" a ride with a load of hooch the Boltons were delivering to Ann Arbor. She was goingto visit her friend at the University of Michigan.

For years Iwanted to do an article about gangsters in general and the Bolton brothers inparticular but each time I started asking around some one from town would calland ask me not to "so as to avoid embarrassing Marie." So we neverwrote a feature about the Bolton brothers.Marie worked so many years for the newspaper it seemed we owed her that much.-- Kit Lane, co-owner of The Commercial Record, 1967-1988

The thirdBolton sister, Margaret Bolton Mahar, trained to be a school teacher at a"Normal School" in Evanston.She became a career social worker, however, in Chicago and died there in 1988. She met myuncle, Bob Mahar, while dancing at the Big Pavilion where she and her girlfriends went. Bob was a member of the band that was playing there.

According toBetty Shanahan the "gang" of Chicagowest side killers of a Chicagocop (named "Handsome George") were friends of the Boltons and JohnDillon. They hid out at Dillon's mother's house at 728 Van Dalson (now mycottage Belle Rive) and it was here that at least one of them was apprehendedby police. As a piece of local gossip-folk lore, the front room of my cottagehad a trap door from which its visitors and inhabitants (John Dillon andfriends from Chicago'swest side) could make a quick escape. According to Carl Wicks, the Bolton hide-a-way off Water Street was actually a cottage ownedby Ky Walz, a friend of Bob Bolton and John Vassel. -- James A. Schmiechen

 

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