From the Desk of the President,
It’s been a few years since I wrote to you directly but I wanted to personally share some wonderful news. From the first day of the existence of the Historical Association of South Haven, Ed Appleyard and I have had the same dream. We knew that the first hotel in South Haven built in 1853 was still in existence and hiding in plain sight and we wanted to buy it for the HASH. This building housed 100 lumbermen when the whole population was around 200 people. It was named Forest House and was located on the very same spot that Clementine’s restaurant is located today. It is now disguised as Jack Cook’s Accounting Office and a retail store named Enchanted Journey and located at 313/315 Center Street. The building became available recently and with the support of a very generous patron, the Historical Association of South Haven has extended an offer for the building and the offer has been accepted.
Our intention, on behalf of our members and the South Haven community, is to restore and preserve this historical building, providing space for the HASH to have a downtown store, exhibition space and a stepping off point for historical tours. The details of the restoration are still in the planning stage and we will be much more specific after the sale is closed.
This opportunity is so exciting and forms such an important part of our plans to continue to fulfill our mission to educate residents and visitors alike about the history of our remarkable town and its citizens, past and present, that I could not resist filling you in right now. I have attached a couple of pictures to let you see the role the building played in our past so you can be as enthusiastic about its future as we are. We will be calling on you in the near future to join in with financial support as well as some sweat equity. The restoration will take plenty of both and the result will fill us all with pride.
Thank you for your continued support,
The Forest House was the first hotel in South Haven. It was built in 1853. The basic structure still stands as Jack Cook’s CPA office on Center.
Looking Southwest to the corner of Center and Phoenix Streets from the water tower with the town pump in the center intersection – Circa 1892.