Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
South Haven in Van Buren County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Downtown's Rich History

 
 
Downtown's Rich History Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 24, 2017
1. Downtown's Rich History Marker
Inscription.
When South Haven became an incorporated town in 1869, it was a tiny but prosperous village with a bustling economy. Lake Michigan provided robust fishing, lumbering, shipping and fruit industries and the downtown business district grew quickly.

Over the decades, the retail district has evolved into a thriving shopping and tourist destination and although it is firmly vested in the 21st century, its architecture retains glimpses into the city's rich heritage.
Sponsored by South Haven Chamber of Commerce

 
Erected by South Haven Chamber of Commerce & Michigan Maritime Museum.
 
Location. 42° 24.197′ N, 86° 16.556′ W. Marker is in South Haven, Michigan, in Van Buren County. Marker is at the intersection of Kalamazoo Street and Phoenix Street, on the right when traveling south on Kalamazoo Street. Touch for map. Marker is located beside the sidewalk at the northwest corner of the intersection. Marker is at or near this postal address: 300 Kalamazoo Street, South Haven MI 49090, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Commercial Shipping (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Entertainment Around the Harbor (about 800 feet away); Shipbuilding (about 800 feet away); Algonquin Legends of South Haven (approx. 0.2 miles away); Evelyn S
Marker detail: Looking east on Phoenix Street from Kalamazoo Street c. 1898 image. Click for full size.
circa 1898
2. Marker detail: Looking east on Phoenix Street from Kalamazoo Street c. 1898
The photograph was taken from near the intersection of Phoenix and Water Streets. The Selkirk Opera House is shown at the left.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Corporal Duane E. Dewey (approx. 0.2 miles away); Commercial Fishing (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dyckman Avenue Bascule Bridge (approx. mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in South Haven.
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large composite plaque, mounted horizontally on waist-high posts. Marker is part of South Haven's Harbor Walk series.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. South Haven Harbor Walk
 
Also see . . .
1. South Haven History. In the 1850s, with the construction of the first sawmill on the bank of the Black River, families first began to move to the area permanently. A school, hotel, homes, stores, and other buildings were built with lumber from the growing industry. The area exploded during the next forty years. The lumber industry cleared much of the land, shipping the lumber across the lake to Chicago and Milwaukee. Peach, apple, and blueberry growers began taking advantage of the cleared land, and a booming fruit industry ignited in the South Haven area. This was influential for other industries as well, bringing new factories and business to town such as canning factories and cider mills. (Submitted on June 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. South Haven History. Visitors came to the area for beaches, weather, entertainment, resorts and an opera house. Friday evenings in early
Marker detail: Center Street looking south from Quaker Street c. 1915 image. Click for full size.
circa 1915
3. Marker detail: Center Street looking south from Quaker Street c. 1915
VanOstrand Drug Store and Hale's stores are on the left. The Johnston Hotel is on the right. Today, a bank drive-through is located where the hotel once stood.
19th Century South Haven were filled with the hustle and bustle of horse and buggies, fruit wagons and an endless stream of well wishers rushing to meet the giant steam boats carrying travelers from Chicago and Milwaukee. Fringe-top surreys carried vacationers to over 200 of the finest resorts. But it was in the 20's and 30's when commerce exploded in the area. Horse and buggies made way for the automobile. In 1969 South Haven was crowned the World's Blueberry Capital. This title is still held today. (Submitted on June 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. South Haven Harbor Walk. This South Haven Harbor Walk map shows the location of this and other historical markers in South Haven. (Submitted on June 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceNotable PlacesSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Marker detail: Phoenix Street looking west from Broadway in the late 1880s image. Click for full size.
circa 1888
4. Marker detail: Phoenix Street looking west from Broadway in the late 1880s
This photograph shows the buildings prior to the fires of 1891. Dyckman Park and South Haven's City Hall are located where pedestrian bridges are shown in photograph.
Marker detail: Center Street looking north from Phoenix Street in 1906 image. Click for full size.
1906
5. Marker detail: Center Street looking north from Phoenix Street in 1906
The three-story Hale building was built in 1900 after the fire of 1891. Today, a bank is located at the front left of the photograph where First State Bank once stood.
Downtown's Rich History Marker (<i>wide view; looking east on Phoenix Street from Kalamazoo</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 24, 2017
6. Downtown's Rich History Marker (wide view; looking east on Phoenix Street from Kalamazoo)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 26, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 44 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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