DECEMBER  2014 Click HERE for printer friendly version with images

Again this year, the Society Newsletters are being underwritten by a generous donation from Frances Vorys, a Society Life member.

Collecting and documenting photos is just one of the BIG ways the Society preserves our history for future generations. Did you get our end of year appeal letter in the mail? Your donation makes a BIG difference to our small organization. Please think of the SDHS in your year-end giving. Click HERE to download and print a donation form. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and thank you from the Board of the SDHS.

A story from Sally Winthers as a result of a post card included with this year's campaign mailing.

After receiving the end of year appeal letter, Paula Schultz recognized her husband, Howard Schultz, sitting front and center with his classmates on the Douglas Union School/Old School House postcard.

The Post Card

Teacher, Miss Hinges (?) Back row (left to right): Joann Norman, Jean Norman, unknown child 1, Wally Forrester, Ivan Orr (?), Jimmy Bruce, Jane Norman, unknown child 2 Middle row: unknown child 3, Ruthann Troutman, Helen Mueller, unknown child 4, Earl Herring, Patsy Engle, Francis Oliver, Margaret VanSycle, unknown child 5, Kay Schreckengust, Judy Renkema, unknown child 6, Mary Ash Front row: Bobby Engle, Ricky Grubbs, Dean Dornan, Glenn Gooding, Harry Forrester, Bruce Troutman, Howard Schultz, George Goshorn, Lloyd Bolles, unknown child 7, Ralph Troutman, John Mueller, Donny Adair, unknown child 8

Click on the post card for a higher resolution image

Let the good times roll 

at the

Mardi Gras Pre-Parade Party

Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 5:30pm


Join hosts Arthur Ashley and Darin Reiling for an evening of food and fun to warm up before the Douglas Mardi Gras parade.

The menu, direct from New Orleans, will be prepared by Stacy Honson.

Don't miss Dick Bont's "world-famous" pralines. 



Tickets $50 per person.
Only 30 tickets will be sold.

To reserve your place call 269-857-5751 or email

All proceeds from this Dine Around event benefit the SDHS.

Welcome from Jack Sheridan and Chris Yoder, leaders of the Society Family History Group.

Please visit us to see what we are all about and most importantly, share "lessons learned" about the many tools available for family history research.

Last week I read a very interesting article in the latest American Ancestors magazine which is a quarterly publication of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. The story was very interesting and well researched genealogically. It was about an attack on the little village of Lancaster, Massachusetts during King Philips War in 1676.

King Philip was an Indian Chieftain in Massachusetts. The war was a terrible thing and lasted for some two years - thousands of lives were lost. A number of the inhabitants of Lancaster were related to my ancestors, thereby to me and amazingly to a number of close friends of mine. So of course that made the story doubly interesting.

It reinforced my understanding of how the USA can be a very small place from a genealogical standpoint. Doing a little research, I lifted this bit from Wikipedia which summarizes and partially explains the "small world" phenomena:

"The New England States were initially colonized by about 30,000 settlers between 1620 and 1640, a period now referred to as "The Great Migration". There was little additional immigration until the Irish influx of the 1840s and '50s in the wake of the potato famine.

The regional economy grew rapidly in the 17th century, thanks to heavy immigration, high birth rates, low death rates, and an abundance of inexpensive farmland.[16] The population grew from 3000 in 1630 to 14,000 in 1640, 33,000 in 1660, 68,000 in 1680, and 91,000 in 1700. Between 1630 and 1643, about 20,000 Puritans arrived, settling mostly near Boston; after 1643 fewer than fifty immigrants a year arrived.

The average size of a completed family 1660-1700 was 7.1 children; the birth rate was 49 babies per year per 1000 people, and the death rate was about 22 deaths per year per thousand people. About 27 percent of the population comprised men between 16 and 60 years old.[17] The almost one million inhabitants in 1770, just before the Revolution were nearly all descended from the original settlers, whose 3 percent annual natural growth rate caused a doubling of population every 25 years. Their beliefs and ancestry were nearly all shared and made them into what was probably the largest more-or-less homogeneous group of settlers in America. Their high birth rate continued for at least a century more, making the descendants of these New Englanders well represented in nearly all states today."

So understand if you trace a branch[s] of your family tree back to early New England you may well be surprised to discover interesting folks and tales!

Got questions on how to get going? That is what we are for! Call or email us and remember, the SDHS family history group’s regular meeting schedule is the first and third Thursday of every month at the OSH.

Upcoming meetings are:

Thursday, December 18
Thursday, January 8
Thursday, January 22

Remember, your family history does not have to have any connection to the Saugatuck-Douglas area !!!

Still not sure how to get going? Let us provide a helpful jump start by recording what you know about your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents and send it along for a review by Chris Yoder or myself. The snail mail address is SDHS Family History Box 617 Douglas, Michigan 49406, or email a copy to either or

We will soon be back to you with readily found data and with suggestions on the next steps to take. Further help is readily available from the Family History group. Again, the only requirement is membership in the SDHS.

