Dine Around Events:
Delicious Series of Dinners and Parties
to support the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society
From gourmet dinners in exclusive homes to casual cocktail parties,
these culinary events feature great food and great times for a great
A Roan and Black Evening
Saturday, September 28, 2013 | 7 pm
Tickets $125 per person
Hosted by John Newland & Doug McIntosh
3315 Blue Star Highway, Saugatuck
Cocktails in the new Blue Star Highway home of John Newland and Doug
McIntosh followed by dinner for 12 downstairs in the Roan and Black
Sorry, but this event has SOLD OUT!
2nd Annual Halloween
Saturday, October 26, 2013 | 7:30 pm
Tickets $40 per person
Hosted by Judi & Howard Vanderbeck
and Janie & Jim Flemming
On the Rooftop, 150 Center Street, Douglas
High spirits and dinner hot off the grill with Douglas Halloween
parade viewing at 10 PM.
Comfortable Fall Feast with Steve
Saturday, November 16, 2013 | 6:30 pm
Tickets $85 per person
Hosted by Steve Teich
178 West Shore Court, Douglas
Cocktails and a hearty dinner for eight in the
newly transformed home of designer Steve Teich.
Dollybrook Musical Chairs
Saturday, January 11, 2014 | 6:30 pm
Tickets $75 per person
Hosted by The Keag Family, Dollybrook Family Resort
2076 66th Street, Fennville
Park once and enjoy small plate dining as you walk
to each of the nine unique cottages at Dollybrook Resort. The
natural beauty and charming, eclectic decor of this property will
brighten your January.
To reserve your place
in the upcoming events, REPLY to this email or call 269-857-5751
firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch.
Following up on an earlier email to members
regarding the recent passing of Society member Adrian Vincent,
for Adrian's Life Story.
2013 Society Monthly Programs
At the Old School House History Center
October 9: Tales from the Crypt: Visitors from the Ghostown of
Plummerville (Ganges Township) Led by Kit Lane and Marsha
Kontio, a virtual tour by the Cemetery Actors Group. Refreshments to
November 13: Painting: the Town: Landscape, the Artist, and
People by Ken Kutzel who brings stories from the Society's art
collection. Sponsored by Arthur Frederick,
December 1: Annual Society Holiday Dinner 6:00 pm. At the
Saugatuck Center for the Arts. Kick off the Holiday Season. Good
cheer, Great Food, Good Friends.
If you would like to sponsor one of the Monthly Programs, please
REPLY to this email. Sponsorships are $150.
Thanks to Valerie Atkin, Ed Kelly, Sharon Kelly, Marsha Kontio and
Renee Zita for providing yummy refreshments for our Monthly
Happenings at the Old School House History Center
At 1:00 PM on Sunday, September 22, the Great Lakes Chapter of the
National Wildlife Federation will hold a fundraiser at the Old
School House History Center. Click
for more details
Welcome from Jack Sheridan
and Chris Yoder leaders of the Society Family History Group. Our
meeting schedule is the first and third Thursday of every month.
Upcoming meetings are:
Thursday September 26
[changed from the usual date]
Thursday October 3
Thursday October 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.
This month I would like to
describe fun steps [OK maybe some are more work than fun]
necessary to record and explore your family tree. Many of you are
like me when I started discovering fifteen years ago, so I know
where you are coming from.
I will get right to the point
with the minimum steps you should take.
1] Vow to spend enough time
on this project to get comfortable with the basic process. You
will reach a point of reasonable competence quite quickly. Giving
it a few hours a week is a good start.
2] Learn how to browse the internet. Actually on line research is
a wonderful way to learn and gain experience to become comfortable
with the internet.
3] Obtain a software program for building family trees and install
on your computer.
4] Gather personal data from relatives and family members. The
bare minimum such as name, year of birth/death and relationship is
fine. Do not fret if you don't have everything perfect.
5] Talk to relatives who have already done the some of the above
so that you can copy what they have already discovered and save
yourself work. There is plenty to discover – in ten generations
you have 4092 grandparents.
6] Record the personal data on your computer using the family tree
software program you have installed. Like magic the software
prompts for the data and organizes it as accumulated. The learning
curve here is short and the results are encouraging.
7] Join the SDHS family history group for "how to and what to do"
support. We have subscriptions to many subscriber only web sites.
You can build a tree on Ancestry.com. We advise you for free. The
only requirement is that you be a SDHS member.
8] Start yelling EUREKA!
If you need a really painless
start - record what you know about your parents, grandparents, and
great grandparents and send it along for a review by our
volunteers. The snail mail address is SDHS Family History Box 617
Douglas, Michigan 49406, or email a copy to either
Give us time for an initial assessment.
We will soon be back to you
with readily found data and with suggestions on the next steps to
take. Further help is always available from the Family History
group. Again, the only requirement is membership in the SDHS.
stress that your family history does not have to have any
connection to the Saugatuck-Douglas area.
Questions/comments/advice/needs - contact
269 857-7144 Chris Yoder
email@example.com 269 857-4327.
submitted by Jack Sheridan
Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
Dorr E. Felt – The Man, The Machine, The Mansion
Dorr Eugene Felt was born in in Beloit, Rock County, Wisconsin in
1862. At age 15 he left school to work in a local machine shop.
Early on, he exhibited an extraordinary mechanical and inventive
talent. Five years later he went to Chicago, the big town, where he
started work with the Pullman Company. Soon he was a maintenance
foreman. Leaving that, he developed persuasive skills by selling
sewing machines. But a salesman's career was not to be and in 1884
he returned to his love of machines, taking a position with a
machine shop business that used planing machines to cut metal to
During these early jobs, Felt was interested in inventions and had
worked on a number of ideas, including a mechanical adding machine.
