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Projects & Committees

The Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society has defined a number of areas of interest pursuant to its overall mission. Each Area is represented by a standing committee of the Society, staffed by volunteers.

Help is always needed and volunteers are welcome. Is there a project or committee of interest to you? If so, tell us you're a Volunteer!


The Art History Project seeks to explore, document, preserve, and promote the genre of Midwestern Art, especially as related to the artists who lived and/or worked on our community and the local subjects and landscapes our area provided for inspiration.

The Music Festivals Project is an open collection of oral and written histories, music, photos, contributions, and any such information that document and substantiate these events.

The Saugatuck Music Festivals PDF by Mike Sweeney is a terrific history of those events and the times.

We whole-heartedly invite all who have participated, or have acquired information, to share your experience and add to the records, documents and reports that chronicle the Music Festivals Archive. We would truly love to hear from you and record your stories! Please email us at, Text or Tweet, or call 269-857-7901.

The Oral History Project an open invitation to life-long and modern residents, summer populace, frequent visitors, or any person with stories, events or reminiscences, to share their knowledge and involvement with the Saugatuck-Douglas area to better understand historical significance through the impact and dynamics of personal experience.

The Gay History Project

The Root Beer Barrel Project. A beloved Douglas landmark, the Root Beer Barrel was a favorite stopping point for thousands of summertime visitors until its closure in the 1970s. Preserving an excellent example of mid-century highway architecture, restoration is being undetaken by a team of Society volunteers. Also see the archived Barrel Blog.


The Archives and Collections Committee's responsibilities focus on the accession and management of artifacts, photographs, and documents.

Pier Cove

The Garden and Landscape Committee conceptualizes, designs and maintains both the  "Back - In - Time" History Center garden and the waterfront garden at the Pump House Museum. From garden layout to graphic design, this committee engages in all facets of creating an outdoor classroom—with documentation of local garden-landscape history.

The Research and Documentation Committee provides information and support to people engaged in local historical and family research. At the same time, we hope to facilitate the continued collection of such information dealing with the Saugatuck-Douglas areas for future use. Our volunteers are available to help people with their family research.

The Development Committee is the fundraising arm of the Society, soliciting funds from private individuals, corporations, foundations, and other granting institutions.

The Publication and Graphics Committee publishes various materials and books on local history topics and oversees the visual identity of the Society and its Museum.

The Old Lighthouse, 1861

The Museum and Exhibitions Group undertakes the concept, writing, design and production of all exhibitions, including annual Museum exhibitions at the History Center by students from the Saugatuck Middle and High School—along with the management of the museum facilities, its shop, and coordination of its volunteers. The Group also works with the Saugatuck-Center for the Arts in production of collaborative programs on local history talks and exhibitions at the SCA.

The Heritage Preservation Committee is charged with seeing to all matters relating to preservation and includes sub-committes on Architecture and Design, Greenspace Preservation, and Tourism Impact.

The Technology Committee advises on technology issues, produces images for exhibitions and publications, maintains a database of archival images, and oversees the Society's web presence.

The Program Committee plans and schedules the 11 monthly Wednesday Night programs and the annual July-August "Tuesday Talks".