JUNE  2015 Click HERE for printer friendly version with images

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


Sunday Supper and Sunset
at the Lakeshore
Sunday, July 12th
from 6 PM until sunset
Hosted by Ellen & Richard Donovan
2641 Lakeshore Drive
(South of washout) $65 per person

Toast the summer at this lovely lake front home and garden. After a dinner served hot off the grill, sit on the shore to watch the sun set into Lake Michigan.

Still a few tickets left. Just REPLY to this email to make your reservation and we will be in touch.

Small Plates, Small Talk
Thursday, July 16th, 11 am - 2 pm Hosted by Ken Carls
325 Water Street, Douglas
$100 per person
Still a few tickets left. Just REPLY to this email to make your reservation and we will be in touch.

Dine Around dinner guests at the Red House, home of Ken Carls and Jim Schmiechen overlooking Wade's Bayou in Douglas, have come to count on sitting down to tasty fare around the big dining room table. This time guests will join Ken in the kitchen and watch what's going on as he prepares a selection of Red House favorites. Then guests will enjoy a "tapas style" luncheon as they sample the day's fare - and experience dishes they can add to their own cooking repertoire. Emphasis will be on fresh, seasonal, easy-to-make dishes for casual dining.

Wildwood Progressive Dinner Party
Saturday, Sept. 19th, 6 - 9 pm
Hosted by Vito Masciopinto,
Susan & Mark Lauterbach,
Sarah Harris & Alex Fink
$100 per person


The new Historical Chronicle has been printed and is available around town including at the Pump House Museum and the Old School House. Pick up your copy and be sure to patronize the advertisers who make the Historical Chronicle possible. Happy summer reading.

May Board Meeting Summary

l Our Francis metallic "Surfboat" has been added to the listing of National Register of Historic Places listing as of April 21st. The Board will soon decide on appropriate signage and an event to publicize this honor.
l The WGVU Michigan Hometown Stories DVD (which was previewed at the SCA on May 8th) will be on sale by the SDHS after July 2015.
l The hiring process for our full-time Director is continuing and interviews will take place in early June.
l There was 100% Board participation in donations to the Museum Sponsorship Campaign, which raised almost $25,000 in pledges.
l The new Museum Exhibit is on schedule and is reported to be the most complicated and amazing exhibit yet. The opening will take place May 23, 2015 at the Museum.
l Plans for a Civil War Reenactment, to be held at the OSH in August in conjunction with the SD Library, are proceeding. It will be held on the same day as the Douglas Social with the trolley transporting and informing attendees.
l The new electronic "Guest Book" is up and running at the Museum and is working well. Thank you emails to guests are mailed the day after their visit.
l Our "Review of Achievements" publication will be sent to the Council Members and City Managers of Saugatuck, Douglas and Saugatuck Township to publicize the accomplishments of the Society.        
                             submitted by Sharon Kelly

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.

One of the liveliest and fastest growing areas in family history research is also the deadest. You guessed it cemeteries! In 1995, an organization we now know as FIND A GRAVE came into the world.

Jim Tipton - a Michigan born man - opened the Find A Grave website in 1995 because he could not find an existing site that catered to his hobby of visiting the graves of famous people. Interest caught on rapidly and FIND A GRAVE has grown to an unbelievable repository of grave and cemetery information. Here are some of the interesting and valuable features:

- Contains a record of some 121 million graves
- Has over a 100 million photographs
- Has records of graves worldwide
- Records are added by volunteers
- Records and photos are easily added to your family tree
- Volunteers are available to photograph a grave at your request
- The SDHS [mainly Chris Yoder] and other volunteers have photographed gravestones in this area. Their photos are viewable on the SDHS website as well as on the FIND A GRAVE website
- You can become a volunteer by joining the organization
- There is no cost to join or to search the site and view the records
- I highly recommend exploring the site which is reached by going to:
- Happy hunting.

