The area gets its name from wild roses that once populated its Lake Michigan dunes.
"Allegedly, the dune was named by either early settlers who found the top of it covered with wild roses or by Native Americans for the rosy hue cast on the dune at sunset," it is explained in a passage from the MichiganTrailMaps.com website.
But a May 1862 story in the old Grand Haven News asserts that a prominent local citizen of the 19th century came up with the name:
"Rosy Mound received its beautiful and significant title from Hon. Timothy Eastman, who, probably, was the first white man that ascended its summit, and found its sides and apex crowned with wild roses in richest profusion, imparting the most pleasing emotions to his delighted senses."
According to Dr. Dave Seibold — in his book, "Grand Haven in the Path of Destiny" — the name caught on and the big dune on the shore of Lake Michigan in Grand Haven Township forevermore was called Rosy Mound.
Sand mining over the years reportedly reduced the 360-foot-high dune of the 19th century to less than 200 feet today.
By the way, Eastman was the first Ottawa County clerk in 1838 and became an associate judge that same year. He became a county judge in 1847, and his son married the daughter of the Rev. William and Amanda Ferry.
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