SDHS has over 20,000 votes AND
we're in second place. Don't be lulled into a false sense of
confidence as last year's winner had over 26,000 and the vote count
has almost doubled each year so there is not telling how high it
might rise. Also, many organizations don't submit their votes until
the contest goes dark during the last two weeks.
If you've not taken the
opportunity to vote, please do so. Each $1 equals 1 vote and gets us
closer to being in the top 5 and garnering an additional bonus.
There are two easy ways to help us
finish first this year:
1) Pick up an envelope at the OSH or Pump House Museum (or call us
at 269-857-5751 and we'll mail you one)
2) Go to
www.artsaliveallegancounty.org and vote on-line.
Thank you for Keeping
History Alive Here!
Dine Around Events: A
Delicious Series of Dinners and Parties
to support the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society
From gourmet dinners in exclusive homes to casual cocktail parties,
these culinary events feature great food and great times for a great
A Roan and Black Evening
Saturday, September 28, 2013 | 7 pm
Tickets $125 per person
Hosted by John Newland & Doug McIntosh
3315 Blue Star Highway, Saugatuck
Cocktails in the new Blue Star Highway home of John Newland and Doug
McIntosh followed by dinner for 12 downstairs in the Roan and Black
Sorry, but this event has SOLD OUT!
2nd Annual Halloween
Saturday, October 26, 2013 | 7:30 pm
Tickets $40 per person
Hosted by Judi & Howard Vanderbeck
and Janie & Jim Flemming
On the Rooftop, 150 Center Street, Douglas
High spirits and dinner hot off the grill with Douglas Halloween
parade viewing at 10 PM.
Comfortable Fall Feast with Steve
Saturday, November 16, 2013 | 6:30 pm
Tickets $85 per person
Hosted by Steve Teich
178 West Shore Court, Douglas
Cocktails and a hearty dinner for eight in the
newly transformed home of designer Steve Teich.
Dollybrook Musical Chairs
Saturday, January 11, 2014 | 6:30 pm
Tickets $75 per person
Hosted by The Keag Family, Dollybrook Family Resort
2076 66th Street, Fennville
Park once and enjoy small plate dining as you walk
to each of the nine unique cottages at Dollybrook Resort. The
natural beauty and charming, eclectic decor of this property will
brighten your January.
The first two events were SOLD OUT! To reserve your place
in the upcoming events, REPLY to this email or call 269-857-5751
email@example.com and we'll be in touch.
Tuesday Talks are arranged by the SDHS Program Group. Direct
questions and or suggestions for 2014 to Jim Schmiechen at
l August 20: Jack Sheridan, Beach Stories: Low Water, High
Water and Beach Life. Sponsored by Star of
Saugatuck and Terry Burns
l August 27: Kit Lane, Goshorn Lake. Is it really bottomless?
Sponsored by Osman Flowers & Firs and
Howard & Paula Schultz
2013 Society Monthly Programs
At the Old School House History Center
August 14: Eat Your Way to the Top Annual Picnic at the
History Center. Celebrating the Garden's Mt. Baldhead Viewing
Station. Note early starting time: 6:00
September 11: Now and Then: Great Lakes - Hot Topics Long
time Great Lakes observer Patty Birkholz brings past and present
views of our greatest local asset - the water. Swimmingly delicious
deserts. Sponsored by Ruth and Don Wendel
October 9: Tales from the Crypt: Visitors from the Ghostown of
Plummerville (Ganges Township) Led by Kit Lane and Marsha
Kontio, a virtual tour by the Cemetery Actors Group. Refreshments to
November 13: Painting: the Town: Landscape, the Artist, and
People by Ken Kutzel who brings stories from the Society's art
December 1: Annual Society Holiday Dinner 6:00 pm. At the
Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Kick off the Holiday Season. Good
cheer, Great Food, Good Friends.
If you would like to sponsor one of the Monthly Programs, please
REPLY to this email. Sponsorships are $150.
Thanks to Valerie Atkin, Ed Kelly, Sharon Kelly, Marsha Kontio and
Renee Zita for providing yummy refreshments for our Monthly
Happenings at the Old School House History Center
On Saturday, September 7, our space becomes an EVENT SPACE as the
Old School House helps celebrate the very 1st Wedding
Reception. Congratulations Meggie and Justin.
