South Haven was home to the Pottawatomie and the Iroquois tribes(Wikipedia) before it was discovered by a surveyor named Jay R. Monroe in 1833(Brief History) . Not only was Monroe the first to officially find South Haven but he purchased 65 acres of lake front in southwestern Michigan from the U.S. government; he was also the first person to live there(Brief History). After more families had moved there South Haven was finally deemed a settlement in the 1850’s, by 1869 South Haven was considered a village, and finally a city in 1902(Wikipedia).  South Haven became a major port because it is right on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, the Black River runs through it, is relatively close to Chicago, and had a railroad connecting it to Kalamazoo. Lumber was the first industry in South Haven, trees would be sent to South Haven either by train from Kalamazoo or down the Black River where it would then be milled(City History). From the mills the lumber would be sent to both Chicago and Milwaukee by ship(South Haven History). South Haven was also a stop for passenger ships as well as cargo from the east such as Detroit and New York and even ported some international ships. But after the lumber industry was gone and all the trees were cleared this left plenty of area to be used for farming the wide variety of soils around South Haven including rich dirt, clay, and sand(Genealogy). Though almost anything can be grown there corn, wheat, and fruits were primarily farmed such as blueberries, apples, peaches, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries . South Haven has almost always been kind of a resort/tourist town far from major cities giving it that small town/country feel but still had everything one needed; and offered warm weather and water in the summer along with theaters, a casino, hotels, an opera house and even an amusement park(South Haven History).

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