The Evening Tribune May/June, 1891
Grand Rapids Democrat
HI POTTS ON THE ROAD
While Waiting to be Served He Writes an Interesting
Letter From There, Dwelling on the Many Advantages
This Delightful Spot Offers for New Enterprises.
Thanks to Father Time and improved sawmill machinery, the days of unreliable lumber manufacture in Spring Lake have passed away for ever.
Whatever improvements are hereafter made in this beautiful village will be made upon a solid basis. The large working population that came here from foreign countries to labor in the mills and invest the savings of their industry in farming lands in the vicinity, have now settled upon them and are devoting their whole time to building up a magnificent farming country and the providing of substantial homes for themselves. For two generations the people of Western Michigan have relied, directly or indirectly, upon the saw mills, and sent their money away for the manufactured articles they used. The day has now come when they must employ their labor in manufacturing these articles at home themselves, and to help supply the rapidly developing great West and South. They must become general producers of manufactured goods, as well as consumers. They must do their share in the manufacture of furniture, musical instruments, barrels, boxes, baskets, leather, paper, books, clothing, novelties, edged tools, shoes, machinery, agricultural implements, iron, steel, brick and the numerous other products of the factory, thus employing their labor and affording a home market for the rapidly developing farming country.
Through the very nature of things, new and numerous factories must be built up in Western Michigan within a few years. The only question is, where they shall they be located? The answer is simple. They must be located at those points affording ample room for manufacture, and greatest natural advantages for transportation. They must be located at those points where material can be obtained the cheapest, and where their manufactured products can be can be shipped to to the great markets of the country with the least possible delay and at the lowest possible expense. Spring Lake claims superiority over all other points in Western Michigan.
It will be seen in the above map that Spring Lake village is located upon a beautiful peninsula, bounded upon the north by one of the most magnificent small lakes in Michigan, and on the south by the Grand river. Both the lake and the river are navigable for the largest boats on the great lakes. There is a continual line of docks on both sides of the town three miles in length, and they might, if necessary, be extended to twelve miles. The village joins the city limits of Grand Haven on the southwest and is but two miles from Lake Michigan, and one of the best harbors along the whole chain of lakes.
Spring Lake is not only located upon two great railway systems, the Detroit, Grand Haven & Milwaukee, and the Chicago & West Michigan, but lies only eighty-six miles from Milwaukee and 110 from Chicago—the second city in the United States and the great distributing center of the boundless west.
Spring Lake is in daily communication with both Milwaukee and Chicago by two magnificent line of boats, the Grand Trunk and Goodrich. By way of the Goodrich line she is also in communication by water with all the cities on Lake Michigan. Spring Lake is backed up by the immense hardwood forests of northern Michigan easily accessible by rail, for manufacturing purposes. It is a well known fact that the iron industry is being rapidly developed along the east shore of Lake Michigan, on account of its easy and cheap communication with the mines of the northern peninsula. Spring Lake is one of the best points on the shore for that industry. Her superior natural advantages alone form an inducement to manufacturers to locate there, unparalleled by any other town in Michigan. Added to all this, the enterprising property holders make the liberal offer that to any manufacturer employing fifty men the year around, they will give a splendid site with water front and competing railway and water transportation facilities. Spring Lake has good substantial homes for 2,000 people. Has an excellent water supply and elegant streets being well graded. Her school is the pride of the town, and is morally backed up by six good churches.
The fire protection is superb with an outfit of two steamers and an engine. Taxes are low; no public debt or money in the treasury.
Climate and Healthfulness.
On account of its elevated location and close proximity to Lake Michigan, Spring Lake is found during the summer season by the purest breezes that man ever inhaled. The vast body of water of Lake Michigan also modifies the temperature in winter. The mercury seldom drops as low as points along the lake as in the interior of the state.
As a result of pure air the climate is remarkably healthful. Contagious diseases seldom make their appearance, and, if at all, in a very mild form. A fatal case of diphtheria has never been recorded in the history of Spring Lake.
The Spring Lake House is one of the largest and best known summer resort hotels in the Northwest. On account of Spring Lake’s great popularity, noted people may be met daily during the summer form all parts of the United States and even foreign countries, thus adding to its social features enjoyed in but few of our leading cities.
Map Showing Boat and Railway Lines.
Other Important Features.
I desire to impress the fact upon the minds of the people of the scorching cities of the West and South that they can enjoy all the blessings of Spring Lake as a summer resort without spending a fortune. Should they desire, they can rent cottages or houses, or board with private families and live cheaper than at home. The people take special interest in furnishing convenient entertainment for sojourners as they may desire.
The Soil and Its Products.
The soil in the vicinity of Spring Lake is specially adapted to the growing of such products as make the mouths of the epicureous water. Strawberries, cherries, grapes, peaches, pears, plums and numerous varieties of apples are grown in great abundance. Fresh vegetables, fowl, lake trout, whitefish and bass are secured in the vicinity and served upon nearly every table in the village almost daily. As a summer resort there is not a cheaper place to live, for those who consider money, or a more delightful place on the face of the earth, either at home or abroad, than Spring Lake.
In short, for people who desire to engage in manufacture, Spring Lake possesses advantages equal to the best Western Michigan town. As a summer resort, Spring Lake is the Venice of America. H. Potter
Spring Lake Personal and Business.
Calkins Bros., prominent Chicago capitalists, own the Spring Lake House and have made large investments recently in the way of hotel improvements. H. D. Irish and son, widely known as the popular proprietors of the late Cutler House, have charge of the Spring Lake House.
Among the foremost business men and citizens of Spring Lake are: William Savidge, lumberman; the Hon. J. B. Perham, merchant; Martin Walsh, merchant, farmer and horticulturist; A. Falls, merchant; Aloys Bilz, hardware and furniture dealer; P. A. DeWitt, druggist; Fred Berchy & Co., brick manufacturers; L. Lyman, architect; C. P. Brown, M. D.; Pruim A. Buckley, hardware and furniture dealers; R. B. Cobb, manufacturer; C. M. Kay, village recorder; John Mulder, dealer in flower and feed; L. D. Heath, real estate; Thomas Hammond, marshal; Thomas Savidge, stock breeder and lumberman; Mr. Savages is proprietor of the famous floral stock farm and owner of twenty-nine head of horses of the best strains of blood; he is also owner of George St. Clair, H. J. S. and the famous brood mares, Bulah and Curiosity; H. Millard, meat market; S. S. Rideout, postmaster and proprietor of the Rideout House; L. O. Perham, druggist; H. P. Herbeck. lumberman; Otto DeWitt, wagon-maker; A. Wood, blacksmith; M. Shoemaker; George Hammond; A. DeRulter; H. Start, fruit grower; A. Vandermolen; C. Hann; George Seagrove; Fred Tasche, fruit growers; J. Staal, B. Messmon, Dr. Newell, C. P. Thomas. Martin Walsh has two of the finest farms in Spring Lake township; the Hon. J. B. Perham has been twice a member of the Michigan legislature, and his name has been recently mentioned as a candidate for Congress. Dr. C. P. Brown is a member of the Medical Board of Pension Examiners that meets at Muskegon on Wednesday of each week. Judge Lowell, a prominent resident of Ionia, is making extensive improvements upon his real estate located on Spring lake. Martin Walsh was quartermaster of the Eighth Michigan during the war. A. Bilz has large real estate interests at different points along the lake. Dr. Newell moved to Spring Lake recently from Chicago. During the war he was medical director of the Second division of the Twelfth Army corps. L. O. Perham held the Spring Lake post office for twenty-five consecutive years. P. A. DeWitt was postmaster during the Cleveland administration.
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