Stories of Summer


Stories of Summer

We are excited to announce that the Kutsche Office of Local History received a National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant. We can't wait to start documenting the histories of summers in Saugatuck-Douglas with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center as part of the project, "Stories of Summer."  This project is supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant. 

The culmination of this project will be on display in the Mary Idema Pew Library and Information Commons in February of 2019. Details to come!


West Michigan’s landscape reflects the histories of a bustling tourism industry along the shoreline of Lake Michigan during the summer. Many of these areas were profoundly transformed, garnering reputations for their acceptance of minorities. The twin lakeshore communities of Saugatuck-Douglas, became an important touchstone in thinking about the region’s LGBT history as the towns became a “home for all,” including a college youth invasion, motorcycle gangs, beach-goers, concert-goers, as well as the LGBT community. Although stories are told about motels and inns that welcomed gay customers or lax policing of state liquor laws that banned serving homosexuals, few records or oral histories discuss these topics. This project documents the area’s rise to become a destination for the LGBT community and other contemporary stories through oral histories and digitization of objects, photographs, and ephemera while the people who experienced these times are still able to share them. 

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