AUGUST  2012

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As part of the Society's Silver Anniversary Campaign, the Society Newsletters are being underwritten by a generous donation from Frances Vorys, a Society Life member.

Notes From Your President

Greetings! It is beginning to feel as if summer is coming to a close. The picnic was this past Wednesday night and over 50 persons enjoyed a first as it was held at the Old School House. After a buffet supper the interns provided entertainment in the form of a treasure hunt for all who had the energy to participate.

Speaking of the interns, four of them will soon be leaving - Mary Redford, Jordan Hathaway, Chad Mitchell and Greg Farrand. We certainly thank them for their participation on our behalf and they leave us with many jobs done and with a clearer vision for the months ahead. Dustin Moore will remain until the end of December and will continue to help with the Old School House and also with other projects. So, many thank you to all of them!

Only three Tuesday Talks remain. If you have not attended one of these most interesting events you need to remember - this coming Tuesday Ken Kutzel will be presenting another of his art/paintings commentaries. His talks are always fascinating and well attended so arrive early.

The Douglas Socials are also winding down with one more to go. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate. Don't forget the historic tours through Douglas on the trolley and remember they are free!

The last of the Yorktown cruises will be the 17th and 19th of August. It is amazing to see this large ship in our port and the walking tours for this event have been wonderfully received.

So, as we prepare to let our summer events slip into the past - we look forward to new events this fall. The Baseball Program in September complete with popcorn and hotdogs, the Heritage Awards in October and the always popular Cemetery Tour featuring various ghosts will appear in November. Also of importance will be the Thank You supper for all volunteers the end of October. Watch for more information and dates on these events as the time nears.

Enjoy the rest of summer - safe travels!
                                      submitted by Marsha Kontio

Society's Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, September 12
at the Old School House History Center

Take Me Out To the Ballgame
by the Dutcher Baseball Team
Sponsored by Sharon Kelly

Come to dinner at 6 pm to support the Society and the Barrel Project then stay for the program which begins at 7 pm

Hot Dogs

Cracker Jacks

Root Beer


You won't want to miss the fun.
Donations accepted.

2012 Tuesday Talks
Village Visits

These fun and informal Talks continue at the Old School House History Center in Douglas when the school bell rings at 11 AM and run through the end of August.

7. August 14 Art Collection Secrets: Stories from the SDHS Art Archives by Ken Kutzel sponsored by Judy Oberholtzer
8. August 21 Look. See. Hear. How Does Our Garden Grow? by Ruth Johnson, Lee Ver Schure, John Migas & Greg Raymond, sponsored by Osman Flowers and Firs
9. August 28 Good Looking? The Art of Looking Good by Maryjo Lemanski, sponsored by Jim & Janie Flemming

Barrel Update

It takes two villages and more to raise a barrel, and that's exactly what's happening with our historic roadside icon locally known as the the Root Beer Barrel. A dedicated group of SDHS members has been working quietly and without much notice repairing and prepping the 125 redwood staves for finishing. Recently, the boards were trucked to a refinishing barn where more space, light and ventilation were available for the sealing and varnishing process to take place. This step is going well as the dull strips of redwood are beginning to take on a golden brown hue. The interior of the barrel is receiving a coat of sealer and an initial coat of high grade marine varnish. The exterior will get a coat of sealer plus four to six coats of varnish. This will all be done before the barrel is erected.

The "Barrel Crew" encourages anyone with a couple of spare hours to join in the varnishing fun which needs to be completed within the next two weeks or so. Contact Al Lyon at to volunteer. This job is not technical nor strenuous, so fear not. Give it a shot. The Barrel Crew is presently seeking a contractor and or builder who would be willing to supervise the reconstruction process. If you are one or know of one who could help out, contact Al Lyon or Vic Bella at

The Society is presently working with the City of the Village of Douglas to determine the placement of the finished barrel. The goal is to erect it in a prominent location downtown where it will be used as a mini-museum and information center attracting visitors and locals alike.

Memorial barrel staves are still available and can be purchased for $150. Each donor will be recognized with a permanent plaque placed on the interior of his or her stave. Contact Vic Bella before they're all spoken for!

SAVE THE BARREL t-shirts are available at the Pump House Museum and at the Old School House. Support this great project and wear yours proudly! submitted by Vic Bella

Volunteer Corner

In this section of the newsletter we will provide volunteer news, recognize exceptional service, and offer volunteer opportunities. In this first column we recognize and memorialize a special museum volunteer. Shiloh, a therapy dog (golden retriever) who with his friend Jerry Hill volunteer at the museum, passed away recently. He will be missed by all for whom he provided comfort.

