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

Sixteen Will Be Eating Their Art Out

As if Groundhog Day, Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day won't be enough to set February on fire, we'll be fanning the flames on Saturday, February 22 with an unusual evening of art and fine dining at Water Street Gallery, 98 Center St. in Douglas, as the next highlight in the Historical Society's fifth annual "Dine Around The Village Table" series of dinner or cocktail party fun'raisers.

The evening begins at 7pm with cocktails, appetizers and a brief gallery talk explaining monotypes, presented by gallery director and event host Maryjo Lemanski, as an introduction to the artwork style prominent in Water Street's February-March exhibition titled "Little Boxes".

Guests then will sit down to an "outside the box" dinner planned and catered by Stephen Mottram, inspired by the exhibition, in which the food will be served in various rectangular formats. Stephen anticipates: black bean and spicy sausage soup (in a square bowl, of course); a salad "tower" of green beans and toasted goat cheese; individual Chicken Wellingtons with Madeira sauce; roasted carrots and parsnips; and for dessert a sticky-toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream.

Water Street's "Little Boxes" exhibit unleashes the creative juices of around fifty of Water Street's established and emerging gallery artists who responded to the familiar saying "good things come in little boxes" in a variety of unique ways. The resulting collection comprises small paintings, drawings, sculptures and other three-dimensional objects that transform materials, subject and message into little gems of art.

Over coffee and dessert, as a special memento, guests will draw unseen gifts of artwork from a "Big Box" created for the event.

With all food and beverages donated by Water Street Gallery, this event's guest charge of $100 per person will fully support the Historical Society's volunteer-based programs and activities including exhibitions at its Pump House Museum in Saugatuck, Old School House History Center and "Back-In-Time Garden Pathway" in Douglas.

For reservations, phone 269.857.5751 or e-mail Seating is limited to sixteen guests, so early reservations are recommended.

Upcoming 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 cause.


A Pleasant Evening
on Pleasant Street

Saturday, May 17 | 7:00 pm

Linda & Dick Riekse and John Cannarsa & Tim Straker will host twin cocktail parties in their homes. Park once and visit two wonderful Pleasant Street properties filled with appetizers, drinks, friends and fun. $50 per person

On the Cusp of Summer
Saturday, June 14 | 7:00 pm

Celebrate the seasonal transition with cocktails and dinner at the home of Jerry Carpency and Doug Turner. Meander the grounds and sip drinks on the terrace while taking in sweeping views of the Kalamazoo River Marshlands below. Meal prepared by Christine Ferris. $150 per person

Dine around events sell out quickly.
Save yourself from worry or disappointment
by reserving your spot at the table right now.
Call 269-857-5751 or email

Renew Your 2014 Membership On-Line

If you haven't renewed your SDHS membership for 2014, do it today. It's easy to renew your membership on-line. Just click HERE to Keep History Alive

John Gottlick

John Gottlick, a Life Member of the Society, passed away on December 31. Click HERE for more details.

Welcome from Jack Sheridan and Chris Yoder leaders of the Society Family History Group. Our regular meeting schedule is the first and third Thursday of every month. Upcoming meetings are:

Thursday January 23
Thursday February 6

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

The Society Family History Group has access to You have no doubt seen the advertising by this organization. is a for profit business and like many businesses advertising adds to their customer base and to their bottom line.

They sell a product that has very real value and as a result – since 2011 - they have been enormously successful introducing and refining this revolutionary digital-internet product.

The revolutionary product is aiding their customers research family history.

How do they do this? First, they have assembled billions of records that can be easily searched by the customer. Second, they enable customers to create a family tree on their web site. The tree data can be easily linked to the underlying data in the Ancestry data base. The resulting trees can be shared - at the customer's option - with other researchers.

If you would like to know more about this process and how to use to build your tree, please come to a meeting!

I must stress that your family history does not have to have any connection to the Saugatuck-Douglas area !!!

If you need a really painless jump start - record 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 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. Further help is always available from the Family History group. Again, the only requirement is membership in the SDHS.

Still wondering? Questions/comments/advice/needs - contact 269 857-7144 Chris Yoder 269 857-4327

This newsletter column is written by Jack Sheridan.

Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy

More Saugatuck Interurban Happening

Last month we saw the area where the Interurban entered Saugatuck. After leaving North Street the track edged by what is now the Peterson Preserve, curved to the west to join Lucy and then headed south on Water Street.

At the corner of Water and Lucy was a siding including the area, adjoining Willow Park, which contained two large above ground fuel storage tanks. Not sure of the date of this siding, except that it was built after 1913 when heavier freight and tank cars were used on the line.

On Water Street, the line stopped at the auditorium, now the location of Wicks Park, on the corner of Mary and then the Pavilion on the corner of Mason. Last stop, also the start, was in front of the Butler Hotel. The photo above ca 1915 shows this area. I love the scene, which was no doubt taken when something special was going on, probably in Cook Park next door.

To the left of the photo location, on the corner of Culver and Butler was located the Interurban station, later Snug Harbor gas station. To the left and toward the river, off of the turn around track curve, began a siding. The track went through the Saugatuck Lumber Company yard, about thirty yards from and parallel to the river, today the site of condominiums. It then crossed Griffith and curved back almost to Culver in the Coghlin Park area. The siding here was along the west side the Saugatuck Fruit Exchange building [later the building housing the pie factory offices].

A Michigan railroad history book is now being written, including the Holland – Saugatuck Interurban history, by Norm Krentel and Dave Kindem. It is a most interesting bit of Michigan. These gentlemen will be making an Interurban history presentation, including many photos, at the SDHS monthly meeting on March 12, 2014. Don’t miss it! And I must apologize for the change in dates of this event. In last month's newsletter I announced it was scheduled for the February meeting. That has since been changed to the March meeting.

Plan to come to the February meeting as Marsha Kontio and yours truly will be doing a Bill Simmons mid century photo show. We want your help. Read all about it in this newsletter. Check out the photo below and come to the presentation with your questions and memories.

This newsletter column is written by Jack Sheridan.

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 Scott & Vicki Phelps, Saugatuck, MI
l Roger Triplett & Patrick O'Neil, Birmingham, MI & Saugatuck, MI
l Marcia Perry's Ark Gallery, Saugatuck, MI
l Robert & Margot Kilander, Saugatuck, MI
l Catherine Corlett Frecker, Douglas, MI & Naples, FL
l Mike & Kris Van Loon, Saugatuck, MI
l Jim & Karen Steiger, Saugatuck, MI
l Dr. J. Todd Bolthouse & Dr. Seamas O'Driscoll, Chicago, IL
l Sheldon & Marilyn Wettack, Douglas, MI
l William T. Camp & Paul Butcher, Detroit, MI
l Elizabeth Estes & Mary Fechtig, Saugatuck, MI
l Bill LeFevere, Douglas, MI

Introducing the New Intern in the Archives Office

My name is Christine Nienhuis. I am from Holland and attended Grand Valley State University. I graduated in April of 2013 with a general history degree. I hope to earn a Master's degree in Museum Studies/Historical Administration within the next year if I am accepted into a graduate program.

I love working in Public History and have a heart for Collections and the care and management of them. It is my goal in the future to acquire a position working within the Collections Management area of a museum. I have a bit of experience from completing an internship at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum last winter and cannot wait to get started working at the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society.

We are so thrilled to have Christine with us. Among her many tasks will be: sorting and labeling the Carl Hoerman architectural drawings, learning our Past Perfect Museum software so she can enter new acquisitions into our collection, and helping re-do the labels in the art gallery.

Thank you Christine for offering us your time and talents! - Ken Kutzel, SDHS Art Director & Mary Voss, Collections Manager

A Brief History of Historic Structures Tax Credits

Although (unfortunately) the Michigan Congress eliminated historic tax credits a few years ago, thirty states have enacted state historic tax credits, which, when combined with the federal credit, have powerful economic impacts.

The federal Historic Tax Credit ("HTC") was created in 1981 as a tool to drive economic development through the restoration/reuse of America's historic buildings. The HTC is administered by the National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service in conjunction with the State Historic Preservation Offices.

The 20 percent credit applies to certified historic structures listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places, or contributes to the character of a National Register-listed Historic District. The 10 percent credit is for the rehabilitation of non-historic, non-residential buildings built before 1936.

