New Buffalo, Michigan
May 26, 2007
There’s not much doubt that as we head up Michigan’s west coast in our shoreline tour, we’ll see a lot of breakwalls and sunsets.
The New Buffalo Township’s excellent history tells us (among other things):
The city of New Buffalo came into being because of a violent October storm in 1834, when Captain Wessel D. Whittaker grounded his schooner Post Boy in the mouth of a small stream called State Creek near the present village of Grand Beach. The ship was destroyed, but Captain and crew survived the disaster and walked to Michigan City, where there were taverns that could provide food and shelter. There Whittaker hired a rig and headed north for St. Joseph to report the ship’s loss to its underwriters. On his way up the coast, he was struck by advantages and beauty of the spot where the Galien River passed through Lake Potawatomi into Lake Michigan. Lake Potowatomi, since drained by the sawmills, was, by varying accounts, two miles long, a half mile wide and up to ninety feet deep or four miles long by a mile wide and fourteen feet deep. It is now just “a lazy bend in the river.”
In addition to all kinds of visitor and business information, The New Buffalo Business Administration has a nice timeline of the history of New Buffalo and a cool old photos of the C&O Railroad Roundhouse that I would very much like to see larger. Maybe it can be found at the New Buffalo Railroad Museum. I also learned at NewBuffalo.com that the nation’s first Highway Travel Information center opened on May 4, 1935, on US-12 at New Buffalo. New Buffalo’s Wikipedia entry is on the lame side, and I would encourage any enterprising New Buffaloeans to spruce it up a little.