Please be on the lookout for a volunteer questionnaire which will detail volunteer opportunities and ask for your interest and availability to serve your Society. This service greatly increases the value of your membership.

Contact Ed Kelly for volunteer information at

Letter from Ryan Kilpatrick

Hi Valerie,

Thanks so much for the follow-up email. I really appreciate your understanding and willingness to work toward a solution.

I would love to be a liaison and work with the board in any capacity possible. It's clear now that many of the board members expected a bit more time from the new members than I am able to give and I would like to see my position filled by someone who is able to dedicate themselves as nuch as the board requires.

Please let me know how I can continue to help.

Ryan Kilpatrick, AICP
Director of Community Development
City of Douglas

A Lakeshore Family
Information provided by S. Scott Sykora

Dr. Frederick Steele Hartmann was born in Chicago on 8 Jun 1862 and died on 17 Mar 1933. He married Maggie Lovina (nee Baker) in Bellevue, OH on 21 Nov1888. Dr. Hartmann earned his medical degree at Rush Medical School and was an associate of world renowned surgeon, Dr. J. B. Murphy, who invented the "Murphy Button", a device used for intestinal suturing. A memorial stands today at Wabash and Erie Streets in recognition of Dr. Murphy. Dr Hartmann is mentioned in the book, J. B. Murphy, by Dr. Loyal Davis (1938) who was an associate of Drs. Murphy and Hartmann and later chairman of the department of surgery at Northwestern University from 1932 to 1963 (and step-father of First Lady Nancy Reagan). Upon his passing Dr. Davis was waked in the J. B. Murphy auditorium. In his book, Dr. Davis made reference to rumors of the day, that while called the Murphy Button, "Hartmann did all of his work" (p. 163).

Dr. Frederick Hartmann & Maggie Lovina Baker Hartmann

We don't know the first time the family came to Saugatuck, but we do know that in August 1901 the family was staying at the Riverside Hotel (the old Shriver Hotel at Ox-Bow Lagoon) and had been to the lake to bathe when a tragedy struck. They walked along the pier. Herbert, age 6, strayed from the care of his nurse, and was missing from the group when it arrived at the hotel. His body was pulled from the water some days later, and returned to Chicago for burial.


This tragedy did not end the family attraction for Saugatuck, and in 1915 they were to buy a farm here. Based on the 1915 tax records, Aaron Sheridan was able to identify the property as being the plot of land just north of the washout on Lakeshore Road now referred to as the "Tranquility Plot", extending on either side of "Tranquil Road". The original farmhouse seems to still be standing.

From the 1915 Hartmann Christmas letter:

"In April Fred purchased a fruit farm across the lake in Michigan. The family went there for the first time during the spring vacation the later part of April, and some of us were there until nearly the middle of November. I spent about six months there at the farm, in four installments. That the life agreed with my health was proved by a gain of sixteen pounds of flesh.

"Our farm consists of twenty acres of land. We have about 550 feet of lake frontage and a half mile stretch to the rear end of the place. We have about eighteen hundred fruit trees - apples, peaches, pears, cherries, plums and quinces, beside small fruit and a garden. The peach predominates - we packed 1,500 bushels of peaches for the market in one-fifth bushel baskets.

"Our livestock consists of two horses, a cow, pig, chickens, two hives of bees and a dog, not to mention two canaries. We have a small house of seven rooms and a fair sizes screen porch. It is built on a slight elevation, the lawn sloping down to the edge of the buff overlooking Lake Michigan.

"Fred turned the management of the place over to the children. Bertha being the general manager: they to pay all expenses but insurance, taxes and house furnishings, out of the proceeds and to pocket the balance. Said balance was not very heavy this year, on account of there being a super-abundance of fruit throughout the country and partly due, probably, to our inexperience in handling the situation.

" --- There are ten big maple trees around the house, five in a row to the west and five more to the south. --- A public driveway runs between our lawn and the bluff.

"The heavy work of the farm was done by a man whom we engaged by the year; the remaining part was done by the family. We have become expert in packing all kinds of fruit, pruning berry bushes and transplanting and weeding strawberries.

"Fred spent a month or less at the farm - the time being spread over week ends and occasionally and extra day or two. As a monument of his part of the summer's work there, is a natural stairs down the bluff to the beach, (bluff about 75 ft. high), and many ornamental shade trees and shrubs planted.