At 1:00 PM on Sunday, September 22, the Great Lakes Chapter of the
National Wildlife Federation will hold a fundraiser at the Old
School House History Center. Click
for more details
Welcome from Jack Sheridan and Chris Yoder leaders of the Society
Family History Group. Our meeting schedule is the first and third
Thursday of every month. Upcoming meetings are:
Thursday, August 15
Thursday, September 5
Thursday, September 19
Please join us to see what we are all about and most importantly,
share "lessons learned" about the many tools available for family
In recent months I have told you about my Ancestry.com DNA
analysis. There is a steady feedback of possible matches each
week. I am looking for ancestors, ie grandparents, that I do not
yet have in my family tree. The DNA feedback does not prove
relationship but it creates new likely places to look.
Of course I am especially interested in the surname Sheridan. A
new find would be my fifth great grandfather Sheridan born about
1730. This would be a EUREKA! moment as I have been
looking for some thirteen years!
My fourth great grandfather was Joseph Sheridan born in 1754. I
know nothing of his ancestors and little about his descendants
except that one of his sons, my third great grandfather is Allen
Sheridan. Allen I know a lot about but Joseph - not much. Here is
a bit of it. He enlisted to fight in the Revolutionary War in 1781
from an area of western Massachusetts. He appears in the U. S.
censuses for 1790, 1800, 1810 and 1820. He was probably widowed
and remarried. If so, he had at least three sons - Allen and
Caleb, I know, and at least four daughters, all unknown to me.
There are no names of his wives. He lived in Massachusetts, Rhode
Island, Connecticut and New York between 1754 and about 1827.
Sheridan is a traditional Irish name but there is no mention of
him coming from Ireland so the born in Ireland ancestor may be a
few generations back.
Let me know if you see him in a tree! Stay tuned.
Think about your family puzzles and realize that if you want to
discover your family history, but have not known where and how to
begin, our SDHS Family History group is here to help.
An easy 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 to SDHS Family History, Box 617,
Douglas, Michigan 49406, or email a copy to either
Give us time for an initial assessment. We will soon be back to
you with readily found data and with suggestions on the next steps
to take. Future further help is always available from the Family
History group. The only requirement is membership in the SDHS.
I must stress that your family history does not have to have any
connection to the Saugatuck-Douglas area.
Still wondering? Questions/comments/advice/needs: Contact me at:
or 269 857-7144. Chris
firstname.lastname@example.org is back from Arizona so his great help is
submitted by Jack Sheridan
Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
Frank, Gertrude and Broward - A Thumbnail History
Franklin Augustus Denison was a Chicago boy. Born in Chicago 1909,
he was the first son of a respected and successful attorney. His
father wanted him to go to law school but Frank had other ideas.
The family had a summer home in St. Joseph, Michigan and there Frank
developed an early love for Lake Michigan boats. By 1933 he had a
trucking company in addition to a part time business renovating and
They met in the Big Pavilion - of course! In 1947 he married
Gertrude Winslow of Chicago. Her father Clarence Morton Winslow was
of the Saugatuck Winslow family.
In the 1930s, Frank had started to buy and refurbish boats which led
to customers far and wide. While honeymooning in Florida he and
Gertrude called on one of those customers who just happened to have
a small shipyard in Fort Lauderdale that he wanted to sell in the
worst way. He made them an offer that could not be refused!
So the birth of Broward Marine. In the early 1950's the business
gathered speed with government orders for wooden hulled
minesweepers. The resulting workforce and design capability became
the Broward's entrée to large custom yachts.
Frank was an excellent manager because Gertrude was beside him
playing a key role in all aspects of the business.
In 1953, perfume magnate David Bennett had died and the Bennett
property was on the market. In 1954 his heirs were asking $75,000
for a bunch of sand dunes with a river running through the middle.
One foot in Florida and the other in Saugatuck, Frank considered,
Gertrude decided. The price lowered a bit. The deal was closed!.
Another beginning - the Denison Estate. And twenty years later the
site for a Broward Marine boatyard!
Fast forward to 1973. Frank was on a commute from Florida when he
just happened to meet two talented boat builders. They were
returning from a mission to build a plant in Florida for the Chris
Craft owned Roamer Division. It just so happened that Roamer was
planning to build aluminum hulled boats in Florida. Furthermore, it
just so happened that these guys were from Holland and had little
appetite for a move to Florida.
