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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

A well deserved thank you to all who made the ArtsAlive project so successful. While it was a goal that we worked toward throughout the summer, it was a wonderful reward of $21,889 in donations on behalf of the Society plus a $4,000 award for placing in the top five - a pleasant surprise. Many a thank you to all who contributed to the success of this venture. Also of note is the planting of 1,000 King Alfred daffodil bulbs in the Back-In-Time Garden. This was made possible through the generous monetary gifts of many and the physical efforts of others.

As I write this the ghosts are planning their "annual" walk at the Old School House. The research for this program and the execution of the production is a Kit Lane product along with photo assistance by Chris Yoder. I know you will enjoy the production as you did last year and there are a few more ghosts!

The Holiday Party is scheduled for December 2; 6:00 p.m. at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Please make your reservations early and plan to bring your most festive holiday recipe. This is a guaranteed beautiful evening and a great way to begin the holiday season. Also, note that there will be no General Membership Meeting on the second Wednesday of December and there will be no General Membership Meeting on the second Wednesday of January.

Enjoy the days ahead - they may be our most treasured memories!                       submitted by Marsha Kontio

A BIG Thank You to the Old School House Daffodil Trail Bulb Boosters
$1,500 donated

Pearl Ahnen In memory of my dear daughter, Deneen, who died July 14, 2011 of pancreatic cancer
Valerie Atkin
Vic Bella

Baars & Margo Bultman
Monty Collins & Jerry Dark
Sherry Coupe
In memory of Sonna Smith, my Mother
Gina Demos In memory of Ginny Munizzo, Vasiliki and Thanos Demos with love from the Saugatuck Tea Party Café
Richard & Ellen Donovan
Dede Dupre & Rob Golub
Floyd Fleming

Janeen Fowler To honor all Mothers who love Spring flowers
Heather Heuchen Foderingham In memory of the deceased members of the Heuchen and Foderingham families
Betsy Ann & Michael O. Foster In memory of Ann H. Curtis, Pier Cove
Rob Kegley
Ed Kelly
Sharon Kelly

Doug & Bonnie Lowe In Memory of Ruth Wilson Lafountain
Barbara Lucier
Al & Dottie Lyon
Mike Mattern & Bill Hess
Betsy & Jim Muir
Judy Oberholtzer

Teresa O'Brien In memory of Luke O'Brien
Carol Peterson In memory of Mary Bird Jones
Ed Ryan
Janet & Fred Schmidt In memory of Harry C. Vorys
Howard & Paula Schultz
Richard & Martha Shaw
Cynthia Sorensen
In memory of Emily Lamb & Marjorie Sorensen
Sandra Thieda In honor of Harold Thieda
Leslie Thompson In honor of my Mother, Rosemarie Ash Judi & Howard Vanderbeck
Frank & Charlotte Voris

Sally Winthers In honor of Anna Holmgaard Kirchert
Herk & Christa Wise
Renee Zita

If you would like to become a Bulb Booster, send your check to SDHS, PO Box 617, Douglas, MI 49406. Please be sure to indicate if your donation is being made to remember or honor a friend or relative.

Planting the Daffodil Trail

Community volunteers and Society members gathered at the Old School House History Center in Douglas on Sunday, October 28 to plant 1,000 bulbs for large yellow "Dutch Master" daffodils, setting the stage for a spring bloom to provide an early annual downtown attraction next year.

Among the youngest volunteers is Jillian Johnson,
Douglas Elementary School 4th grader.

Funded by donors (see list above), the plantings were clustered along the "Back-In-Time Pathway" that meanders through the Old School House's 1.16-acre wooded site among other sections already planted with rhododendrons and various flowering shrubs.

Do You Have A Story to Tell About the Mt. Baldhead Holiday Star?

                                            Michael L. Anderson Photography

The star that shines from the top of Mt. Baldhead is being replaced by a newly designed version for this Holiday Season.

The Society is putting together a history of the star to be published in next month's Newsletter.

If you have any stories, memories, information or historical pictures of the star you would like to share, please REPLY to this email.                      submitted by Bill Hess

Volunteer Corner

We continue to need help with the very important Archive function. Mary Voss will be an awesome teacher and the Society will be the beneficiary. Please contact Ed Kelly at to learn more about the opportunity.

