Growing our Collection Documenting Summers in Saugatuck 

November 07, 2017

Growing our Collection Documenting Summers in Saugatuck 

Plans for partnering with GVSU's Kutsche Office of Local History in 2018 to gather stories depicting 1950-1970s summer life in the Saugatuck-Douglas area will be previewed in the History Center's next free monthly program on Wednesday, November 8, starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Old School House, 130 Center Street, Douglas. Public attendance is invited and audience participation is welcomed to enrich the discussion.

Dr. Kimberly McKee, Director of the Kutsche Office of Local History at Grand Valley State University will team up with SDHC Executive Director Nathan Nietering to explain what the History Center will focus on collecting in 2018, why it's important, how the Kutsche Office will assist in that effort, and how the community can help. SDHC volunteer archivists Mary Voss and Ken Kutzel will show noteworthy examples of collected items.

The Kutsche Office of Local History was founded in 2008 with the mission to give voice to the experiences of diverse communities in West Michigan through history. "Our partnership with SDHC reflects the Office's interest in capturing what life was like along the lakeshore in the mid-twentieth century and remember it today," McKee explains.


Enabled by the gift of the late Paul Kutsche, a Grand Rapids native and retired professor emeritus of anthropology from Colorado College, the Office provides expertise and assistance with identifying and utilizing best practices for gathering, interpreting, preserving and sharing these stories.

"Partnering with the Kutsche Office is especially timely in the coming year," says Nietering. "Their help will strengthen our ability to document village life, the development of our various art colonies, and the growth and increased visibility of our LGBT community during that important period currently being showcased in the 2017-18 Cold War | Hot Towns exhibit at the History Museum.  We want as many stories as possible to be included in the narrative of this area's past".  

The Saugatuck-Douglas History Center's free monthly program series presents entertaining and informative insights into local history and community life. For more information about the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center, its Museum in Saugatuck and Old School House in Douglas, or its activities planned for 2017, visit

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Page last modified November 7, 2017