Mayflower ancestor, Revolutionary War vet, great grandparents? Still wondering? Questions/ comments/advice/needs - contact 269 857-7144 Chris Yoder 269 857-4327.

This newsletter column is produced by Jack Sheridan

The Baldhead Panoramas – One by One - Year by Year

Three months ago I started a new HBC series of panoramic photographs taken from the top of Mt Baldhead. We are very fortunate to have photos from this great vantage point over a long time period. The Baldhead photos in the series span some fifty years, are accurately dated, and in most cases the photographer identified.

Other factors make them special. First, when the first photo was made in 1874 most of the trees in town had been logged off and there were few to block the view. Second, the photographers used quality cameras with large glass plate negatives that were capable of capturing details. Though most of the glass plates are lost, the prints made from them, faithfully contain the details. When scanned at high resolution, the images yield marvelous results.

So far, in order for you to see a historical progression, I have selected a partial view of the town in 1874 and contrasted that with a view of the same area in 1895.

This month we have the complete 1895 photo which is contrasted here with a complete 1906 photo. I do not know the photographer's identity. It probably was Miller Robinson but could have been an early Herman Simonson work. Next month we will zero in on partial area comparisons of these two panoramic views. Enjoy!

This newsletter column is written by Jack Sheridan.

Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
Be patient, it will take a while to download.

Antique Mall Booth News!

Our booth at the Saugatuck Antique Pavilion is filled with wonderful and unusual items ready for your Christmas Shopping! The booth carries all the books published by the Historical Society, as well as posters, postcards, maps, mugs and other society items. Great gifts for your Saugatuck friends! A big thank you goes to all those who recently donated their surplus items to fill our new larger space! Come check us out! We are dealer #233 in the green room. If anyone is interested in volunteering four hours for the cause please contact us at
         submitted by Mary Voss & Ken Kutzel

News from the Archives

Recent Additions to the Saugatuck Douglas Historical Society Collection

It's been a busy month at the archives! A number of very important items have been added to our collection.
• A scrap book of 8x10 photographs of people associated with the Douglas Community Hospital donated by Tara Durham
• A number of Saugatuck High School basketball and commencement programs; Saugatuck postcards; An entire set of "The Dope" a newsletter that was sent out to the boys from Douglas who were in the service during WWII 1942-1945, and other items donated by Howard Schultz
• An eight page brochure advertising the Saugatuck Music Festival 1961, promotional items from Douglas and a 1959 map of the Eastern United States listing hotels, including the Hotel Saugatuck (now Coral Gables.) Donated by Ken Kutzel.
• A promotional booklet, "Two Days," a fictitious account of an idyllic two day visit to Saugatuck. Published in 1901 by the Commercial Record. Donated by Barbara Paulger.
• Two Needle books given out as promotional items by the Big Pavilion and the Fruit Growers Bank 1920s. Donated by Ruth Brower.

An Interesting Development!
Late this fall we were contacted by a gentleman who had just purchased a home in Riverside, CA and was told that it had been designed by Carl Hoerman. He inquired if we had any information for him. After a brief search in our archives (our intern had worked on cataloging that project over the summer) we found the original blue prints and drawings of that house built in 1927.

In the following months he completely renovated the house back to the original as much as possible. Now he wants to add the studio addition which was included in an updated drawing in 1934 but never built.

We will be supplying him and his architect with copies of those drawings. He promises to tell us the complete story including before and after photographs for our newsletter. Was this the house that Carl Hoerman lived in himself? Stay tuned!                     submitted by Mary Voss

Garden Happenings
"A friend is a gift you give yourself."
--- Robert Louis Stevenson

'Tis the season to give and give thanks. We, the Landscape and Root Camp Committees, would like to give thanks to all of you who give to us all year long. Whether it is financially, as a volunteer, a giver of ideas, sharing your knowledge as a guest speaker or simply believing in our vision for our garden and our camp . . we truly appreciate you.

A HUGE thanks to Janie Flemming and Intern Mia Mahaney for preparing a successful grant application to The Mignon Sherwood DeLano Foundation resulting in a $3,000 award for the 2015 Root Camp. We are in for an exciting 2015!

Happy Holidays to all of you!

Until next month,
The Landscape and Root Camp Committees

The 2015 Membership Renewal campaign will begin in early February and conclude in early April. You may notice a slight increase in member dues.

It has been several years since we have increased the rates. We continue to add educational programs, research efforts, create exhibits at the History Museum and the History Center at the Old School House, and our full social agenda.