A new and exciting project is under way to explore the music of the 60's in Saugatuck/Douglas. Mike Sweeney has much knowledge and a passion to share the music history with our community. If you wish to help, contact Ed Kelly at

Saugatuck Pop Festival 1968

Thanks to all who volunteer and those who will soon. It makes the SDHS enjoyable and relevant.      submitted by Ed Kelly

Society Membership

The 2013 new member and membership renewal campaign will begin in January 2013. We need your help to encourage your friends to become or continue to be members of our fine organization.

If you wish to make your membership payment in this tax year, feel free to click HERE for a 2013 renewal form.

The Dine Around The Village Table events have been very successful/fun and continue into next year. As an incentive to encourage more Lifetime Memberships, we are including two invitations to attend "The Magnificent Trilogy" progressive cocktail party at three spectacular Kalamazoo River homes on April 28th. This has a value of $200 plus all the fun.

Lets make this a record breaking year for SDHS membership!         submitted by Ed Kelly

Welcome from Jack Sheridan leader of the Society Family History Group. The Group meeting schedule is the first and third Thursday of every month. Our next meeting is November 15th 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.

Each month in this column I talk about a family history discovery. Such a discovery is called a EUREKA! moment. One of the best EUREKA! moments is when we realize how eager we have become to learn more about our family history. Our family history becomes in our mind, like a mystery book one cannot put down. We cannot wait to turn the next page, read the next chapter, and ponder the outcome.

Who were these people? The question echoes, fueled anew after successes like discovering the maiden name of a great grandmother, an 1880s family photo, often a wondrous flood of info from a distant relative. And satisfaction comes with mastering techniques necessary to search millions of record collections in an instant. The family tree grows branch on limb, leaf on branch. The pieces of your giant puzzle begin to come together.

Have you always wanted to learn more about your family history, but have not known where and how to begin? Here is a suggestion. Our SDHS Family History group wants to help you. A starting point is to record what you know about your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents and send it along for a review by our volunteers.

If you are reading this newsletter on-line, you can print off these blank family history data forms. Click on one for your mother and another for your father.

Next fill out what you know and snail-mail the forms to SDHS Family History, Box 617, Douglas, Michigan 49406, or scan and email a copy to either or Give us time for an initial assessment. We will soon be back to you with whatever can be readily found and with suggestions on the next steps to take to learn more. Future further help is always available from the Family History group. Your family history does not have to have any connection to the Saugatuck-Douglas area.

If you aren't on the internet, call Chris Yoder [269 857-4327] or Jack Sheridan [269 857-1744] and we'll get a work sheet to you.

In April 2012 the 1940 United States census data was released. has now completed indexing the entire census. They are offering free access to the census. Just 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.

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

Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.

Water and Mud Part Two

This panorama photo [top] taken from Baldhead in 1929 reveals how shallow Kalamazoo Lake was at that time.

The below photo [looking northwest] was taken in 1936. The bridge and the causeway that we now accept as a natural part of the landscape was under construction. A massive amount of material was needed for the causeway because the old bridge was at water level. That bridge was a drawbridge with a trestle section. It was built in 1870 and remodeled in the early 1900s.

To get fill needed, the lake was dredged with a giant sandsucker dredge, seen on the lake in the background. Also at that time, a muddy peninsula extended into the lake along the Coghlin Park shoreline.

In seventy six years the sediment buildup has filled the lake back to the 1936 level. All this material would today make a very nice island or peninsula. How about it?

Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.

Next month we move downriver and back in history one hundred and forty two years.

                            submitted by

Welcome New Members

We would like to welcome the new members who have joined the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society since the last newsletter.

l Joleen Christine, Douglas, MI
l Laird & Virginia Stuart, Saugatuck, MI
l Ross T. Hanley, Douglas, MI
l Charlotte & Patrick Stewart, Saugatuck, MI

Update to the Society Directory
John and Carol Ortman have moved to Mount Dora, FL. There new address is 435 East 6th Avenue, PO Box 1390 Mount Dora , FL 32757

Sally Winthers & Stacy Honson
Receive "Village Table" Award

Society members Sally Winthers and Stacy Honson show the recently received Leadership In History Award of Merit certificate from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) honoring the Society's new cookbook The Village Table: A Delicious History of Food in the Saugatuck-Douglas Area.

