Allegan County (pop. 111,408) is south of Ottawa County, along Lake Michigan. “Allegan” was a word created by Henry Schoolcraft in the 19th century to sound like an actual Native American word.
Allegan County is traditionally agricultural, but its population has been growing because of its proximity to the urban areas of Grand Rapids to the northeast and Kalamazoo to the southeast.
The county seat of Allegan County is the city of Allegan (pop. 4,998).
The Second Street Bridge in Allegan dates from 1886.
The Regent Theatre in Allegan opened in 1919.
Saugatuck Dunes State Park has two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline and 14 miles of hiking trails.
The city of Fennville (pop. 1,398) is the home of Crane’s Pie Pantry, well-known for its pies and its mascot – Betty the Stuffed Sleigh Dog.
The 50,000-acre Allegan State Game Area is a forest that is popular with campers, hunters, and cross-country skiers.
In Saugatuck (pop. 925), the Felt Mansion (1928) now hosts weddings and other special events.
A western Michigan legend refers to “melon heads” – small humanoids with bulbous heads who lived in the vicinity of the Felt Mansion.
Saugatuck has a hand-powered chain ferry that takes visitors from downtown to Oval Beach.
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