Nov 23, 2005

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Three cottages, including the Renaldi Cottage, with the same roof line

Ebmeyer-Bird Shingle mill ca 1880

Renaldi Cottage on the corner

Pokagon Hotel

Perryman and Park from the hill


Historically, the intersection of Park and Perryman heads a list full of superlatives: The most photographed intersection in Saugatuck; one of the oldest and one of the most important; busiest; most crossed point of the river; site of the ferry landing and store; a prime spot for early tent campers and resorters renting a room.

Here began Lincoln Road, now Perryman Street – among the high dunes which range to the west and the north. That first hill is a steep climb. When I was a kid with thumb out, a ride was best hitched by waiting at the bottom. The road was a rutted sandy track when cut in the 1890s to reach the Forward Movement camp (later Camp Gray and today the Presbyterian Camp). In 1936 it was extended and paved to the newly created Oval Beach. Park Street was an important connection between the Singapore area and the lakeshore road to Pier Cove.

These photos provide a glimpse of what stood there between 1880 and 1910. The oldest shows the Ebmeyer-Bird Shingle mill ca 1880. Note the 1874 observation tower on top of Baldhead overlooking the scene. The three cottages – including the Renaldi cottage right on the corner--with the same roof line were probably built next. The historical record is sparse but about 1903 Edward Perryman built the Pokagon Hotel–-quite extravagant for the day with at least thirty rooms, a bar, dining room and a separate dance hall in front over the water. In 1905 it burned and all that remained of Mr. Perryman’s hotel was the dance hall. The Ferry Inn, now the Beachway, was built shortly after the Pokagon Hotel disappeared and remains a landmark today.
                                                                                          by Jack Sheridan

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