E. J. “PETE” HANSMAN (born 1920)

IMG_4000.jpg  IMG_4013.jpg

With His Daughter Mary

IMG_4015.jpg  IMG_4016.jpg


Video, Photos



Early days in Shorewood (1940-50s), the develpment of the Saugatuck Yacht Club

(design, funding and building).

The Burman family (Pete's first wife's parents and his children's grandparents) history;

purchase of their cottage and its history.

Early SYC sailing days on Lake Kalamazoo with races and instruction; Pete's 1948

wood Lightning class sailboat.

Discussion among three generations of SYC sailors discussing the similarities and

differences in the SYC programs. Ian Shanahan (age 16) joins Pete and Mary to

discuss their club sailing experiences.


In 1942 Pete Hansman found himself in a Navy Dougless Dauntless dive bomber where

for four years he “softened” the beaches in the South Pacific for the Allied Forces'

landings. When he mustered out in 1946 he went to work for General Electric in a sales

capacity. Pete has had a presence on the Saugatuck lakeshore since the late1940s. It

was in Shorewood that he met his wife and, through her, recieved his introduction to



In the 1950s Pete became an active member of the Saugatuck Yacht Club and was

instrumental in raising the funds to buy the land, design and build the present yacht club

building. He recalls that a Frank Lloyd Wright studio architect designed the building and

a local contractor built the structure largely single-handed.


At that time Lightnings and locally built Mowers were the racing boat preferences and

Pete owned a 1948 Lightning on which he won significant races.


At 90 he can still be found puttering on his vintage wood Lightning moored in the new

club docks. Sailing, however, involves the help of his daughters. He divides his time

between LaGrange Park, IL and his Shorewood summer retreat with his children and



J.Shack - Interviewed July 2011