Allegan County was named by Michigan statesman/historian Henry
Schoolcraft for the Alleghen Indian tribe which inhabited the area prior to its
settlement. As early as the 1820�s, this area was known for its agricultural
potential and water resources. By the mid 1800�s, steamboats were traveling
the Kalamazoo River from
Saugatuck to Allegan,
transporting lumber and farm crops to Lake Michigan for shipping.
The approximate 25 miles of coastline along Lake Michigan also became a major
attraction, with resorts springing up to service heavy tourist traffic from
Chicago and Michigan.
Today Allegan County retains much of its agricultural tradition carefully
balanced with growth and change that has come with modern times. The county
seat, Allegan, supported by small businesses and mid-sized manufacturing
facilities, continues to grow while retaining its traditional look in
turn-of-the-century style architecture.
Otsego and Plainwell to
the south have become economically associated to the greater Kalamazoo area
while still retaining small-town atmospheres. Communities like
Wayland, Hopkins and
Martin continue to be great places to live as adjunct communities to larger
metro areas. And the Kalamazoo River is as beautiful as ever - whether seen from
bridges in Otsego and Plainwell, or from boats in Saugatuck, or canoes in the 80
square mile Allegan State Game Area in the center of the county.
If you�re looking for a nice diversion or quiet getaway, c�mon and check it
out - for a memorable experience.