Map of the Black Lake (

The black lake gets it’s name due to the dark sediments in the water which give it a murky look. The black lake was always looked at as an economic advantage ever since Van Raalte arrived with the first settlers. Having an inland lake so close to Lake Michigan allows easy access for shipping around the great lakes. The settlers knew they would need a channel to get large enough vessels into the port so they began dredging out a channel by hand using pick axes and shovels. Today, there are many freighters that bring coal to the power plant on the shores of the black lake (now Lake Macatawa) as well as the occasional cruise ship that makes a stop in Holland.