Compiled by Stacy with graphic design by Sally and historical content edited by Kit Lane, the book celebrates the Saugatuck-Douglas area by exploring its food: what the settlers found, fished, gathered and grew, and what we eat today. Historical commentary ranges from survival strategies of early settlers to changes in fishing, the ecology of Lake Michigan and the growth of farming.

This 144-page publication, featuring menus and recipes that favor locally available ingredients, cross-referencing by separate historical and culinary indexes, and spiral "lay flat" binding, is offered for holiday gift-giving at $35. A limited supply of hand-bound, hardcover issues also is available.

Orders may be placed by phone at (269) 857-5751, with all proceeds benefiting the Historical Society and its volunteer-driven programs. Or just REPLY to this email and we will be in touch to take your order.

The AASLH Leadership In History Awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. Winners were announced earlier in the year, with awards officially presented at the Association's annual awards banquet in October, in Salt Lake City, Utah, citing the Society's entry as "... a wonderful example of a historical society capturing the attention of the general public by wrapping their history in the familiar form of a cookbook".

Historic Home for Sale

One of Saugatuck's most historic homes is for sale! "The Chalet", the Pleasant Street home of the famous Saugatuck painter and architect Carl Hoerman is being offered for sale by the family. He built it single-handedly in the 1920s, just south of "Kemah", and he and his wife Christiana lived there until the end of their lives. The home has been handed down in the family until now.

In 1920 Hoerman gave up his architectural practice in Chicago and moved with his wife to Saugatuck. When he first settled here, he had land on Silver Lake and started a tree nursery, but in 1922 he gave this up to devote more time to his painting. In 1923, Hoerman built the Chalet, his residence, studio and private gallery.

"Located on a hillside and commanding a view of the Kalamazoo River, the Chalet is a monument to Hoerman's artistic versatility. In its many fascinating details, the Chalet reflects the hand and mind of a master craftsman, a craftsman whose range included the arts of stonemasonry and leaded glass as well as woodcarving, architectural design, and painting."  For more details, click HERE.  
                                           submitted by Chris Yoder

Society's Monthly Meeting
Wednesday, November 14 at 7 pm
at the Old School House History Center

Tales From The Crypt

A post-Halloween visit from 28 full-time residents of Ganges' Taylor Cemetery will be "brought to life" by Marsha Kontio, Kit Lane, Barrett Randolph, Steve Williford and Chris Yoder.

Refreshments to die for.

You won't want to miss this one!

Made Your Reservation to the
Jolly Holiday Dinner Party?

Have you made your reservation for the Society's Annual Holiday Party yet? Reservations are required. Click HERE to print your Reservation Card or just REPLY to this email if you are letting us cook. Just include the names of those who will be attending, whether you will be bringing a Salad, Side Dish or Dessert and if you have a preference with whom you would like to sit with. If you don't plan to cook, please send a check for $18 per person to SDHS, PO Box 617, Douglas, MI 49406 along with any seating preference.

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

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

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

Katherine 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

What You Missed!

"Pre-Halloween Parade Rooftop Bash" on Saturday, October 27 at the Douglas Harbor Lofts condominium home of Judi and Howard Vanderbeck,150 Center St. Co-hosted by Saugatuck's Janie and Jim Flemming, this event offered drinks and an outdoor grilled dinner of ribs, knockwurst, corn-on-the-cob, salads and more, grilled and served outdoors on an expansive second-floor patio.

A riverside home tour and wine-tasting party Saturday, November 3, hosted by Renee Zita and Ed Ryan at their home in Newport Harbor, overlooking the Kalamazoo River, bayous and wetlands from 3023 Harbor Road. Co-host Tom McCarthy offered a selection of wines from Wine Sellers of Saugatuck, complemented with signature appetizers by Jim Petzing of Zing Drink/Eat Restaurant in Douglas.

