Local LGBT history explored in ‘Stories of Summer’ exhibit

(February 17, 2019)

While the harsh winter has canceled classes and left students dreaming of warmer weather, Grand Valley State University’s Kutsche Office of Local History has planned an exhibit to remind students of sunnier days ahead and provide a historical view of the local LGBT community. The “Stories of Summer” series features photographs of summer memories throughout the history of Douglas and Saugatuck, two Michigan towns who acted as a safe space for LGBT youth, accompanied by informational text.

After receiving a National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant, the Kutsche Office of Local History partnered with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center to compile a collection of the towns’ pasts, including photographs, postcards, slides and oral histories. 

While the exhibit touches on tourism along the lakeside, it hones in on the minority communities that found acceptance in Saugatuck and Douglas, becoming known as a “home for all,” according to the Kutsche Office of Local History.

Grand Valley Lanthorn