The Society lost a good friend with the passing of Bill Manifold. He
helped establish the oral history program by being the camera man
for the wonderful life stories of people in our community. He was
always enthusiastic about capturing another person’s interesting
life for posterity. He was never too busy and would stash cameras,
(still and video) some tripods and big portable lights into his
truck and set off for the next interview.
Bill had been doing this for many years before he and I teamed up
for interviewing in the late nineties. Oral History was a big part
of the Society's mission. After awhile we had so many films that the
needed to be edited, preserved and in general cherished that these
stories led to the development of the Technology group.
Bill was right there to share his great knowledge of photography and
cameras. If the Society's cameras were busy he’d use his own
equipment. Luckily, Erin Wilkinson and I managed to sit him down and
capture the story of his special life. Thankfully, the CD is on the
shelves at the OSH.
Bill was a deserved recipient of the 2003 Lorenz Award for his many
years of outstanding service to our organization. He was a gentleman
of the old school, always kind, interested in life around him and a
positive but quiet force as a member of the SDHS.
submitted by Judy Mauger
William H. (Bill) Manifold, age 89, of Saugatuck, passed away
Sunday, December 5, 2010 at Hospice House of Holland.
Bill was born July 2, 1921 in Chicago, Illinois to William C. & Rose
(Holstrom) Manifold. He was a B-17 bomber pilot in WWII. After the
service, he started a photo studio, "Foto House" in Blue Island,
Illinois. In 1951, he married Fran Scheidel and had 4 children. In
1962 the family moved to Saugatuck, where for 20 years they owned
and operated Pottawattamie Beach on Goshorn Lake. He also worked at
Harris Pie, General Electric, and 15 years in the Holland School
system, where he retired in 1982 as Custodial and Maintenance
Foreman. He was a long time member of the Saugatuck-Douglas
Historical Society and the Holland Coin Club. He was always learning
and trying new things such as locksmithing, crafts, computers, even
roller-blading in his 70’s.
Bill was preceded in death by his son Jim, sister Marjorie Long and
brothers Chuck and Bob.
He is survived by Fran, children Alan & Lori Manifold, Peggy & Daryl
Manifold-Petsch, John Manifold & Rob Zeller; grandchildren, Hollie
Manifold, Alysa & John Hoffman; great grandchildren, Kammryn &
Spencer; in-laws, nephews, nieces, and cousins.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, December 11 at Dykstra
Funeral Homes-Saugatuck Chapel, 520 Lake Street.
To honor Bill's service in the Army Air Corp in World War II,
internment will be near Memorial Weekend or on his birthday in July.
Memorial donations may be sent to Hospice of Holland or the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society.
For more stories on Bill's life, click
HOLIDAY GIFT SHOP
We are open
this weekend December 18 & 19 from 1 to 5 PM for your last
minute Holiday shopping.
Located at the Old School House, 130 Center Street, Douglas
Society Books with special Holiday discounts
Historical Maps & Photographs
New Old School House Coffee Mugs
with Woven Historical Saugatuck-Douglas Sites
and Douglas Coaster Sets
Sweat Shirts and Beach Bags
and more surprises
Don't forget the special Partridge in a Peach Tree gift cards to support
the School House garden project.
Come Visit and
contact Jon Helmrich at
email@example.com or call (269) 857-3574.
Thank you for Holiday Shop
support and assistance to Sisters in Ink and Trudi Engelbrecht,
Van Wieren Hardware in Holland, Reaneee at Saugatuck Florist and
As of December 1 we have completed in-kind
donation of the furnishings from Haworth. Recent items include a
media cart for the OSH SuperMap computer, file cabinets for the main
floor family history room and the office, and four flip top tables
for the 2nd floor meeting room.
Previous items were the 50 stacking chairs with
carts and furniture for the Tech Center, the archives, the office,
and the family history room.
I would like to thank Nicolaas Wilkens, Mary
Voss, and Bud Baty who were especially helpful throughout the
furnishing process. Thanks to the generosity of the Haworth family,
the Old School House has become a viable and stylish research
and meeting facility.
submitted by Steve Hutchins
LETTERS TO THE CITIES
November 18, 2010
Saugatuck City Council
The City of the Village of Douglas City Council
The Saugatuck Township Board
The Laketown Township Board
Dear Council Members, Board of Trustees
the record and your reference, the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical
Society Board wishes to provide the various Council Members, Board
Trustees with the Society's position regarding development within
Lake Michigan and Kalamazoo River coastal district, including its
old and new harbor areas, is an area of roughly 2,000 acres of
relatively undisturbed dunes and woodlands which holds a large area
of interconnected and identified sites of particular historic and
ecological significance. These sites tell a number of important
stories in Michigan and American history, all of which center on the
many interactions, over centuries of time, between mankind and the
natural environment. Some of the sites presently contain structures
while on others only historic records remain. Many of the
ecological assets of the area remain in their natural state.
