The deadline for the
return of ballots for the annual election of Society Board members
has passed. I'm happy to report that the new Board members are:
Valerie Atkin - Vice
Sharon Bauer -
There will be a brief
swearing in ceremony at the start of the May 9th
Also on the ballot was
an amendment to increase the Board from 11 seats to a maximum of
15 seats which also passed.
In addition, Marsha
Kontio, a current Board member, has agreed to serve as interim
President for the remaining one year term of Harold Thieda.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9 PROGRAM
Shipwrecks, Scallywags & Heroes
- An Exhibition
p.m., Old School House History Center
Saugatuck Middle School Sixth Graders tell Lake Michigan stories
through words, artwork, and model building. Join in this "exhibition
opening" and reception hosted by Wendy Colsen's 6th Grade
Language Arts Class. Massive desserts. Note early starting time.
The exhibit continues until June at the Old
School House History Center.
This year's collaborative project between the Saugatuck-Douglas
Historical Society and Saugatuck Public Schools - Shipwrecks,
Scallywags, and Heroes - will open at the Old School House
on May 9. There will be a special private showing that evening for
Historical Society members, students, families, and school
Gavin & Trey use the Internet to research the 1965
Super Sport II
This year, sixth grade students worked with Language Arts Teacher
Wendy Colsen to write historical fiction pieces involving mysteries
surrounding shipwrecks from the Saugatuck-Douglas area. After
researching the historical events from books and Internet sources,
local historian and author Kit Lane visited the students and was
interviewed for further information. The stories were then written
as journal entries of unfolding events.
Alyssa, Marlaina and Jessica work together to gather
information about the sinking of the Alpena of 1880.
Local artist Michelle Maicki volunteered time to work with students
on illustrating their projects where she taught them aspects of
drawing such as perspective, color, and shading. The students then
built models of their topic that will also be on display as well.
Saturday, May 12
4 to 8 pm
Lakeview Lanes, Douglas
Who's on your team?
5-player teams for an evening of laugher and cheers.
Party Time Bowl-a-Rama will award prizes for best cheering
section, best costumes, player with the most sponsors, player
with the most pledges, etc. You don't have to be champion
bowler, just a good sport!
Reserve your lane now by REPLYING TO THIS EMAIL or emailing
Judi Vanderbeck at
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS
We would like to welcome these new members who have joined the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society since the last newsletter.
l Dan & Sandy Jo
Shanahan, Douglas, MI
l Bruce & Marilyn
Starring, Saugatuck, MI
l Renee Zita & Ed Ryan,
l Todd Smith,
Saugatuck, MI & Austin, TX
l Pat & Pam Murphy,
"SDHS 101" COMING UP
The first informational session for new members and interested
former members will be held on Saturday, April 28th, at
the Old School House History Center, beginning at 10 am.
Attendees will learn facts, history, and about the volunteering
opportunities that the Society offers. For more information contact
Nyla Hensley at 269-857-5704 or by email at
PLANNING TO UPDATE YOUR WILL OR TRUST?
DON'T FORGET SDHS
You can help ensure the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical can continue
to "Keep History Alive Here" by remembering SDHS in your estate
There are a number of options for making a charitable gift to the
Society. You can give a cash gift or a percentage of your estate,
name the SDHS as the beneficiary of an IRA or insurance policy,
give stocks, bonds and shares of mutual funds, set-up a charitable
remainder trust or gift a piece or collection of local art.
You can also make an "unrestricted gift" or a "restricted gift"
that could be used only to benefit a specific Society activity.
For example, your gift could be restricted for use to fund Museum
exhibits, Tech Center, the Old School House garden, the Society’s
art collection, etc.
Your estate planner can tell you which of the many options is best
for you and your family.
If you have any questions about including SDHS in estate planning,
REPLY to this email or contact Bill Hess at 269.857.1081,
SOCIETY IN RUNNING FOR WEST SHORE AWARE GRANT
The SDHS has been
chosen as a finalist this year in the grant award process for West
Shore Aware. We are seeking a gift of $7,000 from Aware to be
used in the 2013 museum exhibition: Dunelands: Drifting Sand.
