Recent News

A Milestone Anniversary

This article was originally published in the Grand Haven Tribune in August, 2014, written by Steven Radtke, Executive Director

As we approach the annual Coast Guard Festival, it is a good time to look back and remember where the Coast Guard came from, how we came to have a Coast Guard Festival, and the idea behind "Coast Guard City USA" 2014 represents the 90th year anniversary of the first celebration celebrating the Coast Guard in Grand Haven. This celebration, which had traditionally taken the form of picnic for enlisted men and their families, eventually became a larger, community wide celebration, today drawing over 100,000 people to the city for a week of festivities. There is more on this later on, but let us begin at the beginning with the Life Saving Service.

In the early years of our country, when transportation by ship or boat was crucially important, the only method of coping with disasters at sea was for ships to help other ships. Assistance from shore was desperately needed, and as the death toll rose, so did the outrage of the public. Congress responded by establishing what would become the United States Life Saving Service (LSS) in 1871.

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On Becoming a Memory- A Tribute to Bill Creason

This article originally appeared in the Grand Haven Tribue in 2014, written by Steven Radtke, Executive Director

The Tri-Cities community is a great place to live and work not only because of its abundant natural beauty, attractive, well maintained buildings, and clean streets, but because of the dedication and pride of its residents in keeping it so.

This week marks the passing of Dr. William M. Creason, who personified that passion and dedication to his town like few others do. The City of Grand Haven and its downtown are known across the state and around the country for being a beautiful place to live, work and visit, and the thanks for much of what we have today can be laid at the door of Dr. Creason.

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An American Christmas

This article was originally published in the Grand Haven Tribune in December 2014, written by Steven Radtke, Executive Director

As the Holiday season approaches, many of us decorate for Christmas without giving much thought to the historical context behind the decorations we put up year after year. The roots of an American Christmas go back centuries, but Christmas as we know it today was the deliberate invention of early 19th century writers in a new republic hungry for traditions. Although the celebration was relatively common by the 1850s, Christmas was not recognized as a legal holiday in the United States until 1890.

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History of Coast Guard Festival 

This article was originally published in July, 2013, written by Meredith Meyer, Collections Manager

Grand Haven's identity has been closely linked to maritime industry and activity since its inception, and with the upcoming Coast Guard Festival I believe we should take a closer and more appreciative look at our maritime heritage.

As early as 1847, Congress was convinced that the mariners who formed the country's mercantile lifeline should be protected. However, the situation was not dealt with effectively due to a lack of funds and it was not until a particularly harsh winter resulting in 214 fatal disasters on the Great Lakes alone that action was taken. The United States Life Saving Service arrived in the Great Lakes in 1876, and would make up three of the twelve designated districts. The Grand Haven Station No. 9 opened in 1877 as the headquarters for the Eleventh District, with William Loutit named superintendent.

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Historical Winter Activities Alive in Tri-Cities 

This article was originally published in the Grand Haven Tribune in February 2015, written by Meredith Meyer, Collections Manager

Winter doesn't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, and though it may seem harder to enjoy as the months wear on, there are plenty of winter activities that are still enjoyable. Many of which have been loved by residents since the early 1900s.

Sledding and skiing are winter activities that continue to be a favorite winter pastime, and though many families count Duncan Woods or Mulligan's Hollow as their favorite spot, in the early 1900s sledding down Second Street hill was the premier location.

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