Click on the image for a higher resolution copy.

Got questions on how to get going? That is what we are here 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, June 18
Thursday, July 9
Thursday, July 23

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 Jack Sheridan at 269 857-7144 or  Chris Yoder at 269 857-4327.

This newsletter column is produced by Jack Sheridan

The Baldhead Panoramas – One by One - Piece by Piece - 9

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

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

Other factors make these photos special. First, earlier photos had few mature trees 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. By 1920 Herman Simonson, the photographer, was using film as glass plates were history.

In December we had full photos of 1895 and 1906 without comment. In January, February and March we looked at the details one third of the image each month. In April we had 1906 and ca 1920, the full view. This month we will begin to compare the two, the north one third of the image in this issue.

The 1906 photographer is unknown but may have been Herman Simonson. The 1906 photographer was not in exactly the same location on Mt Baldhead as in 1920.

The numbers are keyed to my comments about points of interest.

30 - The ferry landing - the empty ferry is visible
31 - The Tourist Home - later renamed the Mt. Baldhead Hotel. Burned in 1959
32 - Boat Livery owned by John Crow and Doc Heath
33 - Believed to be the first bowling alley - this portion of the building became the Old Rail Grill
34 - The Maplewood Hotel - exists in modified form today
35 - Koning Hardware - later Wilkins Hardware - fine building with us today
36 - Congregational Church - newly expanded and remodeled
37 - Saugatuck Union School - the first building burned and rebuilt in 1896.

This newsletter column is written by Jack Sheridan.

Museum Volunteer
Top 10 List

1. You see something new every time you look at the exhibit.
2. You get to use the computer map and learn more about our history.
3. You get to peruse all the books . . . for free.
4. You are the face of Saugatuck-Douglas to visitors.
5. You are part of an amazing family of volunteers.
6. You get to attend the "Thank You" chili fest.
7. You are giving back.
8. You become part of history by sharing it.
9. You learn more than you could ever imagine.
10. It's FUN!       submitted by Val Atkin

If you are interested or have questions about being a volunteer host, just REPLY to this email or call Bill Hess at 269-857-1081

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 Peter Stanley, Fennville, MI
l Bob & Ann Horner, Fennville, MI
l Ralph Hamilton, Evanston, IL & Douglas, MI
l Robert Jacobsma, Douglas, MI
l Gerard & Suzanne Carmody, Douglas, MI & St. Louis, MO

Saugatuck 1937 Blossom Queen Passes Away

Vivian Powers Chambers, age 94, passed away on Thursday, May 21, 2015 in Wyoming, MI.

She was the widow of Robert Chambers and daughter of the late Melbourne and Mary Powers of Douglas.

Her paternal grandfather was Douglas postmaster and Civil War veteran Charles Powers (held prisoner for 17 days by the Confederates before escaping) and her maternal grandfather was Henry Randall (a captain on the Great Lakes and the last survivor of Singapore, having been born there in 1864 and died in 1957).

In 1933, she, her sister Betty and the Pamperien girls won the costume contest at the Big Pavilion (Click HERE for the story) And in 1937 she was chosen Saugatuck "Blossom Queen".
                                  submitted by Chris Yoder

Digital Museum Visitor's Guest Book

The new Digital Museum Visitor's Guest Book has been installed and will replace the old paper guest book. The new electronic Guest Book is very easy for our visitors to complete. There will be an incentive for guests to "sign" the guest book. Each week we will hold a drawing from the names of those that have registered. The winner will receive a SDHS book on area history. For the months of May and June, the book will be Snapshots: A Photographic History of Saugatuck, Michigan.

 Douglas Accepts Ownership of the Root Beer Barrel

It has taken five years of vision, donation of time and money, sweat and negotiation, but the Douglas Barrel is scheduled for resurrection at its new home on the southwest corner of Ferry and Center Streets in Douglas in the coming months. Some wondered where it had gone and if they would ever see it again.