Now the design of the planing machines stimulated his brain for a
break through. Dorr's invention of a mechanical "counting machine" -
later named the Comptometer - automated arithmetic. Up to this time
arithmetic required a certain aptitude as the work was done in the
bookkeepers head. It was a massive improvement to the age old
process of number crunching!
The lightbulb in his head was turned on in 1884. He built the first
prototype using rubber bands and a wooden macaroni box for a case.
More prototypes, then patents [46 domestic patents in all] followed.
In 1888, Felt got a capital infusion when he teamed with Robert
Tarrant, owner of a large machine shop and foundry in Chicago. They
formed the Felt & Tarrant Manufacturing Company to make and sell the
Comptometer – the counting machine invented and perfected by Dorr
Felt. Mr. Felt became a rich man as a result.
In 1891, Dorr married Agnes McNulty and they were blessed with four
daughters born in the next ten years. In 1919 as retirement
approached, they fell in love with this area and acquired several
hundred acres of wooded and rolling dunes along Lake Michigan
between Holland and Saugatuck. They named the estate "Shore Acres
Starting in 1925, construction of the "Big House" took three years.
Dorr made it a gift for his beloved wife, Agnes. The home would be
large enough to accommodate his married daughters and their
families. It took three years to construct the 12,000 square foot
mansion which consists of 25 rooms, including a third-floor
ballroom. Sadly, Agnes died in the summer of 1928, six weeks after
the family moved in, and Dorr died a year and a half later in 1930.
The family kept the home until 1949, but with the advent of more
sophisticated calculators, the business income declined. The family
sold the comptometer business to Victor Electronics, and the Felt
descendants decided to sell Shore Acres Farm.
The buyer was the St. Augustine Seminary. The Seminary had a
Catholic prep school for young men. About 1965, outgrowing the large
carriage house, which they used for classrooms, and the mansion
which they used for housing, the Seminary built a school building to
the west of the mansion. The mansion was used as a cloister by nuns
of the order.
In the late 1970s, the State of Michigan purchased the property and
converted the school building to a minimum security prison. The
State owned the property until the early 1990s.The mansion was used
in part during the years of State ownership as offices for the State
Police. At that time the prison was torn down and Laketown Township
bought the mansion and land around it for one dollar, with the
stipulation that the mansion be used for the public benefit.
For the last fifteen years volunteers from the area communities have
been restoring the mansion and grounds to their 1920's splendor.
Today the mansion is open on a limited basis for visits and is
available for special events. For details visit the web site
Next month we listen in on story telling at a small historical
mansion - the ferry shack.
Click on the picture for a higher resolution copy.
Welcome New Members
We would like to welcome the new members who have joined the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society since the last newsletter.
l Stephen Clark - St.
l Nancy Garrity & Mary
Szpor - Chicago, IL & Douglas. MI
l Lenore M. Weber -
l William & Mary Leber
- Douglas, MI
l Carl & Virginia Ojala
- Douglas, MI
l John & Judy
Provancher - Portage, MI
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
Robert Louis Stevenson
Fall is right around the corner, but what a summer
it has been. Although the summer blooms are finished and the
peaches have been picked, our garden is still amazing with its
beautiful fall blooming perennials. They added such brilliant
color to the wedding reception that was recently held at the Old
School House. Many thanks to Janet Schmidt and her sister Ellen
Donovan for all of their hard work. They turned the already
beautiful garden into a picture right out of a magazine. It was
truly a creative use for our garden and, we are quite sure, just
the beginning of many more exciting events to be held there.
Speaking of peaches, we had a bumper crop! They
not only looked good - they were good. We hope everyone had a
chance to taste our first crop. Our little Garden Gnome reports
that a delicious peach cobbler was even made from them. Thanks to
Steve Hutchins and Joan Donaldson for their advice and care of our
We hope everyone has had a chance to view the
Architectural Station. It is a perfect station to dedicate to our
very own Jim Schmeichen. He and Kristi Mueller worked really hard
on getting it just right. Thanks to both of you. Now we just need
to add some plants --- next year!
The committee has decided not to add any new
daffodil bulbs this fall. We want to make sure not to put the cart
before the horse. Stations are still being developed and we need
to install other plant material before we install the bulbs. No
worries though, our Daffodil Trail will grow next fall.
Volunteer Opportunities: Although our
season is winding down, volunteers are still needed to keep our
garden weed free. It is an endless job, but one that is so
important. Thanks to all who have been helping out. Since we are
on the topic of volunteers, our Master Gardener, Mike Economos,
would like to solicit help at the Museum next year. There is a ton
of work to do, way too much for one person. Anyone interested
please contact Mike at
Also we need someone who is quick on the keyboard.
We are ordering name plaques for our plants and need someone to
type and attach the names to the plaque. Please contact Ruth
Johnson if you can help us out. Please and thanks!
Please continue to enjoy our gardens. The fall
season offers such beauty.
See you next month,
The Garden Committee