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History Lives Here Text

We All Scream for Ice Cream

Therewas as ice cream "factory" in Saugatuck as early as 1885 which workedall night creating the flavor of the day for the next day's resorters.Today there are eight places which serve ice cream in the summertime plus restaurants which feature the confection on their menus. One shop keeper claimsthat Saugatuck is the only place she has ever been where people "shop" fortheir ice cream cones, noting flavors, prices and types of cones available. Asingle family will go to three or four stores, she says, before all members aresatisfied.



NortonDrugstore on Center StreetDouglas ca 1940


It was around thetime of World War I and I must have done an errand for a gentleman in Douglas for which he wanted to reward me with an icecream cone. At that time I think the only store in town that sold ice cream wasJohn Norton's Drug Store, with which I was quite familiar.

Soas the gentleman began opening his change purse he asked me how much an icecream cone costs now-a-days. Perhaps I should have said 10 cents withoutfurther explanation and there wouldn't have been any problem, but I gave himthe full story.

"Ifyou order the standard one scoop type, it costs six cents, but, I emphasized,"if you get the really nice two-scoop size, itcosts ten cents."

If I remember right, he founda nickel and a penny in his purse.

-- Willard Prentice


After the soda fountain closed at the oldNorton Drug Store in Douglas there was noplace to get ice. cream cones without going over toSaugatuck. Since 1970 a number of Douglasbusinesses have tried serving ice cream including:


-- Kathy's Ice Cream shop, in the old gas station at the point of landwhere Ferry Street (Chase Road)and the Blue Star come together, next door to the KalicoKitchen. The building was razed this year.


-- Peter's Ice Cream which started and ran for a season, or maybe twoor three, at the old Gray Gables building on the Blue Star, formerly RiverGuild, later the Joyce Petter Gallery,


-- One summerthe Douglas Bakery put in an ice creamfreezer.


-- The Tastee-Freez trying to appeal to as broad a range ofcustomers as possible began carrying hard ice cream in the 1960's. The Tastee-Freez, which began as a franchise operation in 1956was one of the early soft ice cream stores. Frank and Louise Smith were thefirst owners. Later it was owned by the Naughtins,the Collins family and a number of others.-Kit Lane




Tumble-In sodafountain in the Swift Villa ca 1938


Many remember theice cream at Parrish's drug store downtown, but when I was a kid in the 1940's,living at the old lighthouse on the Ox-Bow lagoon, we would often hike down the beach to Camp Gray.In Swift's Villa, the old administration building, they had a soda fountainthat made chocolate sodas that were worth the walk. Ice cream was especiallyappreciated by my family because the lighthouse had no electricity orrefrigeration. Food that had to be kept cool was put in the cellar. Milk wasdelivered to Ox-Bow and a member of the family would row over to get it with abasin of water. We would put the glass bottles in the cool water and then takecheese cloth and stretch it over the top and down into the water in the basin.The evaporation of the water on the cloth cooled the milk and helped keep itfrom spoiling.-Norm Deam


My mother was very picky about ice cream,, and, while you won't want to tell the Parrishesthis, she didn't care for theirs. However, there was a period when the FerryStore served marvelous double chocolate sodas. That was during the time whenJean Palmer and Mary Kay Betties owned the place, and I guess their tastes was as demanding as ours. At the Gage cottage, whichwas even more isolated in my young days than it is now,our most glorious summer treat was s'mores which wemade lavishly with two graham crackers, two melted marshmallows and half aHershey bar.

-- Helen Gage DeSoto


Pavilion Memories

Dancing at the Big Pavilion ca1945


My parents met atthe Pavilion when my mother spent the summer working at the Tara when she wasin college at Michigan State. When I went tocollege in Colorado,I was surprised to find that my roommate's parents had also met at thePavilion. Must have been a romantic place.

--TinaHozick, Denver, CO


On May 6, 1960I was in 4th grade at St. Peters School, Douglas.Shortly after noon the word of the Pavilion fire reached Douglasand the Dominican Sisters lined us up - two by two - and marched us out ontothe bridge over the river. From there we watched as the Pavilion burned. After,the bus brought us to Saugatuck. All the kids tried to get as close to thestill-smoldering site as possible. We watched from the Village Hall asfirefighters hauled hose and poured water on the rubble until late in theafternoon. The next day we observed the blistered paint on Coral Gables and the Hollyhock House. Sinceno one said to stay out, we walked through the still warm rubble - as did manypeople - salvaging souvenirs. I saw the wheels of 500 pair of skates and filmcanisters from the theater and lots of restaurant and bar remains.

--Vincent Mocini,Saugatuck


My uncle Hubert Engle was one ofthe businessmen who had the Pavilion here in Saugatuck and the one in SouthHaven. -- Marian St. John


I too was one who danced away manywonderful hours there. At times with tired, but happy feet!

-- Mrs. W. H. Archer, Albuquerque, NM


Enjoyed being around the Pavilion when I was a teenager, watching JensJenson playing in The Dock from the river side. I was in a small band that played in summer (1954?) in the Pavilion. Ibelieve we were hired by Lynn McCray who owned the Maplewood. Our name was "TheEighteens." -- Ken Strabbing, Holland


I was most interested in seeingthe model of the Pavilion after being treated to a viewing of the video by mysister and her husband who are residents of Saugatuck. I remember hearingbroadcasts on the radio from the Pavilion. Thank you for the memories.-Lee Hawkins,Santa Monica, CA


I remember how special thePavilion was to my family. Herb Shutter, Herb Byfieldand John Constantine were close personal friends of our family. The Fireman'sBall was the highlight of the year -- everyone went! -- Carole Clemens Herweyer


My sister (above) has said a lot about ourmemories. We all spent most of the summer planning our costumes for theFireman's Ball along with the Byfield children andgrandchildren. I remember how truly magnificent the Pavilion ballroom lookedand what a grand town party the Ball was. I have home movies of me learning towalk on the Pavilion dock and as young kids riding our bikes down the northwalk and zooming off the dock and into the water as Mom and Dad watched fromthe Dock Bar.-Baletta Clemens VanHorn