Nature, Man, and Buried Secrets. The exhibit will use an
exciting 900+ sq. ft. display area with text/maps/digital images
to tell of a 200-year battle between nature and man over the
control of thousands of acres of Saugatuck-Douglas area dunelands.
Ballots will be sent in early May to West Shore Aware members.
If you are a member, please be sure to return your ballots with a
vote for the Dunelands project. A key component of the exhibit
will be the areas history with diversity and inclusion. Our
submission to Aware cited the following:
Beginning in the 1890s,
GLBT people found our dunelands a secret place to challenge
conventional cultural and sexual standards. Individual identity
was fulfilled - and for many Saugatuck became a place synonymous
request includes a funding justification and request for $7,000.
Historical Society's revenue stream is very limited. We depend on
members, friends, and community support for upkeep and production
of costly but
always free exhibits and
programs at its History Museum & Old School House History Center.
An Aware partnership is important in demonstrating our interaction
with our community.
Please remember to vote in May if you are a member of West Shore
SAUGATUCK "TRAINING WALKS"
"Training Walks" will be held on
Saturday, April 28 and Wednesday May 16 at 2:00 pm beginning at
the traffic light in beautiful downtown Saugatuck.
If you are interested in
learning and sharing the history of Saugatuck with others, please
contact Marsha Kontio at
or call Marsha at 616-566-1239.
DAFFODILS ARE BLOOMING
For the past two falls, a
volunteer planting brigade has placed bulbs at the graves of local
"orphans". We've noted that the new bulbs, fighting their way
through decades of hard packed soil, arrive late. The bulbs from
two years ago, however, had loosened the earth last year and
arrived right on schedule with their cousins in area gardens.
Thanks again to HUNTREE for donating about a quarter of each
year's bulbs, and thanks to our bulb planters.
submitted by Chris Yoder
SAVE THE BARREL T-SHIRTS
Getting ready to march with the
Save the Barrel crowd in the 4th of July Parade? You'll
want to have your t-shirts on hand. We still have some available
in stock and will be placing a spring order before long, so your
needs for sizes and colors can be accommodated. Normal unisex
sizes: S, M, L and XL - $20; XXL and XXXL - $22. To have a shirt
mailed, allow $5 for postage and handling. Special order shirt
stocks may also be accommodated. Contact: Chris Yoder,
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone:
SAUGATUCK-DOUGLAS AREA ARMED FORCES DAY LUNCHEON - MAY 19,
As an outgrowth of last
November's Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society monthly program "A
Salute To Our Veterans", an ad hoc committee of local volunteers
is organizing a community-wide Armed Forces Day Luncheon, to be
held from 11:30am - 1:00pm, Saturday, May 19, 2012 at the
Saugatuck Masonic Lodge, 3150 Blue Star Highway. This "First
Annual Saugatuck-Douglas Area Armed Forces Day Luncheon" will,
they hope, begin a local tradition for the entire community to
honor those who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces.
Kit Lane will be the featured speaker with "Lincoln's Ready-Made
Soldiers: Saugatuck Area Men in the Civil War". The luncheon menu
by Blue Star Meats will be pulled pork, cole slaw, baked beans,
fresh cut fruits and lemonade. Coffee will also be available, and
desert supplied by the Ladies' Coffee Group.
The SDHS Board has endorsed this event and agreed to publicize it.
Tickets ARE NOW AVAILABLE for $13 at the Pump House Gym in
Saugatuck, 6429 Blue Star Highway. This is a community event for
both Vets and non-vets. Veterans will eat free, but must
get a ticket to plan on seating. As a special treat, "The Star of
has organized an afternoon cruise at 3pm that same afternoon (19
May) with free seating for veterans who attend the
luncheon, their guest (spouse or partner) and any
children still living at home (of the vet). Veteran cruise
tickets must be picked up at the luncheon at time of check-in and
will be limited to those who attend the luncheon.
