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Situated in Saugatuck Township, Allegan County, the City of Saugatuck, Michigan borders Lake Michigan to the east.

The city is situated on the northern banks of Lake Kalamazoo, a wide spot in the Kalamazoo River, which bisects the town, emptying into Lake Michigan just north of Saugatuck.

The chief route to and from the city is Blue Star Highway, which crosses the Kalamazoo River in the southern part of the city, connecting the east and west parts of Saugatuck, passing through its southeast corner, then turning north to form a small portion of the city's eastern border.

Saugatuck abuts the village of Douglas on the south, and the unincorporated community of Oxbow is just north of the city. Other cities and villages within twenty-five miles of Saugatuck include Fennville, Holland, Zeeland, South Haven, and Allegan, while the unincorporated communities of Shorewood, Beachmont, Douglas, Macks Landing, Pier Cove, Ganges, New Richmond, Grange Corners, and Glenn are within ten miles.

Approximately twenty-five blocks of established residential neighborhoods surround the center of the city. Elsewhere, residential development is concentrated along Lakeshore Drive, Campbell Road, Wiley Street, and Water Street. Condominiums line the shore of Kalamazoo Lake along Lake Street, largely blocking the view of the lake.

Major commercial development is along Blue Star Highway and the downtown district, which is mostly oriented to tourists and seasonal residents. While there are a few small manufacturing companies, industrial development in Saugatuck is limited.

Police protection is provided by the Saugatuck-Douglas Police Department, the Allegan Sheriff Department, and the Michigan State Police. The Saugatuck Township Fire District provides fire services, and ambulance services are provided by American Medical Response (AMR).

Originally a lumber town and port, Saugatuck became an art colony and tourist destination in the late 19th century, which are still important to the city's economy today.

Prior to its settlement by European-Americans, the area was inhabited by indigenous people for thousands of years. In 1830, when William Gay Butler settled the area, it was inhabited by the Potawatomi people.

In 1833, Butler platted a village and named it Kalamazoo, for the river. However, in 1836, the state legislature assigned that name to the current city of Kalamazoo, which had previously been known as Bronson. Because of this, the community took the name Newark.

On May 2, 1835, a post office was established as Newark, with Rensselaer R. Crosby as postmaster. He was succeeded by Mr. Butler on April 4, 1838, and Stephen A. Morrison became the postmaster on January 18, 1842.

In 1868, when the village was incorporated, it was renamed Saugatuck, along with the township. Saugatuck became a city in 1984.

Although Saugatuck has a year-round population of under one thousand, its population grows to about 3,000 in the summer, as it is a popular summer destination for residents of Chicago, Detroit, and Grand Rapids.

This portion of our guide is focused on the City of Saugatuck, Michigan. Topics related to the municipal government, local businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities are included.


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