533 SPEAR ST.
and Nyla Hensley, active SDHS members and close
neighbor and friends of Dennis Naughtin, recommended
him for an oral history. Dennis is presently 88 and living alone in the
house his father purchased many years ago. A widower, he is very
self-sufficient except for having recently retired from driving due to some
macular degeneration. Jim Hensley and his son, Bud, provide most of his
transportation. We conducted our interview in his home which is cozy and
furnished with antiques and considerable memorabilia.
was adamant about not having his interview put on video. Photos and audio
recording were acceptable.
described in Mae Francis Heath's "Early Memories of Saugatuck" (p.222),
Dennis's grandfather, Warren A. Woodworth, migrated with his
grandparents to Michigan from New York following his
mother's death in 1850 s. He was largely self taught while pursuing
various occupations including lecturing on temperance and phrenology for two
years. Eventually he studied law in Ann Arbor
in 1863-64 and became one of the first attorneys in Allegan
County while also running a fruit farm
in Ganges. In 1864 he married Mary
Miller, a school mistress in Glenn, and had
three children including Nellie who married a Naughtin.
died in 1922. Dennis' father, William "Woody" Woodworth
attended Western Michigan University
and became part of the crew of both the North and South American lake steamers.
was born in 1923 and attended school in Douglas through 4th grade, when he
moved to Ganges and later Fennville where he
graduated from high school. He dated Velma Rosenow
through most of high school and married her 1/8/44 after having been serving
stateside in the Army as an airplane mechanic for a year. He and Velma
had two children: Bud and Carol Ann ("Corky"). Bud built Naughtin Marine and now owns a boat storage facility on Blue Star Hwy and
served on the Douglas Village Council. "Corky" is married with
a daughter and two grandchildren and lives in Holland. With Velma, Dennis was proprieter of several enterprises before their 1965
purchase of the Skyline (now Spectators) bar on Blue Star near 64th. In
1975 they retired with many fond memories.
better way to access Dennis's grasp of local history would be to drive him
slowly around the area while he describes what he remembers from the 1930s.
This should be done by someone with a good historical knowledge of both
towns. Dennis also has endless bartender stories. His description
of the oft-dreaded Bolton brothers by itself
was worth the effort of this interview. I suggested that Jim Hensley
might try to record some of these while they drive together on errands.
John R. Shack
The Rosnow Sisters--Velma Naughtin