The Owners of Ashton
"Then and Now" Photos of Ashton appeared in the October Newsletter

On Wednesday, Oct. 1, 1913, friends and relatives of Mr. and Mrs. George Henry ("Henry") Shriver gathered at their Saugatuck home ("Ashton" on the corner of Mary and Joseph Street) to help celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary. The home was decorated with ropes of yellow, white and green and yellow flowers decorated the rooms. At exactly seven o'clock, Mendelssohn's Wedding March was played as the bridal couple was led in by a group of family children, up a flower strewn pathway to a canopy of green and yellow. The bride, Mary Josephine Greenhalgh, carried fifty yellow roses and was dressed in white lace over white satin. Her husband wore "conventional black". They were followed into the room by their sons and daughters.

The Rev. Millar conducted a service, a daughter told the history of her parent's lives, songs were sung, and speeches were made. Fred Wade spoke of loved ones in a home, Dr. Walker of "the ties that bind one another together", and Mrs. D. A. (May Francis) Heath of "the Matrimonial ship, of the many rough voyages through life, the storms and squalls and then the beautiful calm." The guests went to the dining room for a two course lunch served by the daughters.

Fifty years before, on Oct. 1, 1863, George Henry Shriver and Mary Josephine Greenhalgh had been married. They were to become the parents of twelve children, five of whom died in infancy, and one in young womanhood.

According to May Heath's book Early Memories of Saugatuck:

"George Henry Shriver was born in Buffalo, N. Y., April 10, 1844, the son of George Henry Shriver of Montreal; his paternal grandfather was a German, leading an army into Montreal, and remaining there for some time, and was married to a French lady, Minna Dumas. The Shrivers way back to the time of Charlemagne were a family of soldiers. Henry Shriver spent his boyhood in Buffalo, where in Oct., 1863, at the age of nineteen, he married Miss Josephine Greenhalgh, aged 16. They went to Titusville, Penn., in the great oil craze of '64 and in 1865 he joined the 74th New York State Militia, Co. A., who were sent to quell the riots then prevalent in New York City. He then served 68 days in the Civil War, when the war ended and he received an honorable discharge."

"When he first came to Saugatuck, he, with W. G. Edgcomb, owned what is now the "Lortin" farm, living in those days when Indians often came to their door, saying "Injun eat," and they were always sure of a welcome there and food too."

"At that time when the country was new, they suffered the terrible "ague siege" which claimed many of the early settlers. Later Henry and his brother, Charles Shriver, and Harry Holt went into the fishing business, and the Shrivers built nice homes at the mouth of the Kalamazoo, where now are the Ox Bow Inn and the Art School; they lived at the mouth thirty years, when they moved to Saugatuck in 1902."

They arrived in Saugatuck in the spring of 1868 with his brother Charles, who had married Mary Josephine's sister Maria. Initially buying a farm on the Allegan Road, they eventually purchased a tract of land at the bend of the river on the old channel at what came to be known as "Shriver's Bend". The large home there became "Shriver's Inn" and was operated as a guest hotel by the family for many years.

Several years after Henry and Josephine moved in to town, In Aug. 1905, brother Charles Shriver went out with a guest in his sailboat "The Bird" to draw in some fish nets and was never seen again.

In later years, Henry suffered from rheumatism, but loved to work in the garden. He died Apr. 20, 1924. Josephine, was born in Hamilton, Canada March 17, 1854 and moved to Buffalo with her parents at the age of six. She died at her home "Ashton" on Feb. 7, 1926, and the funeral was conducted from there by Rev. Millar. As May Francis Heath wrote about them in her book:

"Their home was a happy one and the latchstring was always out to friend or stranger, and they had hosts of friends in whose memory they live."

(We thank Barbara Figeley for the photos of Henry, Josephine, and Charles Shriver. Digital copies of these are a part of the Ellen Greenhalgh Collection at the SDHS.)
                                                    submitted by Chris Yoder

Mt. Baldy Station

The Mt. Baldy Station in the Back-In-Time Garden at the Old School House is moving along. Stop by to see the progress the next time you're at the Old School House.      


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 was titled:

The Museum is now closed. Click HERE to learn more about the Museum and view images of this year's exhibit.

The Old School House History Center and Lifeboat Display at 130 Center Street in Douglas is open to visitors by appointment. Please REPLY to this email or call 269 857-5751.

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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