Catawba Island Historical Society hosts tea party for Garden Club

Aug 7, 2019 | Around Ottawa County | 0 comments

Members of the Catawba Island Garden Club were invited to “Tea” at Union Chapel Museum.

Members of the Catawba Island Garden Club were invited to a Tea Party at Union Chapel Museum on Monday. It was hosted by The Catawba Island Historical Society to thank Garden Club members for their ongoing support of the Museum.

Stylish hats, coupled with antique china service donated by Portage Resale Center, added pizazz and period elegance to the event.

Union Chapel was built in 1888 to serve as a non-denominational Sunday school for area children. Dwindling attendance ultimately led to closure. To preserve the iconic structure, ownership was transferred to Catawba Island Township in the 1990’s. The Township leased the building to the Historical Society for use as a community museum and cultural center which opened in June of 2018.
“The Garden Club helped us bring new life to the Union Chapel property,” noted President Craig Koerpel of the Historical Society Board of Trustees. “They used landscaping to convert neglected and struggling grounds into a park-like setting. I think the resulting curb appeal really helps to attract visitors to the museum.”

The colors and greenery are augmented by historical artifacts gifted by local residents. The Garden Club wove an old anchor, a couple of grinding wheels and a large watering trough into their landscaping plan. They also donated and installed two antique benches, which is one of their “trademark” activities for beautifying the area.

Debbie Newman from Portage Retail Center displays fine china it donated for Catawba Island Garden Club tea party at Union Chapel Museum

Terry Zeman, President of the Garden Club, observed that “The Historical Society’s mission to preserve and protect the heritage of Catawba is exactly in line with our goal to enhance the local environment with nature’s bounty. The real beauty of the Island is exactly what it has been for hundreds of years . . . trees, plants and flowers. The Museum property is a canvass that allows us to paint that picture.”

There is no charge to visit Catawba Union Chapel Museum. Operating cost is principally underwritten by dues to the Historical Society. Annual and lifetime memberships are available. For more information about becoming a member, or about group tours of the museum, please call 419 967 5363 or email The Catawba Island Historical Society also has a webpage which is

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