Since its inception, the HTC has rehabilitated more than 38,000 buildings, created 2.3 million jobs and leveraged $106 billion in private investment nationwide.

The US Congress is currently considering a proposal to increase and expand historic tax credits-including extending the 1936 limit to later years. Click HERE for further information.    Submitted by Jim Schmiechen

Fun with the "BLOG" is the Topic for the SDHS February 12 Program

What the heck is the Blog?

The Blog is a Historical Society web-based collection of "folders" that hold several thousand images of Saugatuck & Douglas area life.

The images make up a small part of the SDHS photography collection - a sampler gathered together by photo archivist Dick Haight to give public/research access to it. When you go to the Blog you will see the folders contain images, some with organizational sense, others because they came from a common source. Each image has a file name designation beneath it.

Simply click HERE and your browser will take you to the blog page. Scroll down to the folders named SimmonsCollection and SimmonsSCAphotos. Click on a folder to see thumbnails of the individual images it contains.

These photos were taken by Bill Simmons between 1940 and 1962. Many of them appear in the SDHS book Off the Record. Some appeared in a 2012 SCA exhibit Small Towns Big Picture.

Click on a thumbnail to see the image. Click the back arrow on the upper left of your browser window to return to the folder. Select another image to view etc.

Your Assignment

How many mysteries can you uncover? Can you possibly confound the experts – Jack Sheridan and Marsha Kontio – with new information or a question on any image you find here?

Join us at the February 12 SDHS monthly meeting to have fun as historical photo sleuths. This is a chance to learn and perhaps add information to our collective past. All you need is a historical eye. Why did Bill Simmons choose this subject? When and where was it taken? If you can, come up with facts and questions for discussion.

If you have any questions about the process contact Jim Schmiechen - or Jack Sheridan – 

NOTE: if you can’t make the program meeting on the 12th and are interested in doing some photo detective/organization work with the collection, please contact Jim Schmiechen at

2014 Monthly Programs and Tuesday Talks Line-Up Announced

If you would like to sponsor one of the Monthly Programs or Tuesday Talks, please REPLY to this email and we'll be in touch. Sponsorships are $150

as of January 14, 2014

l February 12, Every Picture Tells a Story with Jack Sheridan and Marsha Kontio,
Our Community Photo Blog - Audience Participation Night
l March 12, Last Stop Saugatuck with Norm Krentel
The History of the West Michigan's Interurban Train
l April 9, Extreme Yachts and Classic Boat Restoration with Jonathon Reus
Inside Saugatuck's Macatawa Bay Boat Works
l  May 14, Dunelands Diary with April Scholtz
A Naturalist Takes Us Behind the Scenes at the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area
l June 11, To the Dunes with The Hiking Group
Photos & Stories from the State Park Hiking Group
l July 9, From Branch to Basket: At the Pleasant Hill Farm with Joan Donaldson
l August 13, Picnic + Gallinipper Talk + Beer with Jim Schmiechen
l September10, Country Life: The Felt Estate on the Midwest Riviera with Patty Meyer
l October 8, Tales from the Cemeteries with Kit Lane and Marsha Kontio
l November 12, Michigan's Hottest Town Revised with Mike Sweeney
l December 14,  Holiday Party at the SCA

Look for the post card in your mail to put on your fridge.

as of January 14, 2014

l July 1, Bee Garden Buzz ("MisBeeHiving") with Ruth Johnson & others
l July 8, (Title to be determined) with Maryjo Lemanski
l July 15, The River and Harbor: A Status Update with Bob Sapita
l July 22, Houses on the Move: Four Historic Restoration Stories (Presenters to be determined)
l July 29, Birds of the Dunelands with Rick Brigham
l August 5, Tales of the Silver Screen with Mike Sweeney and Mary Ann Curtis
l August 12, Tentative title - Car History (Presenter to be determined)
l August 19, What Did You Do Last Summer? with Ruth Johnson Ruth, Kids Summer Camp Review
l August 26, Gangster Stories: Fact or Fiction with Jim Schmiechen, Kit Lane and the Audience

Garden Happenings

"The things we did last summer, I'll remember all winter long."
 -- Sammy Cahn

Oh Boy! we are in the dead of it . . .  winter! All we can do is travel, dream and plan and that is what the garden committee is doing, planning. The year 2014 is going to be a great one for our garden. We are continuing to brainstorm and design, graphics being one of the big things on our list. Kristi and Jim are diligently working on them for our peach orchard with the rhododendron garden following quickly behind. Thanks to both of you.