As most of you know, this Douglas icon was originally constructed and placed on Center Street in the 1940s and became a popular stop on the way to and from the beach for a cold root beer and a hot dog. Fearing that it would soon become victim to a bulldozer, Friends of the Barrel gathered to save it.

Over the years, the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society has negotiated with the City of the Village of Douglas to become owner and protector of the Barrel. On June 1, Douglas City Council approved a contract with the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society granting ownership to the City. Over the previous months, Sharon Kelley, Duane Brown and Vic Bella worked closely with the City to get the Barrel on its final roll. Additionally, Brent Birkholz and Charles Carlson supported the project with engineering and architectural expertise. Hats off to all the volunteers, donors, and friends near and far who are continuing to again make the Barrel the attraction it once was.

Click HERE to read the City of the Village of Douglas Proclamation accepting ownership of the Barrel.  submitted by Duane Brown and Vic Bella

Douglas Mayor Jim Wiley (center) accepts a symbolic piece of Barrel redwood from Duane Brown and Vic Bella at the signing ceremony.

Mark Your Calendar
2015 Monthly Programs and Tuesday Talks

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


l July 8, A Field Trip to the Mildred A. Peterson Nature Preserve and the Interurban Trail sponsored by Monty Collins & Jerry Dark
l August 12, Society Picnic at the Old School House
l August 13, Civil War Reenactors Program
                Looking for a sponsor

September 9,
Fishing: Commercial & Recreational sponsored by Howard & Paula Schultz
l October 14, Crane's Orchard Field Trip
                Looking for a sponsor

l November 11, Fire, Storm and Ice: Shipwrecks sponsored by the Star of Saugatuck, Marilyn & Bruce Starring
l December 13, Holiday Party

General sponsors: Carolyn Richards
and Howard Rochte

l July 7, Trailblazing: Bringing the Blue Star Trail to Saugatuck-Douglas sponsored by Bill & Nancy Woods
l July 14, Dunes, Lake and River. A Photographic History Tour sponsored by Sharon Kelly
l July 21, Bee Keeping sponsored by Osman Flowers & Firs
l July 28, Kalamazoo River Sturgeon Habitat Restoration Project
                Looking for a sponsor
l August 4, Peach Belt School sponsored By Fred & Janet Schmidt in memory of Fran Vorys
l August 11, Invasive Species: On Land and Water sponsored by Harbor Duck Adventures Co., Brent Birkholz
l August 18, The Art of Water sponsored by Ken Carls
l August 25, Extreme Yachts and Classic Boat Restoration - Macatawa Bay Boat Works sponsored by the Star of Saugatuck, Marilyn & Bruce Starring

Garden Happenings
"Every weed is a flower once you get to know it."
                                     --- Eeyore

Well, that's one way to look at it. With all this rain, the weeds have really popped, and it takes constant maintenance to keep them at bay. If anyone would like to do some time pulling weeds, and yes that means our pathway too, please contact Ruth Johnson at John and Lee do their best, but it really takes someone once a week pulling them.

Speaking of John and Lee, congratulations to them and the recognition of their contributions at the new Japanese Garden at Fredrik Meijer Gardens. We are so blessed to have them on our landscape committee. We are also very happy to have our new intern, Sam Fitzpatrick, helping us on a number of projects. One project is gathering information for a walking and audio tour through our garden - eventually! Many thanks.

We want to remind everyone about the pruning seminar this Saturday, June 20 at 10 am. Our own John Migas will teach participants on the proper pruning and care of broadleaf evergreens in their own gardens. Donations would be appreciated.

Root Camp is one week away with many preparations happening. A lot of work goes into this little camp of ours, and we are so appreciative of all the help we are getting. Not only will we have our amazing Jr. Counselors back for another year, but we will also have three honor students: Jenna, Baye Lee, and Allie Braschler helping us out as Sr Counselors. They were highly recommended by Christina Lewis, our children's program director. Sam will also help us. YAY!