"We love the farm and it's surroundings, the lovely view of the lake and the gorgeous sunsets over it, the fine air and the free untrammeled life. --- Maggie"

The 1917 Christmas letter tells of some disillusionment with agricultural life:

"We regret that some of the rest of you may not have visited us at the farm for we may not spend another season there, as we have put it on the market for sale, and have a prospective buyer in sight. The country around Saugatuck surpasses any other part of Michigan in its beauty. Cooper selected this portion of the West as a setting for his interesting, and what was still in our youth, a most popular novel  --- The Pathfinder. The disadvantages of the farm seem to overbalance the advantages, much as we enjoy the beautiful location, the lake and attractive people. It is, however, too inaccessible for week end trips. The difficulty in securing help, the high cost of feed, and all the farm equipment. Have made fruit growing and expensive proposition. For example: To pay $100 for a horse one year, and to be offered $200 for him the next, and then the third year he would not bring $50 because of the scarcity of feed, [hay at $22 a ton], is only one of the ups and downs of farming during these war times. We had a beautiful Guernsey cow, kept her over winter, and had her espouse prohibition, and go drier than the State of Michigan in which she lived. Had to swap her for a scrawny, hump-backed Myrtle, a producer of an inferior grade of lacteal fluid, and we finally had to dispose of her for $40, half of what she cost in the Spring. I think, however, that our experience on the farm has been of benefit to us; it certainly has been an education in more ways than one. --- Lovingly your sister Maggie"

Scott writes that the family owned the farm until 1920, when it was finally sold.                  contributed by Chris Yoder

Welcome from Jack Sheridan leader of the Society Family History Group. The Group meeting schedule is the first and third Thursday of every month (except July and August this year). Our next meeting is September 6th at 3:30 in the Old School House. Please join us this fall to see what we are all about and most importantly, share "lessons learned" about the many tools available for family research.

Our standing offer to members: Send me information on a person that you want to find and we will find them for you in the U. S. Census, maybe even a Canadian or a British census.

In April 2012 the 1940 United States census data was released. has completed indexing twenty five states including Michigan. They are offering free access to the census; click HERE.

If you prefer, you may easily browse the local 1940 census results. We have placed a copy of the census for Douglas (11 pages), Saugatuck (16 pages) and Saugatuck Twp (19 pages) on the SDHS web site. Take a look by clicking HERE.

Some 1940 census trivia:

35,646,274 heads of household were identified, for an average household size of 3.7 people. The average age of the respondent who talked with the enumerator was 43.

The most popular male given names are: John, William, James, Robert, Joseph, George, Charles, Frank, Edward and Richard.

The most popular female given names are: Mary, Anna, Helen, Margaret, Elizabeth, Dorothy, Ruth, Marie, Rose and Alice.

The top five surnames in the census are Smith, Johnson, Brown, Williams, and Jones.

Each month in this column I talk about about a family history discovery. Such a discovery is called a EUREKA! moment. Here is what leads up to a EUREKA! moment in the area of building a family tree.

Realize that literally millions of families are being researched. Right now - today, what a natural opportunity to network!

Just think of a tree with many branches. Think of an orchard. Many folks are working on the same or related trees. All of them have a slightly different perspective . They often have special knowledge passed along among their family members about their branch of the tree.

It is a giant puzzle with all the "worker-bees" fitting pieces together. The trees are growing in number and in size - faster and bigger - because the digital age has made possible the systematic finding, assembly and distribution of family history data. Computer search capability plus the internet is vastly efficient compared to the old ways.

Doing a data base search can be done by entering a minimal amount of data and instructing the computer to search the appropriate data base. Sure, often the result is nothing. Often the result is a puzzling, maybe useful clue. But perhaps, just maybe, the result can be a finding a multi generational branch of your tree - EUREKA!

Careful - this search stuff can become addictive!

Questions/comments: Contact me at: or (269) 857-7144.

From gourmet dinners in exclusive homes to casual cocktail parties, these culinary events all feature great food and great times for a great cause.

Dining Around the Village Table is a series of culinary events that celebrate everything delicious in the Saugatuck-Douglas area. 100% of tickets sales fund the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society and are tax deductible.

Tickets for events are assigned first come, first served. To reserve your place, call 269-857-5751 or REPLY to this email. Reservations and pre-payment are required for all events.

