Is there a Mulligan in the hollow?

Mark Brooky • Oct 19, 2016 at 5:00 PM

Zoe of Grand Haven asked, “Where did Mulligan’s Hollow get its name?”


Mulligan’s Hollow is at the base of Grand Haven’s Five Mile Hill and home to the Tri-Cities Family YMCA, Ski Bowl, Skate Park, Imagination Station and several other recreational facilities. It was purchased by the city in the early 1900s, said Dr. Dave Seibold in his local history book, “Grand Haven: In the Path of Destiny.”

But the hollow’s name dates back to the late 19th century. Irish-born John Mulligan settled in Grand Haven in the 1880s and farmed the land that now bears his name.

Wally Ewing, in his directory of people in Northwest Ottawa County, notes that John Mulligan (1843-1911) and his wife lived in a farmhouse on the site of the hollow. “He was described as a ‘very Irish, very tall man with a big nose,’” Ewing wrote, “who wore a Prince Edward coat to church on Sundays.”

The Mulligans had several children. All but their oldest (born in England) were born in Michigan. After the parents died, the old farmhouse was moved to 417 Leggatt St., Ewing said, and the family sold the hollow to the city for $100.65 in 1908.

One of John Mulligan’s sons, Hugh Mulligan, remained in Grand Haven until his death in 1964. He served on the Grand Haven Board of Public Works from 1935-57 and retired as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Coast Guard, Ewing noted.

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