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Thirteen People, the First Winter, in the First House in Ganges, 1838


The fisthorse built between Saugatuck (the "flats"and Singapore) and Allegan was a log house, built inGanges, the exact location is unknown-but probably located near the Ganges cemetery. In the summer of 1836 Harrison Hutchinsand his father, David, came to Michigan from Rochester; N. Y., by way of canal bast to Buffaloand them schooner to Detroitand rhea walked to Allegan on Indian bails. The men built the fist cabs in theGanges-Fennville area-and denHarrison walked back to Detroit to bring his sister and hey children backalong the same route, to Ganges This drawing with its two short historieswas given to the Historical Society archives by Janet Wolbrink-asa part of a collection of Ganges area history assembled by ha'-husbandBob. Can someone tell us where the log house was located in Ganges?The full stogy of this house was left out of H. H. Hutchins s written"recollections" first published in 1919. Note that thisappears to be the more common (locally) kg house (square logs) asopposed to a log cabin (round logs). for some interesting confusion on the dateof the kg house sere Charles Lorenz, The Early History ofSaugatuck and Singapore, p36, and Henry Hudson Hutchins, WesternAllegan County Pioneer Days, p27. What follows one two descriptions of thehouse.





HenryHudson Hutchins wrote on January 3,1931: "The general appearance is freshin my mind still, and is fairly well represented here. It was said to be 18feet across one end and 20 feet on the sides, and my guess is it was 10 feetfrom ground to roof. The gable ends were of rough boards, as were both floors.One room below and attic under the roof. One door, located in the west end anda large fireplace in the east end.

"Its occupants the winter of 1838.9were [my father] Mr. [Harrison] Hutchins, his sister Mrs. Sophia Stillson] andthree children [Kate, Sam, and ?] and )oho H. Billings, his wife, and fivechildren, and Cyrus Coles." [signed] H. H. Hutchins.

[one of the Billings children, Darius, became the firstchain "ferryman" in Saugatuck in 1857]


Bob Wolbrink wrote: "This structure stood on thenorth east corner of section one, and was used as a residence for about fiveyears when it was replaced by a more roomy one, located over by the lake onaccount of access to water. The upper floor and windows were then removed fromthe building [and] served as storage for hay. By about 1860 other barns hadbeen provided, as this was burned to get it out of the way. I well remember itas a playground, where, with others we climbed its side walls in childishsports."