Don't delay, tickets for these events will go quickly

Saturday, September 22, 2012 - 7pm
Kickoff Cocktail Party and Home Tour

Celebrate September's colors in the fantastic home of Tom and Donna Farrington with splendid views of Lake Kalamazoo.

Tickets: $50 per person.
Hosted by Tom and Donna Farrington
188 Hamilton St, Douglas, MI 49406

Friday, October 19, 2012 - 7pm
Dinner at the Glass House

A gourmet dinner for 12 prepared by Stacy Honson at Ed Kelly's amazing "Glass House" perched above the Kalamazoo River.

Tickets: $125 per person.
Hosted by Ed Kelly
3470 Riverside Drive, Saugatuck, MI  49453

Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 8pm
Pre-Halloween Parade Rooftop Bash

Join Judi & Howard Vanderbeck and Janie & Jim Flemming for a dinner hot off the grill and drinks on the roof of the Douglas Harbor Lofts. Come watch the parade with good friends in style. A fun and casual evening with costumes optional.

Tickets: $40 per person.
Hosted by Judi and Howard Vanderbeck
150 Center Street, Douglas, MI  49406

Saturday, November 3, 2012 - 5 to 8pm
Wine Tasting Party with Renee

Raise a glass, or two, or three with host Renee Zita. The event will be co-hosted by Tom McCarthy showcasing several different wines from the Wine Seller in Saugatuck.

Tickets: $50 per person.
Hosted by Renee Zita and Ed Ryan
3023 Harbor Road, Douglas, MI 49406

Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 7pm
Soup's On with Stephen and Jon

Join Stephen Mottram and Jon Helmrich for a cozy evening of homemade soups and breads. Comfort food at its savory best!

In addition to the delicious soups presented, each guest will take home as a souvenir of the evening a unique, hand-crafted soup bowl generously donated by some of our best know local ceramic artists, including Jeff Blandford (Volmod) and Dawn Soltysiak (Khnemu Studio)

Tickets: $40 per person.
Hosted by Stephen Mottram and Jon Helmrich
3522 64th Street, Saugatuck, MI  49453

Saturday, December 2, 2012
SDHS Holiday Party at the SCA

While not an official Dining Around the Village Table event, don't forget this wonderful membership feast.

Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 7pm
A Splendid Table

Dinner and home tour for eight at the grand home of Pat Sax in Douglas. Dinner will be prepared by Stephen Mottram and Ken Carls. 

Tickets: $150 per person (or if purchased quickly an exclusive table for 8 for $1,500)
Hosted by Pat Sax
13 East Fremont Street, Douglas, MI 49406

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 - 5 to 7pm
Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler
(Let the Good Times Roll)

Stacy Honson and Stephen Mottram will be serving up classic New Orleans' fare as a warm up to the Douglas Mardi Gras parade. The location will be Mark Neidlinger's unique Crow Cottage, perfectly located just off Center Street.

Tickets: $40 per person.
Hosted by Mark Neidlinger
31 Spring St, Douglas, MI 49406

Saturday, April 20, 2013 - 7pm
Red House Repast

Ken Carls and Jim Schmiechen will host a sumptuous meal at the Red House, overlooking the Douglas Bayou. Act fast to get in on this one since these dinners always fill quickly.

Tickets:  $125 per person.
Hosted by Ken Carls and Jim Schmeichen
325 Water St., Douglas, MI 49406

Sunday, April  28, 2013 - 5 to 8pm
The Magnificent Trilogy

A progressive cocktail party and home tour of three magnificent homes on the Kalamazoo River.

Tickets:  $100 per person.
Hosted by Monty Collins and Jerry Dark, Sandra and Travis Randolph, Skip Schipper and John Seros
3440 - 3442 Riverside Drive, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Friday, May  3, 2013 - 5 to 8pm
A Toast to the Dunelands

Ken Tornvall will host a kick off party for the 2013 SDHS Museum exhibit opening at his home: an amazing restoration of a classic Michigan barn.

Tickets: $50 per person.
Hosted by Ken Tornvall
540 Campbell, Saugatuck

Sunday, June 23, 2013 - 11:30am
Always on a Sunday Brunch

Catherine and Mike Economos will host a Sunday Brunch at their home on the dunes overlooking the Kalamazoo River. Expect charming gardens, fabulous views and a delicious meal.

Tickets: $50 per person
Hosted by Catherine and Mike Economos
716 Park St., Saugatuck, MI 49453

Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.

