1892 Grand Haven 4th of July Celebration


   The 1892 4th of July Celebration at Grand Haven featured a naval battle fashioned after the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay (above).




The Celebration

   Grand Haven celebrated the nation's birthday yesterday in a way it never did before.  Ten thousand visitors were in town and helped the eagle scream.

   The day was ushered in by the usual ringing of bells at sunrise and the national salute was fired by the guns of Fox Battery.

   Excursion trains brought in the visitors early and at the hour of procession the streets were lined with the multitude.

   The parade was the grandest thing ever attempted in Grand Haven and its magnificence surprised even the committee who had it in charge.  It started down Washington St., at 11 o'clock with Marshall of the day VanderVeen, on his old charger in the lead.

   The military, consisting of Co. F., the three Grand Rapids and Fox Battery were in the lead.  The military pageant was an imposing sight.  Nearly every company had its full quota of men and in regular order they moved along.  Major Mansfield, the drum major and other field officers accompanied the military.

   Following the "boys in blue" of the present time were "the boys in blue 61."  To one who can recall war days their appearance was very natural.  Dressed in uniforms much the worse for wear, but with a steady tramp, they marched.  Robt. Finch led the band of old vets.  It looked odd to see many of the city's prominent citizens marching along as they used to march 30 years ago.  Their appearance was that of stern reality and was in striking contrast to the showy uniforms of the militia.

   Following the G. A. R. came the Spring Lake Band, K. O. T. M., Grand Rapids Eagle cadets and Eagle newsboys.  Then followed the liberty wagon with 41 girls dressed in appropriate white, to represent the states.

   The Mayor, members of the Court House building committee, orators of the day, Hon. D. Cutler and Hon. T. D. Gilbert were in carriages.

   In a hack, beautifully attired were the "Court House marriage" couple and groomsman and bridesmaid.  Followed in order were the Board of Supervisors and the city's fire department.

   Grand Haven's greatest manufacturing institution the Corn Planter Works was represented with five wagons.  Two of the wagons contained samples of handsome refrigerators made here; one of corn planters, and one with boxes upon which were inscribed the states, territories and countries where the company's manufactured products go.  The last wagon contained the Challenge Band formerly the City Band.

   The mirror exhibit of the glass works was very beautiful.  Large mirrors were handsomely arranged on this wagon and even the hubs consisted of mirrors.  It was one of the features of the parade.  The match works upon a large wagon representing the Global Match Co., and was one of the special attractions.  Silas Kilbourne & Co. had two wagons, one containing a crowd of coopers at work and the other several "women" washing clothes on the celebrated washing machine made by the firm.  The Grand Haven Leather Co.'s exhibit was very novel.  All stages of the tanner's trade were represented, from the hide to the finest manufactured products.  A fair goddess of liberty surrounded the exhibit.

   McSherry & Boyink were represented, shoeing a horse.

   Geo. Hancock & Son's wagon contained a load of beautiful plants and flowers, celery in bunches and cans to represent the canned tomatoes of the firm.  A handsome rigged clinker sail boat represented the Spring Lake boat works. 

   Ball & Co., groceries; Van Lopik, the same; Boomgard & Son, hardware; J. W. O'Brien and O'Brien Kirby, insurance; G. A. Bottje, hardware and the Grand Haven Mfg Co., followed.

   H. J. Dornbos had a wagon, rigged with fish caught by the lake fishermen of this port.  The trout, lawyers, sturgeon, carp and sheep head were nicely arranged on the side of the wagon.  T. W. Kirby & Sons, coal; and G. W. Miller, celery, followed.  DeGlopper & Yonker with flaming forge and ringing anvil delighted the crowd by shoeing a horse en route.  Boer & Bolt, groceries; Peter Klaver, painter, had wagons.  D. Vyn drove a team carrying several barrels of Schlitz.  H. Gravengoed a wagon carrying a wagon containing organs and sewing machines.  Spear, Walt & Kinkema a wagon load of kits.  F. Doddington painted a cottage en route.  Jos. Godhardts' rig was a good representation of a second hand store.   