We still have a few openings for camp available.

If you know of someone who would like to go to camp, please direct them to our website and fill out our registration form. Thanks to those of you who signed your grandkids up. It is so nice to have support from our members.

Until next month,
The Landscape and Root Camp Committees

Frances Lenore Vorys, 88

Fran Vorys, a Life Member of the Society, Museum Exhibit sponsor and long time supporter of the Society's Newsletter, died on May 22, 2015 due to complications from pneumonia. Per her request, she has been cremated and will be interred at the Columbarium at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy, Delafield, Wisconsin on October 2, 2015. At that time, the Old Boys Club of which Fran was an honorary member since 1987, and the Cadets of Northwestern will celebrate Fran's life.

Fran married her husband Harry September 30, 1950 and he predeceased her May 20, 2007. Also predeceasing Fran were her parents Francis and Lenore and her sister Henrietta (Betty) Staicer. Fran is survived by her brother Charles, nieces and nephews and a close personal friend, Charles Harthy, also of Freedom Village.

She served on the board of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts and was President of the Friends of the Arts Center. She served as a member of the Leaders Circle at St. John's. Fran and Harry moved to Saugatuck in 1985 and built what was known as "The Aerie" with a spectacular view of the Kalamazoo Lake. She was active with the Saugatuck Douglas Garden Club and the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society.

In 2013, Fran moved to Freedom Village in Holland where she continued to expand her art collection and enjoyed singing along with her fellow residents each Saturday morning. Her love of the arts took her near and far throughout her life. No local services are planned. Please remember Fran through the two loves of her life, St. John's Northwestern Military Academy, 1101 Genesee Street, Delafield, Wisconsin 53018 or the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society, PO Box 617, Douglas, Michigan. 49406.

Mt. Baldhead - A Challenge Throughout the Years

Artwork from "Tales of the Villages", SDHS 2003

In June of 1870, the Allegan JOURNAL wrote that the Fat Men's Association of Allegan was coming down the river to Saugatuck "to bathe in the waters and sniff the fresh breezes of Lake Michigan"

"They have voted to mount "Bald Head", the highest and nearly perpendicular bluff at the entrance of the Kalamazoo River into Lake Michigan. The members of the F.M. A. have sworn in their associated capacity, that they shall climb this hill and roll on the fine, beautiful, clear sand of "bald head", or die in the attempt! We admire the noble resolutions of the F.M.A., for that body is composed of men of spirit and determination. The weather is hot and an ascension of "bald head" fatiguing and exhaustive in its character, particularly during sultry weather."

"We would advise the Village marshal, Smalley, and that honorable and august body – the Saugatuck Common Council, to make ample arrangements for the reception of the ponderosities of Allegan County and that they be treated with due consideration becoming men of their weight."

"Those base and craven hearted wretches – the lank and lean, will, of course, take advantage of the arrival of the expedition to Saugatuck, to obtrude upon the excursionists a few of their coarse unseeming evil and disreputable jests, and thus attempt to mar the pleasure of a benevolent and charitable association, bent on pleasure and amusement. But the jokes of pigmies on such a momentous occasion as this excursion can never disturb the serenity of the F. M. A."

"The JOURNAL in the Fat Man's Organ and will stand by them through good and through evil report. Of course the editor of the JOURNAL will accompany the expedition and participate in the invasion of Saugatuck and the ascension of "bald head," however difficult these marches may be."

Yes, even today, intrepid souls of varying substance still come to "Take the Challenge" as will be seen on September 12th of this year when the 16th Annual Mt. Baldhead Challenge 5 and 15k race is conducted by the Saugatuck-Douglas Rotary Club. Michigan Runner magazine calls it one of Michigan's "25 most interesting races." Runners of the 15k race will take on all 302 of the Mt. Baldhead's steps as they conquer our beloved and mighty mount. Tell your runner friends and family.

