About the Neighborhood

Lakeside 1837-1900


Prior to 1837, the area around Muskegon Lake was occupied by bands of Ottawa Indians. The treaty of 1837 marked the end of fur trading and the beginning of permanent settlement. Beginning around 1850, the area of Muskegon known as Lakeside began to be settled. By 1870, it consisted of a small string of house and was incorporated as a village in 1883, the population was 1702.Most of the residents were employed by sawmills There was a strong community of Germans and Swedes that settled in the Lakeside area and prohibition was maintained for many years. In 1889 a streetcar line was installed that made travel to Bluffton and Pinchtown easier and a water system of wooden pipes was installed in 1884. Electric street lights were in stalled in 1889 and at that time the fire chief made $30 per year plus $1 for each fire.
Lakeside became part of the city of Muskegon in 1888. That same year, a fire ravaged the business district Known for its sawmills, Chase Brothers piano factory and Estes street fairgrounds, Lakeside was at one time considered to be one of the wealthiest areas of the state. In 1900, the Central Paper Company opened.
Many of the sawmill and business owners were city fathers with large homes downtown. They included A.V. Mann, J.W. Moon, Essau Torrent, Seth Estes, Henry Bourdon, Delos Blodgett and Newcomb McGraft all of whom have streets named after them. Many of them were also involved in early banks, benefactors of the city and involved in city and state government. Louis Wasserman opened the first Wassermann’s floral and gifts in 1884 and the business thrives today run by descendants of Louis Wasserman.