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Every Michigan city and town has stories to tell-stories that offer unique and intriguing glimpses into Michigan's past. Stories like these are the focus of a new television series called Michigan Hometown Stories, produced by WGVU. Michigan Hometown Stories will focus on Michigan history, one community at a time, bringing the history of those places to life for West and Southwest Michigan and beyond.
While geography lays the first stone of destiny, people build on that foundation, creating communities where lives become connected to place. Michigan Hometown Stories are stories of our hometowns, and how they've made Michigan what it is today.
Each town profiled in Michigan Hometown Stories is a keystone in the state's history, relevant to the development of the state. The partners, along with local history enthusiasts, will highlight select communities across West and Southwest Michigan; discovering and telling the stories that define those communities and resonate with all of Michigan. We will examine the foundation stones of the town's history, delving into its founding, the people, the industry and the highlights of its growth. Through historians, community leaders, families, workers, business owners, movers and shakers we look to profile these towns along with their past and present identities and see how they've made Michigan what it is today.
Originally a lumber town and port, Saugatuck, along with the adjacent city of Douglas became a noted art colony and tourist destination in the arts and crafts movement of the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, Saugatuck was home to the famous Big Pavilion, a large dance hall that attracted bands and visitors from across the Midwest. The building was a popular destination on Lake Michigan from its construction in 1909 until it burned down on May 6, 1960.↓ Read More
The Saugatuck/Douglas area is unusual among Midwest frontier towns in that it did not experience either the destruction of the fires that hit most towns in the mid-to-late 19th century or the railroad that brought modernization and urban growth. Because of this, the cities of Saugatuck and Douglas provide a rare opportunity to observe pre- and post-Civil War Greek Revival and Italianate architecture, together with later structures in the Arts and Crafts and Colonial Revival styles.