   Following in the rear were White Laundry, Duram, organs; J. W. Verhoeks & Co., groceries; John Cook, groceries; Steam Laundry; N. Robbins jr., coal; and Klass Dykhuis.

   The Court House dedicatory exercises did not begin until nearly noon.  They occurred in a stand erected for the purpose in Central Park opposite the Court House.

   The program as carried out was as follows:


1.   Music, "Hail Columbia",...............................................................................Cornet Band

2.   Prayer...............................................................................Rev. P. DeBruyn, Grand Haven

3.   Reading of Declaration of Independence .......... ....Miss Cora M. Goodenow, Berlin

4.   Music ......................................................................................................Double Quartette

5.   Report of Building Committee by .......... ...........................................O. J. VanScheiven

6.   Music, "Star Spangled Banner" Cornet Band

7.   Address by Hon. T. W. Ferry, on the Local Features of the Event.

8.   Music........................................................................................................Double Quartette

9.   Address by Hon. C. VanLoo on the Event in Connection with the day we celebrate.

10. Dedicatory Remarks by the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors.

11. Music, "America"...............................................................................................The People



   T. W. Ferry's address is published in full in supplement.

   G. J. VanScheiven briefly spoke of the report of the Court House building committee.  Of the times in its erection and the total cost, which it might be added, amounted to $62,660.

   Hon. C. VanLoo spoke of general things regarding July 4th and of our duty as patriotic citizens.  He referred to the parochial school in a very blunt way and said that if the court house committee, of which he was a member, had known to what use the old court house was to be put it would never have been disposed of by them the way it was.  The speaker also strongly urged against Sunday excursions and the saloons.  At the close of his address Mr. VanLoo referred to S. H. Boyce and G. W. McBride of the city as gentlemen who had been added to the building committee, when it was appointed and who had labored hard without recompense, in looking after the building's construction.  He then in behalf of the committee presented Mr. Boyce with a handsome bound work and Mr. McBride with the Memoirs of Grant, Sherman and Sheridan. Both gentlemen were taken by surprise by the gifts bestowed upon them by their fellow committeemen.

   At the close Frank Fox, chairman of the board made a few remarks.

   At the hour of the marriage on the court house steps hundreds of people crowded in front of the building to witness the ceremony.  It was shortly after 1:00 o'clock when the prospective bride and groom in a handsome hack were brought to the front door of the county building, and a way made for them up the steps.  The happy groom, Mr. Art VanToll, and the fair bride, Miss Lizzie Bouman were accompanied by Mr. Kammerrad who officiated as groomsman and Miss Mary Bouman, sister of the bride who acted as bridesmaid.  The crowd poured by the steps after the bridal party and the fifteen or more deputies in the building failed to clear the steps to let the people below see the ceremony.  The ceremony was conducted by Rev. Lewis, and the crowd vented their delight when it was over.  Mr. and Mrs. VanToll were kept busy for the rest of the day accepting congratulations from their friends.

   After the marriage the Life Savers exhibit was the attraction.  Their exhibit consisted of shooting the life line to a stranded schooner and bringing ashore the sailors in the breeches buoy, rowing, capsizing, &c.

   The marine procession failed to take place and the games and sports were dispensed with.

   The ball game at Recreation Park drew a large crowd of admirers of both teams.

