Sunday, December 21, 2008

Henry Pratt's Memories XXII

"We lived about  four miles north of Benton Harbor and about a half a mile from Lake Michigan. It's almost incredible now, but lake frontage, at least until 1910, had no value whatever, unless it could be farmed. For some miles above Benton Harbor the lake bluff was of clay and farm land ran to the very edge. A little further north the land changes to sand dunes. It was covered by trees and miles of it could have been bought for taxes. Now it is almost priceless. There were some instances where the road ran near the bluff that farm houses were built quite near the bluff, yet not one was built to take advantage of it. All faced the road, and the barn might be placed between the house and the bluff. Yet people who lived near it developed a love for it. At our distance, there was almost a continual roar which could be heard if you listened for it. Even waves a few inches high rolling the length of he beach would produce an audible roar. On foggy days, the fog horn at St. Joseph was very audible. People loved the lake, yet few made much use of it. Occasionally pinics were held on the bluff, but due to the difficulty of climbing down the steep 100 ft. slope, few but young people or kids spent any time on the beach. Several times I climbed down to the beach with a group of boys to go swimming. None of us had swimming suits but it made no difference. The beach would be empty for miles, and unless it were evening or Sunday, no one would be looking from the bluff".

(July 26)

No comments: