Heritage Festival steps off

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:38 PM

Kids paid tribute to cartoonist and animation pioneer Winsor McCay, pasting together “Gertie the Dinosaur” figures and learning to draw cartoons at Spring Lake District Library. McCay, a Spring Lake native known as the inventor of animation, was a mentor and inspiration to Walt Disney.

Dogs stepped out Tuesday evening during the annual dog walk, strolling from Central Park to Old Boys’ Brewhouse under cloudy and sometimes drizzling skies.

Zoe McGregor of Grand Haven dressed up her dog, Lily, to ride in a decorated stroller down Lakeside Trail.

“It’s just something fun to do,” McGregor said. “I have a lot of clothes for her, so I decided to go for it.”

CLICK HERE to see more photos from Tuesday's events at the Heritage Festival.

A slight drizzle dissipated just in time for the Tri-Cities Historical Museum’s history walk down Savidge Street. More than a dozen people listened to tour leader Cate Reed bring the history of this once-vibrant main street alive.

The Bilz building at 304 Savidge St. once housed a hardware store, bike shop and the town’s first bank. The bank’s security consisted of one safe and two roll-top desks surrounded by chicken wire, according to Reed.

The empty lot between Chan’s Chinese and American Restaurant and the Kieft Agency was once the site of a saloon. Kevin Geary, curator of education for the local museum, showed tour-goers a photo of a beer tray once used at the establishment. He also passed around photos of buildings as they looked in the 1800s.

The Field’s Fabrics annex at 214 Savidge St. once was home to a hardware and undertaker business, one of two in the village during the late 1800s, according to Reed.

The tourists were intrigued by photos of the old railroad track running down Division Street. Reed explained that the current Huntington Bank is the site of the former Spring Lake Interurban Station.

Spring Lake Township resident Doris Ducey said she imagined a bustling downtown of days gone by while she was on Tuesday’s tour.

“It seemed like it was much more vital because they had more businesses, and people probably shopped more locally than they do now,” she said. “They went to the hardware, went to the meat market, went to the tavern. … Now everyone goes to the shopping mall or to Meijer. During those days, they just shopped right along that street.”

The Spring Lake Heritage Festival continues tonight with Family Fun Night at Mill Point Park. The lineup includes a community picnic, ice cream social, inflatables, pony rides, emergency vehicle tours and children’s games from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Recommended for You