Bill Simmons and Charles Atlas

This month's photo was taken by Bill Simmons [see his great work in the SDHS book OFF THE RECORD] about 1952 at the Oval Beach. It is one of my favorites.

Bill's trademark was the unposed photo, usually shot from the backside. This shot has that aspect but also gives us a look at the full face of the sunbather reaching for her iodine tinted baby oil.

But the focus of the photo is the "scrawny weakling" checking out nearby chicks in the neighborhood. Those shoes next to the baby oil must be his.

Keep in mind that Bill Simmons was maybe five foot four and 120 pounds soaking wet.

I personally think that our scrawny weakling here is suffering from having sand kicked in his face [while lying on the beach with female friend] by the local bully and is planning to enroll in a Charles Atlas muscle building program.

To set the scene, here is a Wikipedia description of a Charles Atlas 1950s comic book ad [if case you are not old enough to remember]:

"The Insult that Made a Man out of Mac":

In this the full-length ad version, the protagonist, "Mac," is accosted on the beach by a sand-kicking bully while his date watches. Humiliated, the young man goes home and after kicking a chair and gambling a three-cent stamp, subscribes to Atlas's "Dynamic-Tension" program. Later, the now muscular protagonist goes back to the beach and beats up the bully, becoming the "hero of the beach." His girl is proud while other females marvel at how big his muscles are.

No doubt, Bill Simmons had the sand kicking bully and Charles Atlas in mind when he snapped this shot.

Of course we will never know for sure --- You be the judge.

Next month the Oval Beach some sixty years ago - how it has changed!

Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.

                            submitted by

Coming Soon

Coming soon a Daffodil Planting Party. This will be in conjunction with the Volunteer Chili Party in October. More information to come. Stay tuned.

New Stock Of "Save the Barrel" T Shirts at the Pump House Museum

A New Stock of "Save the Barrel" T-shirts has been placed at the Pump House Museum and is available for purchase. Shirts are available in all sizes (s,m,l, xl and XXL- with two youth sizes left) and in black, navy, white, light blue and one pink. Make a perfect Xmas gift... buy yours now!! (Youth-$18; XXL- $22, other sizes $20).

West Shore Caddys
Who Can You Identify?

Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.

Thanks to Barbara (Martin) Stewart, Annandale, VA, daughter of Leonard (Bill) Martin of Douglas, for this photo of an early group of West Shore caddies (c1930). Bill was golf pro at West Shore in his youth. He was born in 1907. Can you name any of these young athletes? (if so, tell Chris Yoder at or 269- 857-4327).

Directory Changes

We hope that you are finding our new Directory useful in staying in touch with the many members. Here are some changes since it was printed.

l Pauline Brockington has moved to 727 Apple Avenue, A6, Holland, MI 49423, Home (616) 355-5006, Cell (269) 857-2054
l Jim & Betsy Muir's phone number is 269-455-5047
l Dawn Stafford's new email address is
l New phone numbers for Larry Akins 616-405-3351 and Shirley Akins 239-691-4537
l New phone number for Ted and Dorothy Shaw 847-559-0513
l Delete the Jackson, MI address for Pat and Lou Burroughs

Monthly Meeting Refreshment Providers

September Janeen Fowler
October Merle Malmquist & Paula Schultz

if you can help out.

December No Cookies - Holiday Party


To become a member or renew your membership select from the following categories:

Individual $30
Household $50
Premium $250
Corporate $500
Life $1,000
Senior (65+) $20
Senior Household $35
Student $5

Send check payable to the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society to: PO Box 617, Douglas, Michigan 49406. You can also click HERE for a Society Membership Application.

Send items for the newsletter to: Fred Schmidt, PO Box 617, Douglas MI 49406 or email


The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society History Museum is located in the historic Pump House at the foot of Mt. Baldhead on the west bank of the Kalamazoo River. The Museum's 2012 exhibit is titled:

The Museum is open daily from noon until 4 pm through Labor Day and then on weekends from noon to 4 pm through October 28. Click HERE to learn more about the Museum and view images of the exhibit.

The Old School House History Center and Lifeboat Display at 130 Center Street in Douglas will be open daily through the summer from 11:30 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday; 11 am to 2 pm on Saturday and Noon to 3 pm on Sunday.

The Society's Technology Center is located in the lower level of the Old School House History Center at 130 Center Street in downtown Douglas.

Society Phone: 269 857-5751
Museum Phone: 269 857-7900
Tech Center Phone 269 857-7901

If you would like to contact us with comments, please email us at or call us at 269-857-5751.
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