Thank you for your participation in this great organization. Please renew and encourage your friends to become members in 2015. Click HERE for a Society Membership Application

Thank you and Happy Holidays, Ed Kelly

Welcome New Members

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

l Jeff & Anne Mathieu, Fennville, MI
l James & Annette Pitcher, Fennville, MI

More Bulb Planters

In the November newsletter we pictured three of the hearty workers who planted several hundred daffodil bulbs at the graves of local "orphans" at Riverside and Douglas Cemeteries. Here is the other half of that crew.

Brent Tubergen, Jackie Ladwein, and Jamie Schuler

Schultz Park

Howard C. Schultz was born in Douglas in 1904. He completed his early schooling in Chicago where his father Charles Schultz was a street car conductor. After graduation from commercial high school, he returned to Douglas. He worked for the Michigan state Highway Department and was elected to the Douglas Village Clerk position in 1930. When the State Highway Department Douglas garage was discontinued, he became Douglas Street and water commissioner for a few years during the 1940's. He also was clerk, councilman, member of the Douglas school board and chamber of commerce at various times. He was also a life member of the Douglas Dutcher Masonic Lodge #93 and past master 3 times.

When the Allegan County Road Commission garage was established in Douglas in the early 1950s he became supervisor and retired in 1967 after 25 years with the Highway Department. When the I-196 freeway was established in 1960, the village of Douglas was left with the triangular piece of land that is now Schultz Park. Howard Schultz, as village clerk, was instrumental in obtaining Michigan and U.S. Government funding to develop water front property for recreational purposes. It was originally dedicated as a boat launching facility on the Kalamazoo River in the late 1960's and with additional incremental funding has become the multi-functional park that it is today. It was dedicated as the Howard C. Schultz Boat Launch and Park in 1972 by the Douglas village Council after his death.

From the Commercial Record

Boat Ramp Named for Howard Schultz

A boat ramp to be built in Douglas will be named the Howard C. Schultz Boat Launching Facility. The Village Council Monday agreed to name the ramp for Mr. Schultz, who served as the village clerk and councilman for more than 35 years. He died July 29.1972. A resolution in memory of his service was presented by Councilman Wally Forrester and one to name the launching ramp for him by Councilman Bruce Troutman. Both were passed and copies will be sent to Mrs. Schultz. The launching ramp will be built just west of the Interstate 196 bridge on the Kalamazoo River.

                           submitted by Howard E. Schultz

THE SCHULTZ FAMILY: Howard C. Schultz's great grandfather was the first of the family to come to this area. Fritz (Frank) Schultz was born 2/20/1817 in Tyffendorf, Mecklenberg, Germany and married Sophia Gustuff. In Germany he had been a coachman for a Baron and would still wear a top hat and gloves after coming to America in 1852. They settled first in Chicago, but in 1855 they came to Saugatuck. Fritz then purchased forty acres of land, formerly owned by Jonathan Wade, adjoining what is now Douglas. Fritz died in 1877.

Howard's grandfather Christopher (born 1841 in Germany) became a well-to-do farmer of fruit and grain in Saugatuck township. He came into possession of the family farm in 1887 upon the death of his mother, and owned additional property within the township. Christopher married Miss Emma Albright, and had seven children. Mr. Schultz held the office of road commissioner and was a member of the school board . Mr. Schultz died Nov. 25, 1923, followed by Mrs. Schultz, June 28, 1924.

Howard's father Charles, born Nov. 12, 1875, farmed locally in the Douglas area. He married Clara Emma Metzger and died in 1952. Charles was a member of the Dutcher Masonic Lodge, as his son Howard would be.

All of the family rests in the Douglas cemetery.
 contributed by Chris Yoder

Gwendolyn Crawford

Gwendolyn Crawford, a former member of the Society, passed away recently.

Click HERE for more details.


Hudson Farm

A Picture from Lora Treadwell, Camarillo, CA, of the Hudson Farm family (a Ganges Twp Centennial farm.)

Kenny and Neva Hudson in the front yard under the sweet apple tree

A swing in the farmhouse yard. (circa 1900)

The Babette Bloch sculpture which resides on the farm today.
                             submitted by Chris Yoder


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

Individual $50
Household $70
Premium $300
Corporate $500
Life $1,000
Senior (65+) $30
Senior Household $45

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 Museum is closed for the season. Click HERE to learn more about the Museum and recent past exhibits.

The Old School House History Center and Lifeboat Display is located at 130 Center Street in Douglas. For group tours, please contact Steve Hutchins at 616-801-3735 or by email at

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.

The Society's Archives office is located in the lower level of the Old School House and is open for research on Monday afternoons 1-4 p.m. Use the back stairway for easy access. Archives office phone number is 269-857-7901. E-mail:

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

Follow us on Facebook. Click on the Facebook logo below.


If you would like to contact us with comments, please email us at or call us at 269-857-5751.
We appreciate the opportunity to send you the Society's news and events information. If for any reason you wish not to receive
additional notices, please click on the "UNSUBSCRIBE" option below.