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South Haven in Van Buren County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Resort Industry

 
 
Resort Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joel Seewald, August 13, 2022
1. Resort Industry Marker
Inscription.  
The resort industry thrived in the latter half of the 1800s and the first half of the 1900s. Visitors arrived from Chicago aboard steamships that sailed into South Haven harbor daily. The Dewey Hotel, the Avery Beach Hotel, the Newcomes, the Avery Beach Casino, and many other resorts and cottages were quickly filled with summer visitors.

Monroe Park, on the North Beach, remains the dominant part of the north side resort business. Today, condominiums are the summer homes of people lured to this vacation city.

A statement in a 1911 local newspaper expresses a sentiment that may still be prevalent today among people who have been to South Haven beaches:
"We have traveled the world and have seen Nassau, Waikiki, the beaches of Bermuda, France and the South Seas. We came home to find the most beautiful beach in the world right in our own backyard."

South Haven/Van Buren Co. Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating the Legacy of Our Rich Resort Histor

 
Erected by South Haven/Van Buren County Convention & Visitors Bureau, City of South Haven,
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and Michigan Maritime Museum.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentIndustry & CommerceParks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1911.
 
Location. 42° 24.411′ N, 86° 16.457′ W. Marker is in South Haven, Michigan, in Van Buren County. Marker is at the intersection of Dyckman Avenue and Black River Street, on the right when traveling east on Dyckman Avenue. Marker is located on the Harbor Walk, at the Michigan Maritime Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 260 Dyckman Avenue, South Haven MI 49090, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dyckman Avenue Bascule Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Wilhelm Baum (within shouting distance of this marker); Time Capsule (within shouting distance of this marker); A Home of Heroes (within shouting distance of this marker); Local Pioneers (within shouting distance of this marker); Coastal Crossroads (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Commercial Fishing (about 300 feet away); A Historic Harbor (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Haven.
 
More about this marker. There is an identical marker at the west end of the Harbor Walk on the north side of the Black River.
 
Marker detail: The Dewey Hotel– Established in 1886 image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: The Dewey Hotel– Established in 1886
Henry and Cornelia Dewey rented rooms in their home to tourists. Cottages were added later and it operated until the 1970s. A bed and breakfast establishment operates on the current site at the corner of Dyckman Avenue and North Shore Drive.
Marker detail: The Avery Beach Hotel– Established in the 1880s image. Click for full size.
3. Marker detail: The Avery Beach Hotel– Established in the 1880s
This elegant hotel was located on the northwest corner of North Shore Drive and Avery Street. The resort consisted of a pavilion, 100 rooms, parlors, offices, and seven cottages. It became the leader of the booming resort business in South Haven. The entire resort was destroyed by fire in 1907.
Marker detail: The Avery Beach Casino image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: The Avery Beach Casino
This popular facility, billed as The Big Casino, was built at the site of the Avery Beach Hotel. A 1921 program cover declared it, “America’s Finest Dance Palace.” The building also contained a movie theater. It was destroyed by fire in 1937.
Marker detail: The Marshland Hotel– Built in 1900 image. Click for full size.
5. Marker detail: The Marshland Hotel– Built in 1900
This resort was built for Katheryn Marshland and could accommodate 250 guests. In 1923, the facility, which included several buildings and a dock, was renamed the Whelan. It became the Biltmore in the 1940s and was eventually torn down in the 1970s to make way for the Riverside condominiums.
Marker detail: The Newcomes– Established in 1893 image. Click for full size.
6. Marker detail: The Newcomes– Established in 1893
This resort, opened by William and Amy Newcome, was at 111 North Shore Drive, the site now occupied by Bent Tree Condominiums. The first guest to be welcomed was Mr. Reed of Marshall Field's Department Store.
Resort Industry Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Joel Seewald, August 13, 2022
7. Resort Industry Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 14, 2024. It was originally submitted on August 28, 2022, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 264 times since then and 141 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 28, 2022, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.   4. submitted on May 14, 2024, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   5, 6, 7. submitted on August 28, 2022, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.

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Jul. 20, 2024