Other things are in the works for the summer too. Janet Schmidt has booked another wedding in July. A summer camp is also being planned. A committee of six volunteers has formed to create and execute the camp. Our mission is to teach kids about our local history and environmental conservation. We will have 2 one week sessions . . . one week in June and one week in July, for kids entering first and exiting fifth grade.

More information will be provided in the upcoming months. Extremely exciting! Thanks to Renee Zita, one of our board members, for being our liaison for this adventure. If you have any questions please contact Ruth Johnson

Volunteers Wanted: We are still looking for someone to help us type plant names for our tags. These tags will provide information to our many visitors who are constantly asking anyone they can . . ."What is this plant?"

Also Mike Economos would like some help this growing season at the museum. It really is too much work for one person. Please contact Ruth Johnson or Mike Thank you.

Everyone please stay warm and be careful of the ice.

See you next month.

The Garden Committee

"House of the 7 Gables" is on the move

The well-known "House of the 7 Gables" on Pleasant Street in Saugatuck was built for Reverend Rice, founder of All Saints' Church - as pictured in the early American plan book by Andrew Jackson Downing from which the plan was taken.

 Downing is regarded as one of foremost proponents of "Carpenter Gothic " architecture, a style that mimicked (in wood) the popular Gothic Revival style (in stone and brick) that swept England and America in the decade before the Civil War.

The house is being move by Pat Murphy for its new owner, John Regis, to a lot on the corner of Main and Randolph streets, Douglas, and joins the earlier Gerber house that was moved nearby last year - and together give the village of Douglas a spectacular reminder of American architectural style as well as examples of excellent historic restoration work.

Both projects will be the subject of a SDHS monthly program later in 2014.

Anyone interested in joining the Society's "Heritage Group" which studies and plans heritage events should contact Robin Bauer at or by phone at (312) 961-7722.

A Visit to Saugatuck, 1864
From the "Life Story" of John W. Green As written down in 1938
Contributed by John Flanders and Bruce W. Wexelberg

John W. Green (1856-1950

John W. Green was born January 1, 1856 at Byron Center, Kent Co. Michigan. The son of John Green of Grandville, Kent Co. and Annie Morris of Saugatuck, MI. His mother died six weeks after he was born. He was raised by his father's sister Lucy and her husband Eli P. Crossett who farmed in Byron, Kent Co., MI Farm prices went up and Crossett sold his place to an Englishman. John writes:

"Well then we commenced to look for a new home for we had to vacate in 6 months or so. This was in the Fall so after the crops was all in & slaying was pretty good. Mother (sic- Lucy) took the driving poney & me and we went to Saugatuck which was on lake Michigan to my aunt Matilda Snider who lived there. We went through Holland, a small town then, a short Main Street very narrow & the few buildings was tall & made it look like a lane & was all Holander.

Aunt Matilda Delia Green Snyder (1825-1899)
Who is Buried in Riverside Cemetery Saugatuck

We stayed there a week & I can remember my staying all night with Grandfather and sleeping with his son who wasn’t but a year or two older than me & while we was there we went over to the Sand Dunes a mile or so from town & it was a sight and on the East side of them away from the Lake was trees growed up small trees the sand dunes must have been 6 or 700 ft tall cone shaped affel Pretty. People that climbed them had to pull by the trees. There was one that was just forming. Didn’t have any trees or bushes on it yet. Was tall as a 7 or 8 story building. It could be seen a long ways the white sand shining one would wonder where the sand came from but some said the action of the water worked it up from the bottom or some where the wind blew across a open space for quite a ways or quite wide & back inland so They had to build the light house up on iron posts. It was about 4 ft up off the groun so the sand would blow through under it. The old light house was there, all buried up, only just about a foot of the peak stuck out & some other houses was about all under.

