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Why is it named Coast Guard Park?

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:17 PM
mbrooky@grandhaventribune.com 616-842-6400 ext. 243

ANSWER:

The U.S. Coast Guard used the area where today's dog park exists at the northwestern part of the park as a shooting range from the late 1930s until 1970. There's probably bullets and shells still buried in the ground.

In his local history book, "Grand Haven in the Path of Destiny," Dr. Dave Seibold explained that, during World War II, the Coast Guard purchased 80 acres adjacent to the rifle range to make it bigger.

In December 1972, two years after the rifle range was closed, Ferrysburg officials applied for the federal land to be transferred to the city. That was approved just a couple of months later. The city crafted a master plan for the park in 1979 and dedicated it as Coast Guard Park during the 1989 Coast Guard Festival.

The little tower at the entrance to the park from North Shore Road is the old north pier light No. 1, according to Seibold. It was in operation on the north side of the mouth of the Grand River from 1921 to 1985.

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