   The dress parade in Central Park in the evening was participated in by all of the military companies.  Viewed from all parts of the square it was a grand sight..  It was received by Colonel C. H. Rose.  Major Best, Surgeon of the Regiment, Chaplain Smith, Major Mansfield and Drum Major Dickerson also participated.  One of the features of the parade was the salute to the colors.  It was the first duty of that kind that Archie McDonald of this city, color sergeant of the regiment has had to perform and was very impressive.  Immediately after the parade the militia were hustled down to the water front and transported across the river to the big hill where the land-naval battle was to take place.  Seen from the dock it was a beautiful sight.  Half-way up the hill was the fort with the flag of the Republic floating above it.  At the very top of the hill was a party of men signaling to the troops below.  One of the big guns of the Fox Battery was located near the electric light plant and the other across the river.  The Life Saver's gun was also across the river.  Troops were stationed on ridges opposite each other and fireworks were sent up from all parts of the hill.

   When the battle began the scene was one of grandeur.  The big guns belched forth as fast as they could be loaded and the echo in the hill reverberated a minute afterwards.  A search light from the electric plant displayed the movement of the troops and cast a beautiful shadow on the hill. 

   The flash of the militiamen's rifles could be seen and a second or two later the report would be heard on the other side of the river.  Then a volley from the whole squad of troops would follow.

   A rebel privateer comes floating down the stream, is fired upon, and returns the fire.  The hill battalions are firing upon the vessel and soon it is in flames.

   The burning warboat, booming cannons, rattling of the musketry and the varied lights and fireworks formed a scene, which all who witnessed it will not soon forget.

   The throng on this side of the river was sorry when it was over, and after the return of the troops to the city, most of them left for their homes satisfied with the celebration and ready to come another year.

Notes of the Day

   The Central School was tastily decorated.

   Meals and lunches could be obtained in a number of stores.

   Ex-Sheriff Vaupell and family were here from Holland to see the sights.

   An entire lot of fireworks on a table outside of D. A. Lane's caught fire and rockets and fire crackers created a great din.

   Elmer E. Schenk of Grand Rapids, an old ex-fireman, was down to the celebration.

   After the procession yesterday the fire department showed the visitors what it could do when a fire alarm was sounded by a practice run down the streets.

   It stirred the patriotic sense of everybody when the old vets passed in parade yesterday.

   Major Mansfield labored hard to make the day a success.

   The prevailing hard times were plainly noticeable in the crowd yesterday.  There was a larger crowd than was here two years ago, but they had less money to spend.

   One of the amusing things of the day occurred last evening on the river front.  A young lady sat on the dock with her feet hanging over the side.  One of the pleasure steamers happened to come up to the dock and the captain thinking the young lady's foot was a spile threw his line over to tie up.  A quick yell told him he was mistaken.  It is to be hoped the young lady was from Chicago.

   Strange enough there were no serious accidents.

   Lucius Helders, a young man was drowned by the capsizing of a boat at Macatawa yesterday.

   Hundreds of row boats and small craft were on the river last night, giving occupants a fine view of the battle.

   All day yesterday a crowd poured into the new court house.  Visitors were given freedom in all of the offices.  The building was admired by every one.  Fifteen deputies were stationed in the building. 

   The Kirby House had over 300 guests to dinner yesterday.

   Major Mansfield had his hands full yesterday in looking after the military and did his work well.

   A fire in the sawdust called out the department for a run yesterday afternoon.

   Fix in your mind the war of the Rebellion.  Locate yourself on some old Virginia road with a party of U. S. Infantry passing and you would see the old vets of yesterday's procession over again.

   [The lengthy speech by T. W. Ferry can been seen on the Tribune microfilm at the Loutit Library.]


Recreation Park Inaugurated.

   One of the most interesting and important events of the day was the dedication of the new base ball grounds, Recreation Park, and the game between the Randall, Argard & Co. team of Grand Rapids, and the Athletics of our won city.  Though the home team was defeated the game was very interesting and was witnessed by a large and enthusiastic crowd.  The organization of the Base Ball Association and the construction of the new grounds marks an era in our local base ball history and it is hoped that a winning team will be encouraged by the friendly attention and patronage of our local “cranks” and those who enjoy witnessing our great national game.


   [The remainder of this article which includes the coverage of the game can be seen on the Tribune microfilm at the Loutit Library.]


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