Sunday, July 20, 2008
Adventures in South Haven, Michigan
Haven't made and addition to the blog in a while.....must be I am having fun....
It is beautiful here and I would like to give you a little history of South Haven. The founder of South Haven was J.R. Monroe. He was granted a land patent from the U.S. government in 1833 for 65 acres along the lake Michigan shore. It wasn't until the 1850's that permanent pioneer families started settling at this location.
A sawmill was constructed which made it possible for a hotel, school, homes, stores and many other buildings to be built.
As the land was being cleared of lumber, the pioneers quickly put the land to use by planting fruit trees. This brought progress to South Haven. New factories and businesses were established that related to the lucrative business of fruit growing.
The resort business took hold in the mid 1850's and brought thousands of visitors, including the infamous Al Capone. They came from Chicago arriving by steamer and train to enjoy a memorable vacation.
Although the resort business and fruit industry was a tremendous boom to South Haven, its impact was felt for only a few months of the year. To remedy the situation the board of trade (Chamber of Commerce) worked to improve conditions. They brought several major industries to the city. These included Cable Nelson Piano, S.E. Overton, Casavant Organ and Marshall Casting Companies.
In the 1930's a professor, director of South Havens Experimental Station, was already involved in peach breeding and blueberry culture that eventually brought world prominence to South Haven. The 40's marked the end of steamer service to South Haven and was open to the growing interest in pleasure yachts that would later make dramatic changes in the harbor scene. The resort business slowly declined, but several resort business kept with the pace of the times offering deluxe accommodations, gormet food and quality entertainment. The city hosts a marina today and during the summer South Haven comes alive.
At one time.....long ago.....the state of Michigan was not here. It was covered by sea water. Michigan was created by the Wisconsin ice sheet, the last of the great ice sheets to move out of the north. As a result this area is rich with fossils and beautiful stones that are used in many jewelery settings.
I enjoy walks on the beach and finding such treasures. Jim is limiting me to 100 pounds of rocks and fossils. I had to laugh....don't think I will come any where near that amount.
We enjoy many beautiful sunsets, great walks about town and the pier lighthouse.
One of the pictures posted is of one of the original light house keepers homes. The other pictures are self explanatory. Enjoy.!!!!