SMALLTOWN SPOTLIGHT: “Then-and-Now” Photos of Douglas, in Allegan County
Douglas was settled in 1851 with lumber its main trade, sitting right across the Kalamazoo River from Saugatuck.
The 1861 name change is a topic for debate. It was either for:
1) Douglas, the capitol of the Isle of Man, or
2) Stephen Douglas, who ran against Abe Lincoln for the senate in 1858.
Why could it possibly be named after a city in a British island?
Some of the original settlers were from Europe, and I'm assuming from the United Kingdom as well.....makes sense to me. The Isle of Man (or Mann) sits between England and Ireland.
Douglas was a prosperous timber town, and provided lumber to Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871. Once the usable trees were gone, the lumber trade shrunk while the fresh fruit business became a staple. Adding to the economy were the seasonal tourists, who flocked to the area, spending their cash in summer resorts and local businesses.
Officially titled “City of the Village of Douglas” in Allegan County, there are plenty of historic places and structures to visit here. Plus, just four miles north, along the shores of Lake Michigan, is the ghost town of Singapore, buried under the sand dunes.....that makes a great visit! You can read all about Singapore HERE.
Lots of stuff to do here, whether you're a tourist, explorer, historian, or roadtripper. Take a look at the photo gallery below, and then add Douglas to your roadtrip itinerary this year!
There are much more intricate details on the history of Douglas that you can read HERE.
DOUGLAS PHOTO GALLERY
The City of the Village of Douglas