We didn’t have any Kodaks them days or we could a took some pictures of it. The wind kept the snow blows off of them cone shaped Hills till they looked very odd. We went up inside of the light house & stood by the big lamp & oh boy what a lamp as big again as a wash tub & tall as a man & when we stood & looked over the railing a big man looked like a peanut walking around. Well we was there a week & found 3 or 4 places but none of them really suited so we got a letter from uncle that he had found a place in Grand Rap. & to come on back there so we went."

Added notes by John Flanders:

I think John W. was actually visiting his mother's brother Dr. Sylvester Morris thinking he was his Grandfather. John W states his Grandfather had a son his age, Sylvester had two sons the same age as John W. according to the 1860 census. Also John W's visit to Saugatuck was in 1864 on his ninth birthday, he was born on Jan 1, 1856.

The entire family moved from Michigan to Bledsoe, Co. Tennessee, twelve miles from Pikeville, when John was 12. It is here that John married Mary Davidson, daughter of Thomas and Susan Davidson. In 1876 the entire family moved to Norris City, White Co. Illinois. After several years had passed he decided to return to Grand Rapids. At this time he had three children, John Thomas, Bonnie-Annie Laura, and Alby. On the trip back to Grand Rapids the family stopped for the winter in Newton, Jasper Co. IL, Lucy Susan was born there. After a flood on the Genesse River Mary contracted Spinal Meningitis and died nine months after Lucy was born. John and his family returned to Grand Rapids where he married Ida May Shulfetz. After a period of time the family moved to Sparta, Christian Co. MO,. It is here that Ester was born in 1885. John had three children with his second wife, Ester, Sarah, and Albert (Alby).

The family moved around in Missouri for a number of years. John Thomas died in Polar Bluff from drinking contaminated well water. Lucy Susan met and married Erwin Bixby Flanders while the family was living at Bonnots Mill, which is 10 miles south of Jefferson City, MO. Erwin was raising chickens near the Green's cabin.

John Green eventually ended up in Rochester, New York where his second wife died. He married for the third time to Mattie Dowden and lived to the age of 94, dying January 14, 1950, of complications from a broken hip. He is buried in Pittsford, New York, outside of Rochester.

(Note: If you have family diaries or letters which tell of early day Saugatuck-Douglas, the Historical Society would love to have a copy. Contact Chris Yoder,, 269-857-4327)              submitted by Chris Yoder

Was the modern Santa Claus
really born in Douglas, Michigan?

[This is a slightly revised version of the SDHS Holiday Party talk by Jim Schmiechen. Heroes, Rogues, and Just Plain Folks. Jim is looking for additional information about Mr. Sundblom - if you can provide any recollections or other information relevant to this story, contact him at]

Good evening Historical Society members. Here we are once again. Another splendid holiday gathering of friends - together for good cheer and united in our love for our local history.

For all of us, this is the season of multiple traditions, historical wonders, and a good number of mysteries.

Oh we all have many of the same childhood stories. Decorating the household tree, being part of a Christmas pageant, perhaps a lovely Christmas eve candlelight service, baking cookies, caroling, Christmas parties at the office or home with families and friends . . . and having to put up with silly Christmas songs like "Frosty the Snowman," or "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" by the Chipmunks, and all that.

It is a season of gift giving. Behind all of this, of course, in the historical perspective, the season celebrates the transition from the Old to the New Testament - with the birth of the baby Jesus, the gift of the Christ child, being undoubtedly the most important event in the history of Western Civilization, two thousand and thirteen years ago. The great Christmas narrative began, surrounded in all sorts of mysteries - and music.

But Christmas marks another great historical narrative - a newer one: the arrival of very important historical figure, Santa Claus. Yes, this too has mystery surrounding it. Tonight I ask, what is the origin of the great gift giver, Santa Claus, the guy who takes the orders and delivers gifts we find under our trees on Christmas morning.

Tradition has it that Santa Claus goes back in time to various places and various names: is he Kris Kringel the German guy? St Nicolas the Greek guy? Old Father Christmas the English guy? Then there was Sinterklaas from the Netherlands. Most of these guys, by the way, did not look much like our modern Santa.

