Castle Museum opens new exhibit profiling Roethke family greenhouse

By Hannah Jewell and Anna Kathman

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    SAGINAW, Michigan (WNEM) — A new exhibit in town shows how an old Saginaw greenhouse inspired Pulitzer prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke.

“It is just plain fun to learn about places and to imagine these different layers of history,” said Tom Trumbly, the vice president and chief historian of the Castle Museum.

The family’s greenhouse was once located on Gratiot near the family’s home. Now, it is no more.

“The business was demolished in the 1930′s they were incredibly important to Theodore the images of greenhouses appear throughout his poetry. We have a couple of examples. Both of his poems up here in one called the big wind. It describes the greenhouse is surviving a windstorm,” Trumbly said.

Trumbly wanted to add to the poet’s story, helping to curate the new exhibit.

“The part on this exhibit that I think I have Saginaw stories shared nationally and internationally,” Trumbly said.

A safe that was inside the greenhouse is now being used to open the minds of patrons at the museum.

The early years of Roethke’s life was shaped by the family business, which at the time was one of the largest greenhouses in the state. There, he learned to raise plants.

It’s just another story Trumbly is excited to share and preserve now that the exhibit is open to the public.

“This is just one of many exhibits, and many programs that we offer. The Castle Museum is using it as a way to open up people’s minds about its history,” Trumbly said.

The museum is open seven days a week. Admission ranges between two and three dollars.

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