Today, summers in a big city can be unbearable with the stifling heat, but in the early 20th century it was much worse. If you lived in any city like Chicago or Milwaukee the heat and humidity made for long, hot, and oppressive summers. Many would look for a way to escape for days or weeks along the cooler lakeshore. The natural beauty of the eastern shore of Lake Michigan offered a cool and peaceful escape during the summer months.
Many of the affluent would cruise along the green and cool shore and enjoy the quiet of the woods and small cities and towns peppered along Lake Michigan’s eastern shoreline. As with many historical homes around Holland, the story of one such summer home begins with a wish for cooler and more peaceful summers.
Chicago industrialist Egbert H. Gold, was searching for a place to build a house during the summer of 1912 where his family could escape the summer heat. The north shore of Black Lake (now Lake Macatawa) on Point Superior offered a wooded haven and Marigold Lodge was built in the Prairie School style in 1913. Named for his wife, Margaret and only daughter, Mary Jayne it became the summer house for the Gold family that also included 2 boys Egbert Jr., and Samuel.
Most of the acreage surrounding the house still remains as it was in the early life of the area courtesy of Mr. Gold’s appreciation for the natural setting and his insistence on keeping much of the wooded areas around the home as he found them. Because of his care we have a truly remarkable example of the early natural world surrounding the lake.
This part of Holland was a summer retreat for many others who lived the city life too. Countless people came by ship or train to stay in cottages, resorts or camps found along the lake’s shoreline. For many the shore, wooded areas, and beaches offered a truly wonderful summer refuge.
Today’s cottages and homes along the lakeshore harken back to those earlier days that gave our town that leisurely, summertime image. Many of the cottages we see along winding lakeshore roads today hold memories and stories that have helped craft our history. The residents, homes and those who visit all help create the image we have of Holland, the town that is a welcoming, friendly place to vacation and live.