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|"The Art Coast of Michigan"|
The Saugatuck/Douglas area are as unusual (among Midwest frontier towns), in that it did not experience either the destruction of the fires that hit most towns in the mid to late 1800's, or the railroad that brought modernization and urban growth. Because of this, the villages of Saugatuck and Douglas provide a rare opportunity to observe pre- and post-Civil Ware Greek Revival and Italianate architecture, together with later structures in the Arts & Crafts and Colonial Revival manner.
When the trees were gone, so were the lumberman. But Saugatuck and Douglas thrived, turning to shipping and fruit growing as a source of income in the latter part of the 1800s. Peaches from the area were called "Michigan Gold: and were shipped by large steamships to the Chicago market. Hundreds of ships of various types were built in Saugatuck shipyards and the town was a haven for ship captains.
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