The Pump House
As technologies changed, the use of the building changed. After the hotel burned in 1923, this building was used to supply water for the cottages at Ottawa Beach. At that time, it became known as the "Pump House," a term still in use.
Since 2005, Ottawa County Parks has served as steward of this building. It is the future home of the Pump House Museum and Learning Center to be operated by the nonprofit Historic Ottawa Beach Society.
Building the Lighting Plant
In 1901, the Furniture City Electric Company of Grand Rapids constructed this Lighting Plant for the Père Marquette Railway, owners of the hotel, at the same time the hotel was enlarged. Cottagers were also given the opportunity to purchase electricity. Per the account record
Operating the Lighting Plant
The south half of the building housed a hand-fed, coal-fired boiler which drew its water from Black Lake and vented out through a tall smoke stack. The boiler generated steam, piped through the dividing wall to the north half, to drive an engine which spun two dynamos generating electricity for lighting at the hotel. The equipment was similar to Holland's interurban power plant, pictured below.
The Pump House
Although the Muskegon Power Company brought electricity to Ottawa Beach in 1915, the hotel continued to generate its own power from this building and added water pumps to expand the hotel's system. After the hotel burned in 1923, Consumers Power, and later the Service Machine Company, provided water for the cottages from wells using pumps and a large water storage tank installed in this building. At that time, the building became known as the "Pump House.” Eventually the cottagers formed the Ottawa Beach Water Authority to continue water service from this building.
The Electric Lighting Plant was located adjacent to the freight dock and Black Lake for access to coal delivery and water to feed the boiler. After railroad service was discontinued in 1913, a concrete road was constructed over the track bed, accounting for its proximity to this building.
As a utilitarian building, the Pump House was not often the subject of photographs: however, this 1907 family photo prominently shows the building.
In 1974, Ottawa Beach residents Dan Aument
and Mike Milonowski (stage name Max Milo)
produced a film called "The Pump House,” shot
in large part in this building. They painted this
graffiti for the title sequence, and it remained a
curiosity until 2014 when removed during
Erected by Ottawa County Parks & Recreation Commission, Historic Ottawa Beach Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Waterways & Vessels.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ottawa Beach (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Holland Harbor Lighthouse / Holland Harbor (approx. half a mile away); Holland Harbor / Holland Harbor Lighthouse (approx. 0.6 miles away); Graafschap Christian Reformed Church (approx. 3.8 miles away); The First Pioneers of Graafschap (approx. 3.8 miles away); Laketown Township Hall (approx. 3.9 miles away); The Cappon House / Isaac Cappon (approx. 4.4 miles away); West Michigan Furniture Company Building (approx. 4½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Holland.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 22, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 22, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.