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History Lives Here Text

Toadville U.S.A.

Buildings that were proposed and not builtcan often be as interesting as those that were actually constructed. TheSociety archives recently received an old petition with two pages of signaturessupporting Donald "Toad" Davisin his proposal to erect "a unique atmosphere" for a bar andrestaurant that would feature jazz bands. The petition is undated but it statesthat it pertains to the plan of remodeling and operation of what had been knownas the "Ed-Mar", which in the future would be known as "Toad-ville USA" Jake Ihlewas to be a partner in the project. The Ed-Mar, on Culver Street in Saugatuckwas transferred from Ed and Marie Demeter to Davis in February of 1960. Signatures on thepetition include most of the business owners in downtown Saugatuck at the timeas well as several village government officials.


House of Music


Generalexplanation of proposed plan to create a unique atmosphere and structure thatwill be in keeping with village charm and Art theme.


Bar & boothswill be in now present basement. Dance floor and band will be located inbasement also. Rear outside screened in area will permit dancing under thestars and also afford river view. Inside space will also be allocated to dancefloor.


The upstairs whichis now allocated to bar space will house restaurant with window display of opencharcoal grill. Restaurant entrance will be in front of building where bar dooris now located.


Bar entrancewill be through toad's mouth on west side of building. Bar seating capacitywill seat approximately 150 persons. Booths will each have individual themes,such as, Western, Gay 90's, Knights of Old, etc. Tables will be made frombarrels using formica tops.Bar will be of brick with indirect lighting effect on brick. Bandstand willhave Italian flashing lights above to resemble stars.


African band mural will be painted on wall behind band stand with illuminous [sic] paint and lit with black lights. Citymural leading to Village of Saugatuck will coverone wall. Mural and paintings will be on display in keeping with the Art themeof Saugatuck.

GOOD band for dancing year around.


Fountain display in center of barwith colored lights that change. Built in wall aquarium withvariety of fish.



Blue Tempo ca 1962


(The proposal was denied and Davis instead created TheBlue Tempo. The building was painted light blue and remodeled to look vaguelylike a castle. The only thing remaining of Toadville U.S.A. was acut-out depiction of what the entryway would have looked like that remained onthe front lawn for several years.)


Structure History


The building that became the BlueTempo lounge was located on Culver Street just east of the pie factory. The structurehad its beginnings in an old wooden ice house, insulated to keep Kalamazoo River ice cut during the winter frommelting before it could be used for summertime purposes.


In 1926 the Beuerle family added rooms extending behind to Kalamazoo Lake and advertised it as Saugatuck'sfirst motel.


It was soldabout 1950 to Ed and Marie Demeter and became the Ed-Mar Hotel. The Demeters owned it for a decade and sold the hotel inFebruary of 1960 to Donald "Toad" Davis.


The Blue Tempoclosed in 1975 and Davishad sold the building when it burned in an early morning fire July 22, 1976.Windjammers of Saugatuck, a condominium, is now located on the site.