Because each site is part of a larger historic space, this
collection of sites should be regarded as a single lakeshore
historical and ecological entity whereby the sites have full meaning
only as a unified whole.
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society Policy on Development
The mission of
the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society is "to provide
leadership in enabling the community-at-large to connect with and
understand the past, to preserve the quality of community life, and
to respect and use the area's history to shape its future."
Accordingly there are a number of historic features in the
Saugatuck-Douglas area, both natural and manmade, that the Society
believes must be protected and preserved.
While recognizing that development contributes to the economic
vitality of our community, its value must be balanced against the
economic and social value of our historic landscape. Thus, it is
imperative that all development be approached in such a way as to
respect both our human and natural history.
built environments of our towns and the natural lands, vistas, and
historic and archeological sites of the Lake Michigan lakeshore and
along the Kalamazoo River are irreplaceable assets. They are vital
to the quality of the community's cultural life as well as its
economy. The Society asserts that any development that devalues the
historic townscape, landscape or view sheds, or diminishes our
ability to understand or commemorate our varied history, should be
considered a “taking” from the people of the region.
Society urges local, state and federal governments to recognize the
significance of these unique historical assets and to protect them
from development or activities that would alter the areas character
choices we make today have long-lasting repercussions by which
history will judge us. We must act wisely and with commitment to
provide future generations with a strong and meaningful heritage.
Board of the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society
Harold W. Thieda, President
SAVING THE GALLINIPPER FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
group of dedicated volunteers for the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical
Society, led by James Schmiechen, has designed a lasting tribute for
the Gallinipper worthy of its historical importance. The permanent
exhibit, Rowing Them Safely Home: Shipwrecks and Lifesaving on the
Great Lakes, will be a prominent feature of The Old School House
History Center gardens and Back In Time Pathway. It will function as
a significant point of interest for the communities, a learning
station for generations of school children, and a stunning backdrop
for future public and private events in the garden.
Society has been awarded a federal grant from Museums for America of
$47,000 for the construction of the exhibit. In order to accept the
grant, the Society must provide a match in private donations - every
dollar you donate unlocks another dollar. Please consider becoming a
stakeholder in this important project by making a gift.
your level of contribution and return the donation card with your
check or credit card information to SDHS, Lifesaving Boat Project,
PO Box 617, Douglas, MI 49406.
young boy in Boston named Joseph Francis built his first boat when
he was twelve years old. By age fifteen Francis had built the best
performing lifesaving boat then known. At twenty-seven, he designed
wood lifesaving boats for U. S. Navy warships. Eventually, he
designed a revolutionary new kind of boat - a lifeboat completely
made from corrugated metal; one that could survive the worst storms
and break through deep ice. This metallic boat had large air
chambers and a pointed bow and stern, allowing the boat to be rowed
forward from either end.
Francis's boat became the standard and was produced at the same
shipyards as the later Civil War Ironclads. It soon became the
regulation lifeboat on every American ocean-going ship, including
the Lusitania, and was used at coastal lifesaving stations,
including those on the Great Lakes. Ultimately, the "Francis"
lifeboat became the most important lifeboat in American history.
Saugatuck "Francis" boat arrived at the Saugatuck lighthouse site in
1854 as one of twenty-three provided by the U. S. government to
various sites on the Lake Michigan shore. Over time it was left to
languish on the lakeshore when in the 1930s it was rediscovered in
the lighthouse keeper’s shed, half buried in sand. The boat was then
restored by the local Sea Scouts and named Gallinipper, the Indian
name for "giant mosquito". Subsequently, without continuing care, it
fell once again into disrepair. The boat was finally restored in
2005-2006 by the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society.
of two remaining Francis boats in America, the Saugatuck boat will
soon rest as a memorial to the work of Joseph Francis and the many
brave lifesavers of the Great Lakes - and to the many sailors who
risked life and fortune during the golden age of Great Lakes
transport. The Gallinipper will finally have the home it deserves.
NEEDED THIS WINTER
housing is needed for interns (both seniors, one male and one female)
from Central Michigan University in the Saugatuck/Douglas area. Would
make great house sitters while working to support programs for the
Saugatuck Douglas Historic Society and Saugatuck Center for the Arts.
respond to Bill Underdown who is coordinating this program for the
Society and the SCA at
firstname.lastname@example.org or call Bill at 313- 824-2000.
