Sears Kit Houses with Andrew & Wendy Mutch

In the early 20th Century, kit houses were the ultimate “Do It Yourself” project for thousands of homeowners. While Sears Roebuck is the best known of the manufacturers of kit houses, Michigan was the home for three of the largest kit house companies in the country. Join Andrew and Wendy Mutch, Sears house owners and kit house researchers, as they present the fascinating history of kit houses. From first-hand accounts of customers, you’ll learn how they ordered, financed and in many cases, built their own homes. Their presentation will include a photographic tour of kit houses from companies like Sears and Aladdin that still stand in Downriver communities.

Michigan True Crime–Murder Mayhem Michigan with Tobin Buhk

Come face to face with the malefactors who stained the pages of Michigan history with blood spatter: The Killer Dentist, a Grand Rapids native who tried to poison his way into his wife’s inheritance; The Detroit Bluebeard, who prowled matrimonial ads for victims; The Michigan Borgia, who removed an entire branch of her family tree with Strychnine; The Lonely Hearts Killers, whose mail-order fraud business became felonious on the southwest side of Grand Rapids. Andrew Kehoe, who engineered the bloodiest school day in history. Serial killers John Norman Collins and Coral Watts, whose crimes terrorized southeastern Michigan’s co-eds. And others. Join crime historian and author Tobin T. Buhk as he unveils the truth behind some of Michigan’s most fiendish crimes. He has written 14 books and many will be available for purchase at the meeting. He will be selling his book “Murder, Mayhem, Michigan” for $20. He has also written many other books that he will have available. Go to his website and select “presentations” to see many of his book titles and programs. He is coming all the way from Grand Rapids to do this presentation!!!

Suffragists Almost There with Gary Rembisz

Gary Rembisz

It took 72 years for women to gain their right to vote. In 1848 the first women’s convention was held in Seneca Fall, NY where the Declaration of Sediments was signed. Single women had few rights, married women had no rights, not even to their own paycheck. Her possessions and gifts belonged to their husbands, and in case of her divorce, no child custody. They earned half of their male counterparts. If you think we have tough women now, see what your grandmothers, great grandmothers, and great great grandmothers went through to get the vote. They were spit upon, punched, pushed, jailed, and even forced fed. They rallied against the Democratic Party until they became supporters. Victory, but still a long way to go for equal rights.

Prohibition’s Proving Ground: Cops, Cars and Rumrunners in the Toledo-Detroit-Windsor Corridor with Joseph Boggs

Do you like stories about booze, cars, cops, and crime? Then join Joe Boggs, the author of a new book called Prohibition’s Proving Ground, as he shares how prohibition enforcement and automobile culture collided on the Toledo-Detroit-Windsor corridor. With a special emphasis on the Downriver area, the presentation will focus on how our region’s automobile boom significantly aided local rumrunners but challenged those responsible for enforcing dry laws.

Joseph Boggs will bring his book to sell & sign for a discounted price of $20.

DRGS Annual Pot Luck Dinner

  • Setup at 5:15 pm
  • Doors open at 5:30  pm
  • Dinner starts at 6:00 pm
  • The meeting and program (below) begin at 7:00 pm

The DGS Annual Pot Luck Dinner returns on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, before our evening presentation. Sign-up sheets will be available at our meetings before the pot-luck to track each member’s bringing so we do not end up with all desserts! The society will provide chicken, and we ask members to bring a dish to pass.



DRGS Used Book Sale

June 7, 8, and 9, 2022, from 1 PM to 6 PM each day.
At DRGS Library and hallway, inside Flat Rock Schools Admin Building.

  • Hardcover and softcover books and pamphlets
  • Research volumes and DRGS publications
  • Local city, county, and church histories
  • Local Cemetery books
  • Free will donation

28639 Division St. at Gibraltar Rd.
Flat Rock, MI 48134

Enter from the north door by the gym.

Polar Bears of WWI with Mike Grobbel

One hundred and four years ago during the winter of 1918-1919, 5,200 U.S. soldiers – the majority of them from Michigan – were stranded in a sub-arctic region of North Russia, engaged in bitter combat with the Bolshevik Red Army. They had arrived in Archangel, Russia on September 4, 1918, and their battles continued long after the Armistice was signed on November 11th. Eventually, they were withdrawn from this obscure military intervention in June of 1919, but not before 230 men lost their lives. Today the “Polar Bears” are no longer with us, but they and their service to our country have not been forgotten. Their war dead are memorialized with a monument at White Chapel Cemetery in Troy, MI, where they are remembered annually with a Memorial Day service conducted by the Polar Bear Memorial Association. Mike Grobbel, president of the Polar Bear Memorial Association, tells the story of the men of the American North Russia Expeditionary Force. Mike is the grandson of a “Polar Bear” and his presentation will draw on the historical records and experiences of veterans of that campaign, plus his own experiences during a 2018 visit to the former front lines in northern Russia.

This presentation was originally scheduled for October.

Wyandotte at War – A Michigan Town Fights Back in WWII with Alana Paluszewski

Wyandotte at War

Her book was released in July 2021. It is a non-fiction account of the activities of Wyandotte residents before, during, and after WWII. Over 2,200 of our citizens served in the military and thousands more fought the battle on the home front. Wyandotte lost at least 143 men during the war, and this book chronicles the sacrifice of Wyandotte’s warriors along with the challenges of our hometown heroes.

She will bring her book to sell and sign.

The Potato Famine & The Coming of the Irish to America with Terence O’Leary

Terence O'Leary

Ireland awoke to the beginning of the Great Hunger in 1845. Experience the heartbreaking stories of the Irish during the 5 long years of the Potato Famine. While it was a time of great injustice when more than 1 million Irish died, it also became a tragic blessing for over 1 million Irish who fled to America and survived. As an Irish storyteller, Mr. O’Leary’s quest is to keep the famine story alive and acquaint modern-day Irish-Americans with the tragic but also the triumphant history of our Irish ancestors.

Terence O’Leary will be bringing and signing his Irish Crossings books.  The books are $12.99 each. Two books are $22.99 and the Irish Crossings Trilogy is $32.99.

New York’s Burned-over District: Revival, Reform and the Migration to Michigan with Jim Craft

Jim Craft

It is generally recognized by even casual students of Michigan history that many of the state’s early settlers came from western New York. It is rarely appreciated, however, that this region of New York, known as the Burned-over District, played a central role in the great religious revival that swept the country in the first half of the 19th Century. Nor is it recognized that this “Second Great Awakening”, particularly as it evolved in western New York, set the stage for social and political reforms that led directly to six Constitutional Amendments, the Civil War and shaped how much of the country responded to the industrialization and urbanization of America in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. From Jackson Prison to Kellogg’s Corn Flakes and the birth of the Republican Party, ante bellum Michigan was greatly impacted by the events which occurred in Burned-over District in the 1820s and 1830s. Jim Craft will discuss the causes and course of this significant but underappreciated aspect of Michigan and American history.

He will bring his book to sell for $10 and sign