For information contact Judy Mauger at 616-283-6958 or Chris Yoder
At the Memorial
Service for Harold on Saturday, March 31 at St Peter's Catholic
Church, his daughter Nichole gave a beautiful eulogy that is
being shared with those who were not able to attend.
Over the past few weeks, many people have shared memories of my dad,
and Mom and I have been overwhelmed by the wonderful things people
have said. Today, it is my honor to stand here and share memories of
my dad, through the eyes of a daughter.
Everyone loved Harold. Clearly, if you look around this church,
there's plenty of evidence of that. Many of my North Carolina
friends who read the obituary, but had never met him, commented that
he seemed like an active, intelligent, and warm-hearted man. Well,
if we were able to capture that in an obituary, then you know it was
1,000 times truer in real life. Even during his final days, he
always put other people first, and wanted to help in any way he
could. Dad's main concern was not that he was ill, or that there
were things he was going to leave behind unfinished, but how Mom and
I were going to cope without him. He never once complained or asked,
"Why me?" He accepted things as they were and made the best of it.
Even the Holland Hospital ICU staff loved him - my guess is probably
not many patients get a kiss goodbye from their nurse when they
When I was growing up, I spent a lot of time with my Dad. Mom worked
in the evenings, so Dad was my caretaker at night. He would get on
the floor and play endless games of Chutes 'n' Ladders or Candy Land
with me, and read with me in the evenings before bed. Reading was a
passion of his, and we shared a love of books. We did not share a
love of math, however, but he patiently helped with what felt to me
like endless hours of math homework, too. We would visit our friends
Muriel and Bill Rioux up the street, or he would bring me with him
while he worked on restoring antique cars with another neighbor, Ron
Durno. He would take me to get ice cream - his favorite was
pistachio, mine was chocolate - and he'd wipe my face clean with the
handkerchief he always carried in his pocket. He volunteered as my
soccer coach when I was really young, and later as a band parent
when I was in the high school marching band. Some Sundays, he would
get up early and bring home freshly baked donuts to have before
church. One of the last meals Dad had was a donut my uncle Geoff
brought up from Chicago, and Mom joked, "The man did always like
Well, of course he did: working for Pepperidge Farm for 30 years
will do that. These days, it is rare for someone to work for a
company for their entire career, but Dad did. When people would ask
me what my dad did there, my answer would be something like, "He is
in charge of figuring out how much of what product needs to be made
by when at what plant and how much it is going to cost to do it." As
a planning manager, Dad spent a lot of time forecasting, but unlike
the weatherman, he couldn't be wrong all of the time. He was good at
what he did, he loved his job, and he loved the people he worked
with. Dean Solowin, the man Dad carpooled with for over 20 years,
you'll hear from next. Towards the end of their time riding
together, Pepperidge Farm even gave Daddy and Dean their own parking
space with a sign that said so. Dad obviously used to brag about me
a lot, because whenever I would visit the office, his coworkers
would congratulate me on whatever latest achievement I had. I once
asked him, "Do you walk into people's offices and say, 'Guess what
Nichole did?'" He also would not allow Oreo cookies in the house,
because they were made by the competition, and was disappointed when
he saw the bread in my refrigerator was not Pepperidge Farm's. He
blamed me for the low price of Campbell Soup's stock.
Dad loved his MG, and drove us in many of the town parades. He would
take me with him to car shows on the weekends, and I was the only
kid I knew who could tell you the difference between a Studebaker
and a Packard. He once tried to teach me how to drive the MG when I
was in high school, and that was a disaster. I kept popping the
clutch and killing the engine when putting it in first gear. Most
men would be freaking out that their daughter was going to ruin the
transmission, but he just said, "Just start it in second gear." He
was pleased when I told him I wanted to keep his Corvette. And
typical of my dad, he said, "I’ve been saving my allowance for a new
cover for it - have Mom give you the money so you can buy it."
