Wednesday, April 14, Old School
House Garden Project, 7:00 PM, Old School House
Come take a walk with landscape designer,
Ruth A. Johnson, through the future gardens of the old School
House. Learn about peach orchards, natural predator's
habitats, schoolyard games of the past and much more. You
bring your questions, she'll provide the answers. Discover our
history one step at a time.
NEWSLETTER HISTORIES NOW ON-LINE
From March 1996 through October 2008, Kit Lane was the editor of the
SDHS Newsletter. She usually added a special historical insert to
each issue. The material in these inserts is a treasure trove of
local history and remembrances. In addition to the writings of Kit
Lane, Bill Kemperman, Helen Gage DeSoto, Jim Schmiechen, Jack
Sheridan and many others, the inserts contain many historical
letters and diary excerpts.
Chris Yoder has scanned and converted to digital text over 500 pages
to prepare them for the SDHS web site. Jack Sheridan is
incrementally helping to proof them and to add archival photos which
enhance the articles. You can read these fine historical pieces now
Kit Lane has also prepared a hard-copy set which is indexed and will
be available for review at the Old School House research library.
CHADBOURNE, SAUGATUCK-DOUGLAS HOTEL KEEPER
Selina Whaley Chadbourne
William Chadbourne was born in Canada in 1811 and moved to New York
when he was 19. He came to Michigan in the early 1830s and his
obituary reports that he: "... was one of surveying party that
laid out the town of Allegan. He helped build the first house and
cut the first tree on the island."
He must have returned to New York as he married his wife Selina
Whaley there at Attica in 1842. They lived in Attica until 1855 when
they moved to Otsego. By 1870 they were in Saugatuck operating a
The 1870 Saugatuck Census shows William Chadbourne as a hotelkeeper,
along with his wife Selina, children Hannah, Selina and Mark. Eleven
boarders were living in their residence at that time. We don't know
when they began their Saugatuck Hotel keeping, but do know from the
Aug. 26, 1871 Lake Shore Commercial (Commercial Record) that the
"Chadbourne House" in Saugatuck (apparently the name of his
establishment) had "changed hands". The same issue tells that
Chadbourne had "opened the Douglas House" on the southeast corner of
Center and Washington in Douglas.
The Douglas House had been built in the 1860s by Jonathan Wade, and
went through a series of owners and operators. In 1868, W. D.
Roberts was the proprietor, G.C. Maxson in 1870, and when Chadbourne
was there in 1871 the proprietor was John Ryan. We know that Jervis
Kibby took charge of the Douglas House in 1874 at the age of 31 and
operated the business for almost 40 years. Fred Schultz took over
from Kibby in 1910 and operated it for about 30 years. The building
burned in Feb. 1934, but a portion was saved and turned into a
residence. Remnants are still in that block after being moved to the
south and rebuilt again 3-4 years ago.
We do not know how long Chadbourne was associated with the Douglas
House, but the Lake Shore Commercial of Mar 29, 1878 announced he
had moved to Cheshire (Township in Allegan Co) "to take charge of a
farm belong to his daughter"- apparently an older daughter who had
married Covil Olney. Two other daughters married prominent Saugatuck
businessmen. Hannah, in 1874, became the second wife of Francis
Bogue Wallin, and Lina (Selina) (who opened a Saugatuck millinery
business in 1879) in 1881 married Civilian M. Cook. William, his
wife, and their son Mark are buried in the Mt. Home Cemetery in
Otsego, MI. (Thanks to descendant Pat Claussen for the photos of Wm.
& Selina and the SDHS Archives for the photo of the Douglas House).
submitted by Chris Yoder
WHAT YOU MISSED
March 10, 2010 SDHS Meeting at the OSH
SDHS members and guests were treated to a college level course in
Saugatuck-Douglas Art History as Ken Kutzel shared humorous yet
provocative tidbits on five women artists who spent time at Ox-Bow.
Least known were OEW (Olive E. Williams) and Mabel Louise Wheelock
(1887-1950). Christiana Ackermann Hoerman
(1887-1986), although not as famous as her husband Carl Hoerman,
painted with him. Her florals were stunningly composed. Minnie Harms
Neebee’s (1873-1936) dashes of bright colors contrasted with Elsa Ulbricht's
(1885-1980) dark and haunting views.
It was interesting to note possible Fursman connections among all
five women. As more information is found and documented from local
knowledge, the story of art in this area can be told. A study group
is working to promote these artists and Ken has also established a
fund for the restoration of donated art gifts.
Jane Underwood reminded all of upcoming programs:
April 14 Ruth Johnson will speak on the OSH Gardens
May 12 Annual Meeting, Awards and Installation
June 9 Stroll the Denison Property
submitted by Jane Osman
PUB PARTY RAFFLE WINNER
The lucky winner in the SDHS Cocktail/Dinner Cruise
raffle was Peter Alman of Douglas. The afternoon or evening cruise (between Memorial Day and
September 30) on the vintage Chris-Craft Mahagra includes
cocktails and dinner catered by Butch's of Holland.
Bonnie Keller generously donated the cruise, which was originally
donated by Matt & Cindy Peterson. All proceeds will benefit the
Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society.
HISTORY MUSEUM NEWS
Invading Saugatuck: What are these folks lining up
A Heads Up From the Museum
Check out these two opportunities:
For the upcoming museum exhibition "A Place Called Ox-Bow",
we are looking for photographs, memorabilia, recollections relative
to your connections to the Ox-Bow School of Painting of Saugatuck.
Give curator Jim Schmiechen a call on 269-414-9199 or 269-857-5605
or send an email at
Join the fun and learning experience as a 2010 Exhibition host by
calling Jim (see above) or Bill Hess at 269-857-1081 or email at
Plans for this year's "SDHS 101" sessions are already
in progress, with the first session planned for Saturday, May 1st,
at the Old School House, beginning at 10:00 a.m. New, former and
current members are welcome!
will be held on July 31st and September 11th.
The meetings are designed to learn about the history of our award-winning organization
and the opportunities that it has to offer. This is a wonderful
chance to meet our new members and discover talents that can benefit
the Society. If you have any questions or plan to attend, contact Nyla Hensley at (269) 857-5704 or by email at
ABOUT THE SOCIETY
To become a member or renew your membership select from the
Send check payable to the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society to:
PO Box 617, Douglas, Michigan 49406. You can also click
HERE for a Society Membership Application.
Send items for the newsletter to: Fred Schmidt, PO Box
617, Douglas MI
49406 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
MUSEUM AND TECH CENTER
The Saugatuck-Historical Museum is located in the
historic Pump House at the foot of Mt. Baldhead on the west bank of
the Kalamazoo River. The
Museum's 2010 exhibit is titled:
"A Place Called Ox-Bow: 100 Years of
Connecting Art, Nature, and People"
The Museum is
now closed and will reopen Sunday, May 30, 2010. Click
to learn more about the Museum and view images of the 2009 exhibit.
The Society's Technology Center has moved to the Old
Society Phone: 269 857-5751
Museum Phone: 269 857-7900
Tech Center Phone 269 857-7901