After a brief conversation and a handshake they were to begin
working for Broward Marine and with the challenge of building a
plant right here on the river through the dunes! Their talents were
the key to the next twenty years of great Broward Marine custom
yacht production. During that time up to half of the yachts built by
Broward - up to 120 ft. - came out of the Saugatuck plant.
Broward aluminum hull yachts were a huge success. In the years that
followed, Frank, Gertrude and their sons Kit, Skip, and Ken built a
quality organization. Their slogan was "Demand the Finest." In the
1990s they were building ten boats a year in lengths up to 155 ft.
The right combination of innovation, design flair, and building
quality made Broward a leader in the custom super yacht business.
Time marches on and advancing age convinced Gertrude and Frank to
sell the business. It was sold in 1999 to Polo Holdings. The
production of yachts in Saugatuck ended in 2001. Gertrude Winslow
Denison died in 1997 and Frank Augustus Denison in 2000.
Ken Denison has carried on the megayacht brokerage business with his
Company, Denison and Daves.
I thank Ken Denison for helping me gather information for this
Next month we take a look at another interesting entrepreneur.
Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
Welcome New Members
We would like to welcome the new members who have joined the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society since the last newsletter.
l Elizabeth Burns -
Saugatuck, MI & Ballwin, MO
l Carol & Thomas
Bruckman - Saugatuck, MI
l Jeffrey L. Aldrich -
l Karen Kayser -
l Jane R. Harrison -
l Lee & Cher Curtis -
Fennville, MI & Webster Groves, MO)
Society Booth at the Blue Star Antique Pavilion
The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society Booth at the Blue Star
Antique Pavilion in Douglas has been a great success! Stop in to see
the display of Society books and other great items! All proceeds go
for Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society projects. Check us out
Thank you to all of you who have donated beautiful items for us to
If you have great "smalls" to donate to raise money, call Ken Kutzel
The "Dog Days of Summer" are here but it sure
doesn't feel like it. This cooler, wetter summer has sure made our
garden a spectacular site to visit - and visitors we've had. From
Tuesday Talks to drop ins, the garden has been enjoyed by many.
The Holland Horticulture Club is having a tour of our garden.
Thank you Joy Muehlenbeck for bringing them to us. Wednesday is
our annual picnic to celebrate the Mt. Baldhead station and the
garden, but you can take a sneak peek before hand. The station
looks amazing! Many thanks to John Migas, Dick Bont, Dawn
Stafford, Kristi Mueller, Jim Schmeichen and the Saugatuck High
School wood shop class. We couldn't have done it without you. Also
our weed patrol has been working their gloves off. Thanks to ALL
of you for helping us out. It is a job that is never finished but
Judy Anthrop and her Posse are busy getting
proposals for the Gerber bird houses. The project doesn't sound
like it is going to be a cheap one, but well worth it. Hopefully
we can make a decision soon on the lucky company that will help us
The Garden Committees next order of business will
be the Peach Orchard. We would like to install the fence this
season and create our Pollinator Habitat. Fence designs are on the
drawing table and Kristi and Jim are brainstorming, as we speak,
on the graphics for this station.
Remember, it is never to early to start thinking
of Christmas - the season of giving. Why not give a beautiful
garden bench complete with a name plaque! We have our biggest and
most unique benches available. You can even purchase part of a
bench. If you have any questions about these amazing, one of a
kind, works of art, please ask Ruth Johnson or Jim Schmiechen.
A big thank you to our intern Troy Prill. He will
be leaving us on August 17th. What a great job he did!
Anyone interested in becoming a garden tour guide, please contact
Ruth or Jim. We have a tour script waiting for you.
One more thanks goes to Mike Economos. His talent
is on display at our Museum. What a beautiful garden. We are truly
blessed to have him on our committee at the Old School House.
See you next month.
The Garden Committee
The Clean-up crew: Rob McCaleb, Mary Voss, Sunny Hill and Maury
Decoster, Judy and Howard Vanderbeck & Al Lyon
Eight dedicated volunteers organized by Dottie
Lyon showed up on August 8 to remove the brush, weeds and dead
branches from along the fence on the east side of the school
house. They also spread multiple bags of mulch. The landscaping in
the front yard of the school house now looks so much better! Many
hands make light work! Thank you guys!