Yes, Dad got a weekly allowance. He saved it in a metal band-aid
container, and would often buy Mom presents from the money he saved.
I never once had to advise my dad on an appropriate gift for Mom -
he knew what she liked and wanted, because he knew everything about
her. Mom was his high school sweetheart, and they were together for
over 50 years, 47 as a married couple. They met at a New Year's
party as juniors in high school, which was fortuitous since they
went to a high school with over 5,000 students, and never had a
class together. From what I've been told, it was love at first
sight, and there was never any doubt they would be together until
death did them part. Well, Dad may be gone, but their love for each
other will always remain the same. It was rare to see my mom without
my dad when they were out and about. But even if my dad is not here
in body, he will always be with us in our hearts. Saugatuck will not
be the same without him, no matter which side of the river you are
standing on. The residential side has lost a family member, friend,
neighbor, and president of the Historical Society. The town side
will miss him at the post office, in city meetings, at Knights of
Columbus pancake breakfasts and poker games, and in giving tours of
the town he loved, and that loved him back.
My dad was "one of the good guys." The only time he yelled was when
the Chicago Bears or the Michigan State Spartans were doing
something stupid, and he never left the toilet seat up. He knew
everything - Mom said we didn't need an encyclopedia or Google,
because we had him, yet he was never know-it-all in his knowledge.
He could read it, hear it, or do it once, and remember it forever.
He loved Civil War history, shopping for clothes, Mom's cooking,
genealogy, playing computer solitaire, watching the waves with Mom
at Oval Beach, talking with others, and learning new things. He
looked out for feral cats named Ed, ancient basset hounds, small
children, elderly people, friends, and family. He was kind and
generous, passionate and compassionate. Several of my friends said
they remembered my Dad as always smiling.
Of course, I could stand up here much longer and say more about my
dad, but I’d like to end with a quote from another friend of mine,
who said, "Your dad really walked his talk by giving himself and his
time to those he loved and the causes near and dear to his heart.
Now that he's resting in peace at last, we can honestly say that
your Dad used his time on this earth well, and that he made his
life's journey a worthwhile and charitable one." Mom and I thank you
for coming today.
MONTHLY MEETING REFRESHMENT PROVIDERS
Parents of Students
Nancy Woods, Jolene Jackson & Laura Latulippe
No Cookies - Picnic
Merle Malmquist & Paula Schultz
OPEN - REPLY TO THIS EMAIL if you can
No Cookies - Holiday Party
Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
DEATH BY SAND
This image has been widely viewed but never positively identified.
It is widely claimed that this is a Singapore dwelling being buried
by the shifting sands of time. Another story is that travelers
walking the beach from Holland were overtaken by cold darkness, used
the attic for shelter, and started a fire which consumed the
building remnants. So according to this account, the last trace of
Singapore disappeared in an effort to warm these distressed
The fire story may be based on fact, but I doubt the building so
burned was this structure. It appears that the building imaged here
was built by a Mr. J. Hamel who owned a parcel of property just
north of the channel from 1913 until the late 1920s. Kit Lane
relates that she was told that this photo was snapped by Russell
Force in 1918 with a small camera and pasted in his scrapbook. Mr.
Force identified the building as having been the property of Mr.
However, it is also possible that this structure was built by a
member of the Cook family. The Cooks had a large extended family
that built cottages along the river and could have built this
cottage just north of the channel, overlooking the lake. Photos
taken about 1910 show wooden stairs up the side of a sand dune
adjoining the channel. They undoubtedly led to a dwelling on top of
or just north of the dune.
Beginning in the late 1890s, the Cooks purchased much of the
property both north and south of the channel. They held the property
until the entire parcel was sold first to David Bennett about 1940,
then to Frank Denison, and finally to the present owner, Aubrey
My colorization of the original image brings a touch of life to this
scene of death by sand!
I have a personal involvement in the ferry as it appears here – stay
Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
THE 1940 LOCAL CENSUS IS ON OUR WEB SITE!
