Located in Allegan County, within Saugatuck Township, Saugatuck is a city of just under 1,000 residents in southwestern Michigan.
Originally known as Kalamazoo Village, Saugatuck was founded by William C. Butler, who bought land in the area in 1833. However, just three short years later, the town presently known as Kalamazoo was renamed, forcing Butler to change the name of his village. Saugatuck was suggested, and became official when the village was incorporated in 1868. The first settler in Saugatuck Township was O’Shea Wilder, who called the area Singapore. However, this settlement was abandoned by the end of the 19th century.
The Saugatuck Public Schools, “Preparing Students for Life”, operate three schools throughout the district: Douglas Elementary School, Saugatuck Middle School, and Saugatuck High School. Amtrak service to Chicago and Detroit is available in nearby Grand Rapids.
Although Saugatuck’s official, year-round population is listed at just under 1,000, the population triples in the summer months, to over 3,000. Due to its proximity to Lake Michigan, the community is popular for residents of Chicago, Grand Rapids and Detroit. The main draw is the locally-owned, family-run, bed and breakfasts that are scattered around the area. Another popular attraction is the Star of Saugatuck, which gives paddle-boat tours of the Kalamazoo River and Lake Michigan. With a number of local, independent restaurants and art galleries located downtown, downtown Saugatuck is a bustling tourist attraction in the summer months.
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