SETTING UP FOR THE HOLIDAY PARTY
A DOZEN DAFFODILS FOR THE DEARLY DEPARTED
Joy Muehlenbeck, Jackie Ladwein, and Charlie Hancock
after Thanksgiving, a group of volunteers braved sub-freezing
temperature to plant daffodil bulbs at the graves of folk with no one
to care for them in the area. Original plans to plant a dozen bulbs at
a dozen graves was expanded, when HUNTREE donated 18 dozen more bulbs,
bring the total plots involved to 30. Joy Muehlenbeck, Jackie Ladwein,
Doreen and Nathan Tubergen, Charlie Hancock and Chris Yoder planted
daffodils at grave plots in Saugatuck's Riverside cemetery, Douglas,
and the Taylor cemetery south of town.
were selected who either have no living descendants, or whose family
has moved away. Some were prominent like: Saugatuck founder William
Gay Butler (1799-1857); William (1883-1941) and Alys (1904-1941)
Springer- 1930s owners of "Kemah"; and Minnie Breuckman (1869-1934),
who donated her home to the Saugatuck Woman's Club.
known folks honored included: Hotel porter Elmer Haselgren ("Whistling
Bill") (1869-1939); Isabella Hull (1829-1902)- A first cousin of Vice
President Adlai Stevenson who died at the poor farm; Bird Center
resort owners Thomas Benton (1860-1929) and Marie (1861-1949) Dates;
and Jessie Viets (1885-1978)- Sea Captain's daughter and "Sweet maiden
lady" who "didn't have much, but what she did she gave to others".
Last but not least was the unmarked grave of Benjamin John Waugon
(c1898-1933) - a "grandson of Chief Pokagon, whose father Leopold
deeded to the US Government over 1 million acres of land on which
Chicago now stands." Click
HERE for the full list. submitted by Chris Yoder
THE DIPLOMAT FROM
SAUGATUCK-WARNER P. SUTTON (part two)
P. Sutton and wife Lois Andrus Sutton, had one son White, and three
daughters, Saida, Ethel and Enid. White received a law degree and went
to practice in Hawaii where his brother-in-law William Whitney (Saida's
husband) was a judge. Enid married W. F. Swan. Ethel, author of the
biographical sketches about her parents, married Carl R. Kimball,
Madison, Ohio, who served as Speaker of the Ohio House of
Continued from Ethel Sutton Kimball's biographical sketch:
"In Saugatuck, the Bird family were our near neighbors and good
friends. White was most friendly with Harry and Carl Bird, and
in very recent years Carl has written some incidents that he
recalled about Papa. They are very natural, and I quote;
"I doubt you will remember the incident as well as I. I have
remembered it because I think it is as fine an example of
diplomacy and the use of English as I
have heard. Two years, at
least, he and Dad and you and I would go upriver
(Kalamazoo river) with a flatboat on a wagon. Floating down, we
would camp a couple of nights.
"One camp we struck near a farm owned by an old character by the
name of Jeff Boyle. Jeff seldom saw anybody, so he came over to
visit us and was full of talk, punctuated by a lot of swear
"I forgot to mention that we always had an extra
person; and this trip it was Wilfred Lindsay, the Congregational
minister, a Canadian and as fine-looking a man and personality
as I ever knew.
"Most men would have said, 'This man is a preacher, so you
had better cut it out.' But your father said, 'Mr. Boyle, this
gentleman we have with us is a Minister of God, so the rest of
us have refrained from swearing while he is here.' This did not
hurt anybody and filled the bill."
Another note from Carl Bird:
"Dad sent me over to ask your Dad if he wanted to go
'upriver' another season.
'No. I have found that the greatest pleasure comes in making out
the list of things needed. So, I have decided to make out the
list and stay at home."'
Another note from Carl Bird:
"Here is one more story about your father which should be set
down to show something of the man he was.
"He had a fine sense of humor, a fine command of English, and
loved the few friends he allowed himself to make.
"He sent my Dad a wrack of antlers from a Mexican buck. Dad had
a man at the 'yard' (shipyard) make a beautiful walnut shield on
which the antlers were mounted, with a few coat-hooks, and hung
it in the hall of the 'big house' as a hat-and-coat rack.
"When your Dad came up from Mexico, Dad led him into the front
hall to show him the result, with me, the small boy, trailing
along behind. After they had admired and discussed the piece,
Dad finally asked him, 'Did you shoot the deer?'
'Oh yes, I shot the deer. I paid a Mexican fifty cents for the
privilege of saying that I shot him.'
"I have since thought that the short personal contact I had with
your father, at an early, impressionable age, had a great
influence on my own personality.
"He was gentle and had a soft voice, but behind it all was the
command and authority of the schoolmaster which he had been."
"At an Alumni Banquet, there was an alumna of that
first high school class which Papa taught in Saugatuck; she must
have been very old; she paid tribute to Professor Sutton using
almost the same words that are in Carl Bird's letter -- "His
gentle manner, his voice, and his complete command." The full
text of Ethel's sketches can be found at the SDHS web site at:
Warner Sutton and
submitted by Chris Yoder