Welcome from Jack
Sheridan leader of the Society Family History Group. The Group meets
on the first and third Thursday of every month at 3:30 in the Old
School House. Our next meeting is April 19th. Next month,
the meetings are May 3 and May 17. Please join us to see what we are
all about and most importantly, share "lessons learned" about the
many tools available for family research.
Our offer to members is
open: Send us information on a person and we will find them for you
[if possible, if not, send us another person] in the U. S. Census.
month in this column we tell you about a rewarding family history
discovery. A family history discovery is called a EUREKA!
moment. Here is one from our last meeting:
Monday April 2, 2012, the 1940 United States census data was
released. The US census has been taken every ten years since 1790.
By law each census cannot be released for 72 years after it is
taken. The 1940 census has a lot of pages - some 3.8 million. But by
our Thursday meeting that week we were able to view the 46 pages of
the Saugatuck, Douglas and Saugatuck Township on line at
was eerie to browse through familiar names of family, friends and
neighbors, family by family. Wow, details, street by street, clear
images, easily read, a trip on our personal time machine. Goose
Now the real work starts for organizations such as Ancestry.com -
that are racing to make the census available on line. Handwritten
census pages will be converted to computer searchable text. Line by
line the millions of pages are being made ready for us to easily
search, study, ponder and discover!
But, thanks to Chris Yoder and our crack technical team, you can
browse the 1940 local census today! We have placed a copy of the
census for Douglas (11 pages), Saugatuck (16 pages) and Saugatuck
Twp (19 pages) on the SDHS web site. By clicking
HERE, it can be accessed through the SDHS "On-Line Research
In our meeting this, Thursday
we will further explore how to understand and access all the
nationwide un-indexed census images.
Contact me at:
or (269) 857-7144.
WALTER D. HAMILTON
Capt. Walter D. Hamilton
Thanks to Sharyn Brackett of Cerritos, California for sharing this
photo of her husband's ancestor Capt. Walter D. Hamilton, taken in
late 1915 or early 1916, not long before his death.
He was born in Ogdensburg, N. Y.,
Feb. 8, 1862. He was a public school graduate, and acquired a
nautical education in the Wilson school of Chicago. At 16, he became
a sailor on the Great Lakes, an officer at 21, and at 25 went to
work for the Spaulding Lumber Company, sailing in the summer and
superintending repairs on the boats in the winters. Spaulding was
purchased in 1894 by Edward Hines Lumber and by 1900 when Hines
formed a Marine Department, Capt. Hamilton was appointed Shore
Captain and Superintendent of its fleet of Steamers and barges, a
position he held for 15 years. In 1915 he organized Hamilton
Transportation Company, purchasing the fleet from Hines. He also
owned the Hamilton Lumber and Coal Company of Saugatuck. He was
Secretary and Treasurer of the Lake Lumber Carriers Association, for
many years, and was Grand Secretary of the Ship Master Association
and served a term as the Grand President of that group.
He married Mae E. Thompson in
Chicago Dec. 25, 1889, and together they had six children who
survived them. Daughter Ida Mae married Alfred Blake Taylor Jr. on
14 Oct 1911 in Saugatuck, MI at All Saints' Episcopal Church. A. B.
Taylor was the grandson of Episcopalian minister Rev. J. Rice and
Henrietta (Leonard) Taylor, and a son of A. B.
Taylor who came to Saugatuck in 1868 in the employ of H. D. Moore.
Capt. Hamilton purchased his home
in Douglas at the Terrace Farm in 1909, and became active in local
affairs. His obituary says "it was through his efforts that the
Crawford Transportation Company and the Indiana Transportation
Company, were induced to run steamers between this place and
At the time of his death on a
train en-route to Buffalo, NY, he was a 32nd degree
Mason, and an Elk. He had intended to sell his boats and enjoy
retirement in his Douglas home. He and his wife both rest in the
submitted by Chris Yoder