First 100 Years

The natural beauty of Lake Macatawa with its channel to Lake Michigan has long drawn citizen interest in water sports, and early on the many resorts drew summer folk from Chicago, St. Louis, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and the nearby Holland environs to a “golden age” of enjoyment. Steamboat excursions from Chicago, South Haven and Saugatuck to the Holland resorts were popular, and summer activities began about July 4. In 1899 the interurban began running from Grand Rapids, along 8th St. in Holland six miles to Jenison Park and Macatawa and then later to Saugatuck. Reports of early boating activities have been found in archival news reports.

For 100 colorful years Macatawa Bay Yacht Club has survived ups and downs through two World Wars and the Great Depression as well as a fire that burned its clubhouse to the ground.