The Evening Tribune July, 1891

Grand Haven—Sleeping Town or Boom City?


   Grand Haven, has the reputation of being the deadest town in the state and it has not come by it by accident either.


The "Sleeping" Town.

   When newspapers make the charge that "Grand Haven is the deadest city in Michigan," it simply shows that they have not traveled far over Michigan lately. Grand Haven is not dead, but has been sleeping for the past year, and will wake up refreshed next spring, and get on the biggest boom she has ever had.—Evening Express.

   The above which we have reason to believe refers to an item in Monday’s EVENING TRIBUNE is a gross misrepresentation. The EVENING TRIBUNE has never made the statement that "Grand Haven is the deadest city in Michigan" nor anything that could be fairly construed as containing such statement. What we did say was "The EVENING TRIBUNE understands that Grand Haven has the reputation of being the deadest town in the state and it has not come by it by accident either." and will stand by the assertion. It is true, and so acknowledged by citizens here who have been over the state that Grand Haven’s so called "deadness" is a by-word among traveling and business men of more particularly Western Michigan. The impression is erroneous but its existence, nevertheless, is too evident. And it exists simply because but the slightest effort to our knowledge has ever been made to create any other impression outside of the city. Other cities, towns and villages send out attractive catalogues, circulars, maps, etc., and in diverse ways advertise their natural advantages, attractions, and wants as well as their present manufacturing and business successes with statistical information that men and manufacturing institutions looking for location and investments are ever on the watch for. We are pleased to note one important move in the right direction and it is to be hoped that the matter and illustrations soon to appear in the Grand Rapids Democrat will disabuse the impression existing in a great many people’s minds as to the lack of business activity and public interest in matters relative to the growth and prosperity of Grand Haven.

   For instance, a few statistics (something the EVENING TRIBUNE has at present in course of preparation) as to the number of men employed and the amounts of the payrolls of the different institutions of the city might surprise even a great many people in this city and over the state the benefit to be derived by relieving existing wrong impressions would not be inconsiderable.

   And to anyone who has "traveled far over" this city "lately" with their eyes open it is evident that Grand Haven has not "been sleeping for the past year," even as one would infer from the Express’ statement. What are some of the new enterprises? An electric and street railway soon to be built; a large annex to Akeley institute in course of construction; important harbor improvements and other enterprises of lesser importance.

   The race between the lake shore towns is on and will be hotly contested. Someone will be distanced. Grand Haven is in the race and the world should know it. Our city has points of advantage over many of her competitors. They should be advertised.

   If our little item shall have caused any comment or consideration of those matters it will not have been written in vain.

   Jas. M. Lockie, of the Corn Planter Works, at Grand Haven, called on us yesterday. He reports everything as booming at the Haven. The town is fast regaining its former healthy condition.—Grand Rapids West Side News.


   Grand Haven threatens to start a boom next spring.—Detroit News.


No. 1

   This institution, of which Henry Bloecker is the present sole proprietor, was established some 15 years ago. There have been partners, as the present firm’s name indicates, and there have been vicissitudes, two disastrous fires among others, but they have weathered every gale and today have the greatest reputation for building high pressure engines of any firm on the lakes is due entirely in the energy and reputation of the present proprietor.

   The regular number of men employed is 32, and often increased to 45; $2.75 is the highest wages paid per day and none of the men receive less than $1.50 per day. The amount paid out for wages in June was $1,400.76. The average monthly pay roll being not less than $1,350. The value of the work done for that year, 1890, was $92,893. The volume of work done is gradually increasing, though the capacity for turning out work is limited and orders are received that cannot be handled.   The value of the Bloecker Co.’s manufacturing property as last inventoried was $25,000.


No. 2

   This is the little Dake double reciprocating square piston engine, invented by Wm. F. Dake of this city, and which during the four years since its invention has become widely and favorably known. It is not a Rotary, but a double reciprocating high speed engine, and occupying less space than a rotary engine of half its power. Particularly adapted to running ventilation fans, blowers, dynamos, and centrifugal pumps, or any machinery requiring a direct attached engine, at either high or low speeds and is economical of steam.

   The Dake Manufacturing Company has been in existence four years and has a capital of $100,000. the business success of the institution is due mainly to its two genial hustlers, T. Cairnes and J. P. Armstead, secretary and treasurer and local acting manager. The highest wages paid per day is $3.20 and the average men’s wages is $2.00 per day. There are twenty employees with a monthly payroll of $700. The company has American, Canadian and English patents valued at $50,000. The average of shipments is one engine per day, and they are sent south as far as Florida, east to New York, and westward as far as San Francisco. The business is steadily growing, and shipments are made to dealers this year to whom 50 engines were shipped last year. The volume of business done last year amounted to $20,000.

Note: This series consisted of only two parts, probably due to a similar, but more extensive article in the Grand Rapids Democrat. See Special Feature Section



Town Booming.

   The systematic advertising of American cities has come to be an art. Western cities are not the only municipal corporations that cultivate this art, nor are cities of the eastern states alone in aping the west. Even in staid old Canada, with all of her British prejudices, some of the towns, through printers ink, are reaching out to the people who contemplate a change of base and insisting that Canadian towns, reciprocity or no reciprocity, offer the best facilities for a new base and future wealth. In the current North American Review are thirty-three pages devoted to the artistic booming of cities and especially blessed territory situated in various parts in the United States and Canada, compared to which Eden and Elysium were veritable jungles and quagmires. In our own Western Michigan are several towns, notably Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Manistee, "The Soo" and Benton Harbor, which are expected to become the first to appear on pages where towns are booming, or in attractive beautifully illustrated circulars. And who, but seldom, would think of going anywhere but to these boomed towns if hunting for a place in which to pitch a tent. The benefits to be derived from this town booming are indisputable, and any belief to the contrary is affected and for self satisfaction for non booming town’s people. In the way of booms, Grand Haven, which has every inducement in the way of natural advantages to offer, has been particularly quiet among her sister cities of the west shore. And yet, all she needs is advertising, backed by a comparatively small capital, to become the liveliest manufacturing, trade and traffic center on the Lake Michigan west shore. Is the presumption to be that she has grown so great and waxed so fat that she no longer needs booming? Well, not as a city; at least not as a laborer’s city.


   The Grand Rapids Democrat of Sunday will give a full account of the manufacturing concerns of Grand Haven. Our citizens should buy and circulate.


   The land around Grand Haven that only a few years ago was filled with old pine stumps is now occupied by some of the finest garden and and celery fields to be found in the west.


Grand Haven Illustrated.

   Parties desiring extra copies of the Sunday’s Democrat containing illustrated article upon Grand Haven, should order them at once, of Henry Baar or Jacob Vanderveen, as the form has been taken down and there are but a few extra copies left.  (See article in Special Feature Section)


   All of the daily papers in the state keep telling us that the Spring Lake Clinker Boat Co. will turn out 100 boats this season.


   About 800 extra copies of Grand Haven’s boom edition of last Sunday’s Grand Rapids Democrat have been sold in this city.


The EVENING TRIBUNE Understands:

That the fact that our city is beginning to take on new life is quite apparent and is indeed gratifying.

That if some people took as much interest in their city’s growth and prosperity as they do in petty political jealousies, my how the city would boom.

That business in real estate and building is quickening, with a marked interest in public and private enterprises that marks to a discerning eye the near approaching new era prosperity and growth.


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