Our American version of Santa is more recent, Thomas Nast, the illustrator, gave him a sturdy frame and bushy hair toward the close of the 19th century, and in a 1902, L. Frank Baum (you know him as the author of the Wizard of Oz) who lived just up the road in nearby Castle Park, created a children's book that became the popular legend of Santa the toy-maker-gift-giver.

But today's Santa reflects a different world, one wherein pop-culture icons are a mirror of a highly materialistic culture, and for many a replacement of traditional ways of celebrating the season. So we ask, when exactly did Santa become a department store icon that for many carries greater seasonal importance than the baby Jesus?

Sunny Haddon Sundblom

I was reminded of an important moment in this story a number of weeks ago while waiting for a bus in Chicago near the Michigan Avenue Bridge. It was my first 2013 sighting of Mr. Santa Claus as an advertising gimmick (it was on an on the side of a bus). Something clicked in my brain and my head jerked upward, as I realized I was standing in front of that big white skyscraper known as the Wrigley Building. This is the building in which Mr. Sunny Haddon Sundblom, a summertime Douglas, Michigan resident, had his famous advertising firm in which he practiced his brilliant art-illustrating skills to create a line of ad characters - that included Aunt Jemima to sell pancake mix, the Quaker Oats man to sell oat cereal, the Sprite Boy to sell Sprite - and most important, a new and modern Santa who was designed to sell Coca-Cola, the summertime soft-drink that needed a wintertime theme!

And here is the remarkable but seldom told part. In truth it was not in the Wrigley office that Mr. Sunny Haddon Sundblom painted this modern Santa, but at his cottage on the Douglas lakeshore, just a short walk from us tonight.

That was the summer of 1931. In short, the dear old lovable guy Santa was born (or reborn) right here in Douglas Michigan.

How did it happen? The story has it that working at his Douglas lakeshore cottage on that summer day, artist Sunny Sundblom needed someone to model as his Santa Coca-Cola ad, and so he went next door and pulled out the appropriately heavy set and chubby cheeked neighbor, Lou Prentice, into his cottage studio to sit as Santa. This occurred then again for the1932 Coca-Cola Santa, and a good many more - until Lou Prentice died, at which point Sunny looked in the mirror and decided he was looking pretty much the part himself.

So, year after year for 40 years - and with almost as many illustrations, Sundblom told the story of Santa, but always with a bottle of Coke in hand or nearby: once as an American GI during the WW2 war years, another with Santa playing with an electric train, or opening a bright and shiny new refrigerator.

With the exception of a 1972 Playboy magazine cover of Santa as a Playboy bunny, Sundblom's Santa was always our overweight and jolly man, with fat rosy red cheeks, brilliant white bushy hair and white beard down to his waist, dressed in bright red from head to toe, with a big black belt and black boots. He knew what every kid -"naughty or nice" - really wanted, and, most important, encouraged every kid to ask for it. Brilliant salesmanship, I would say. Mysteries upon mysteries played out by the great director of gift giving. The sled was on the roof, packed with stuff, and somehow he made the delivery down the chimney without getting black.

A brilliant Christmas narrative was in the making. Sunny Haddon Sundblom helped push Christmas itself to where is was fast going: a great commercial circus and with Santa the world's greatest salesman, selling just about everything from cars to vacation packages. A lot of stuff but also a lot of good cheer. Friendly old Santa became the friendly old Chairman of the Board, of sorts, of American consumerism.

So let us celebrate tonight, our Douglas Lakeshore neighbor, Sunny Sundblom, known in some circles as "the greatest advertising illustrator of them all." Born in Muskegon in 1899, trained as an art illustrator at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a giant in the world of advertising, but as his granddaughter tells us, he loved to be in Douglas at Christmas time, to ring the bell at the Lakeshore Chapel, and to go caroling through the snow covered-town on a horse-drawn wagon.

He was, she notes, a "real holiday joy."

Happy holidays to all. And remember, Santa was born in Douglas, Michigan.


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

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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 is now closed until next Memorial Day weekend. Click HERE to learn more about the Museum and recent past exhibits.

The Old School House History Center and Lifeboat Display, located at 130 Center Street in Douglas, is open to visitors by appointment. 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.

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


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