Click HERE for registration information.
                         submitted by Chris Yoder

Erwin (Bud) Sewers
Passes Away

Erwin H. (Bud) Sewers, 92, passed away on May 28, 2015, at Grace of Douglas. Bud was a lifelong multigenerational resident of Saugatuck dating back to the 19th century. He proudly served in the United States Army during World War II in the South Pacific. In his younger days he was a commercial fisherman in Saugatuck like many of his relatives. Bud retired from Elhart Pontiac in Holland (Bud loved cars) in 1985. His father Frank Sewers was Mayor of Saugatuck during a historic period in which the road was cut through and a dedication ceremony was held for the Oval Beach.

Frank Sewers (left) Daughter Jean (center)
at Oval Dedication in 1936
Click on the image for a higher resolution copy

Copies of many of his family photographs and recorded interviews with him about local history are a part of the SDHS digital archives as the "Bud Sewers Collection". One of the stories he shared is presented below.

A Secret Revealed
Bud (left) and Paul (right) on their Bikes
Click on either image for a higher resolution copy

Question: Do you remember when they built the new bridge?

Bud: Oh yeah. That’s when I stole the dynamite. (He laughs). Paul Moker and I were kids on the river and we saw every day what went on (both were neighbors on the first block of Lake Street off Blue Star). And I said to him "They've got dynamite and dynamite fuse, let's you and I go over there at night with a boat when no one is around and we’ll make a fire cracker." We came back and the next day we rowed out to the piling, and I put the fuse in the dynamite and put it up on that pole and lit the fuse. And then we rowed like the devil and got back and we waited and waited and nothing happened. I said I guess it was broke. Come to find out that you had to have a cap, and they didn't leave the cap cause it would blow your fingers right off if you don't handle them right. We didn't know it . . . thought we'd have a big fire cracker."

New Bridge (From The Bud Sewers Collection)
Click on the image for a higher resolution copy
                          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

New Historical Society Museum Exhibit Examines Area's Relationship With Water

This year's all-new exhibition at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Museum, opened for the season on Memorial Day weekend, Sunday, May 24. The exhibition presents multiple stories of how the Kalamazoo River and Lake Michigan have shaped and reshaped our area's way of living, working, relaxing and thinking since the mid-1800s.

The Museum occupies the historic Saugatuck Pump House at 735 Park Street, in a scenic garden setting along the west shore of the Kalamazoo River at Mt. Baldhead Park, a short walk north from the Saugatuck Chain Ferry's west-bank landing. Open daily through Labor Day, Noon to 4 p.m. -- then with same hours every Saturday and Sunday through the last Sunday in October -- admission and nearby parking are free.

Water . . . A River, A Lake, A Place Called Saugatuck-Douglas engages visitors' imaginations to accompany five travelers, each at different points in time, sharing the experience, discovery and sometimes danger of their adventures along our waterways. Their trips unfold in maps, pictures, narratives and artifacts, plus "side stories" that add interesting cultural perspectives, all set before a vast composite mural of more than 200 historical archive photos that help visualize those earlier times.

In Trip #1, the viewer assumes the role of reporter for an eastern newspaper traveling downriver by dugout canoe in the mid-1800s with Ottawa trader "Flying Cloud Woman", seeking the village of Singapore and its fabled "Astor Hotel". The "Astor" turns out to be a humorously named simple boarding house for arriving settlers instead of the imagined grandeur conjured up by naming it after wealthy fur-trading magnate John Jacob Astor.

Trip #2 casts the viewer as a mid-1800s logger hired by Saugatuck timber entrepreneur Frank Geer in winter to cut and haul logs over the frozen river to a riverbank "rollway". With the spring thaw comes the dangerous job of rafting a log flotilla downriver, thwarting log "rustlers", and distributing the timber among five lumber mills in Douglas, Saugatuck and Singapore . . .a process that cost the life of one of Saugatuck's prominent early citizens.

