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Upcoming Programs and Events

July 16, 2024: From DDT to the UAW: The Sustainability Movement Began in Michigan

By David Benac, PhD, Associate Professor of History, Western Michigan University

The sustainability movement strives to meet cultural, economic, and environmental needs for the long term. Michigan demonstrated the power of this complex movement before the term existed. In the late 1960s, Berrien County challenged the use of DDT when the insecticide threatened the culture and economy of Southwest Michigan. At the same time, Walter Reuther of the United Auto Workers (UAW) created the Black Lake Conference Center launching one of the most significant efforts in US history to connect environmental health, civil rights, and workers’ rights into a single movement. This presentation explores the ways Michiganders created a blueprint for sustainability that we’re still trying to match today.

David Benac is an associate professor of history at Western Michigan University. He teaches and advises graduate students in environmental and public history, including cultural resources management, environmental movements, heritage tourism, historic preservation, and oral history. His research investigates how individuals and communities develop cultural ties to environments (built, natural, and landscape) and how these connections emerge in grassroots activism. His current major work is a forthcoming book titled Voices of Ecological Truth Tellers: The Rainforest Action Network and Grassroots Organizing.

August 6, 2024: An Evening Program at 7:00 p.m. – Kalamazoo, Lake Shore & Chicago Railway: The “Fruit Belt Line”

By Keith Howard, Digital Preservation Specialist, Kalamazoo Public Library
7:00 pm in person at Scott Club
To attend by Zoom, request an invite by email to

The story of the Kalamazoo, Lake Shore & Chicago Railway, otherwise known as the “Fruit Belt Line,” is a rather long and twisted tale of “wishful thinking and hoped-for wealth.” The short-lived railroad originally was planned to be an efficient electric interurban train connecting Kalamazoo and South Haven. Instead, it became a ramshackle steam train that meandered through Kalamazoo and Van Buren counties toward the Lake Michigan shoreline. Join us as we learn how the “Fruit Belt Line” came to be and what became of it while we trace its route through the West Michigan countryside.

Keith Howard is a Digital Preservation Specialist at the Kalamazoo Public Library and a former instructor of business communication and information technology at WMU’s Haworth College of Business. He has a true passion for exploring and documenting local history. Keith has authored or contributed to more than one hundred articles on the KPL website, and his work has appeared in several leading publications, including Michigan History Magazine, SW Michigan Spark, Brewery History journal, and others. Keith lives in Oshtemo with his dog, Benson.

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Concert Series

Sunday, November 17, 2024 at 3 pm – Lisa Sung

The 2024-25 Scott Club Concert Series will kick off on Sunday, November 17th with a delightful concert by Grand Rapids pianist, Lisa Sung.  Lisa will play her jazz arrangements of children’s songs from the US, Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam and talk about her musical journey as a mom of six children, and full-time musician.  She […]

Programs are FREE and open to all!

All programs begin at 1:00 p.m. unless noted otherwise. This year’s programs and concerts will be a hybrid of in-person (at the Scott Club unless noted otherwise) and online. Non-members/guests please send email to to request a Zoom link.

The South Haven Scott Club was organized in 1883 as a reading circle and has been providing cultural events to the community ever since then in its Michigan historic site. Located at the corner of Phoenix Road and Pearl Street in South Haven, Scott Club is a stately Queen Anne style building of sandstone capped by a cupola of carved oak. Two historic windows of Austrian stained glass frame our east and west walls and serve as a cultural icon to the east entrance to the city.