With Trip #3, the viewer becomes a crew member on the steamer McVea, one of more than 200 ships built in Saugatuck, making an overnight "fruit run" taking peaches and passengers to Chicago in 1893. The McVea stops at Pier Cove and picks up a musician and a famous architect who become interesting travel companions.

Trip #4 brings the viewer to Saugatuck from Chicago by tourist excursion ship in 1919 as a teenage girl accompanying school children to summer camp as one of their camp counselors. Among the campers she encounters a youngster destined to become one of America's most famous aviators.

On Trip #5, the viewer is a photographer riding along on a local commercial fishing run pursuing sturgeon and whitefish, reflecting on that industry's1890-1950 boom and bust. The trip highlights a key Great Lakes innovation of that era, the enclosed "fishing tug" designed to handle rough weather and allow pre-processing the catch for faster, fresher delivery upon returning to port.

After the final trip station, visitors will find a "sticky-note feedback wall" presenting a series of questions related to contemporary concerns about water, and inviting expression of personal viewpoints or suggestions by posting sticky-note responses. Nearby, three display stations feature a review of water quality comparing lake, river, rain and tap water; a collection of rare antique fishing lures; and for visitors of all ages, a fish-identification game.

Floating above it all is a fanciful "school" of fish, created by local artists Ted Reyda and Sally Winthers, representing the species currently inhabiting our area’s lakes and rivers.

This year's exhibition also introduces a new digital sign-in station for visitors, to better reflect the geographical range of distant visitors and enable them to request e-mail updates on Museum and other Historical Society activities.

Design team credits for the new exhibition include: James Schmiechen, curator-writer; Judy Hillman, designer; Ken Carls, Kay Reckley and Sally Winthers, graphic designers; Vic Bella and Ted Reyda, displays; Steve Teich, layout; Jarrett Zeman, consultant; Jack Sheridan and Kit Lane, story consultants; and Sam Fitzpatrick, intern.

--- Award-Winning Book, Interactive Map Featured ---

Continuing the Society's tradition of offering books created to accompany exhibits past and present, the Museum's south gallery gift shop again highlights Storm, Fire, and Ice. Shipwrecks of the Saugatuck Area. Written by Historical Society members Jack Sheridan and Kit Lane, this popular book tells the tales of local ship disasters from the 19th century to the present, including the mysterious wreck of the "Chicora." Designed by Society member Ken Carls, with 68 illustrations, this 72-page soft-cover book won a Michigan Museums Association Design Excellence Award.

The south gallery also features the Society's popular "SuperMap" -- a 6-foot high, 12-foot wide illustrated color wall map of the Saugatuck-Douglas area with an interactive computer display to provide a virtual tour through these historic villages, highlighting significant people, places and events of both past and present. Map artwork, created by Holland artist-cartographer Mark Cook based on Historical Society research, recalls the entertaining illustration/poster maps of the 1940-50 era, combining street layouts with stylized sketches and notes.

The map offers Museum visitors an engaging way to soak up the story of the Saugatuck-Douglas area. As many as 70 map-highlighted references are keyed by number to let visitors select and learn about sites of interest by calling up information, narratives and images using several video/interactive touch-screen terminals near the map. The screens also offer topical "interactive programs" such as History of Hotels/Boarding Houses; History of Boatbuilding and Boat Builders; Buildings and Architecture; Artists and Painting; Local Biographies; History of Saugatuck-Douglas Schools; 13 Tales of the Villages and A Video History of Saugatuck and Douglas.

In addition, the terminals allow public access to the Historical Society's digitized archives of historical photos, pages of The Commercial Record dating back to 1868, the Saugatuck-Douglas Building Survey and more.

Founded in 1992 by the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society, the History Museum is open daily Noon to 4pm from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, then Saturdays/Sundays through September and October. Admission and parking are free. Tel: (269) 857-7900. 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. The 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

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