Harbourfront Condominiums History
Developer Jack Bosgraaf and his partners, under the business name of Bosgraaf Sales and Leasing, were approached by the city of Grand Haven to develop the old Story and Clark Piano factory.
Bosgraaf purchased the buildings between First street and North Harbor Drive. Renovation of the buildings into a restaurant, retail shopping, and condominiums began . In 1986, the first condominiums began to take shape. The piano wood was stored for drying in this building and the new tenants started moving into their new condominiums in March of 1987.
For the record the smoke stack tumbled during a storm in 1998. The other piano factory buildings at 101 Columbus were purchased in 1994 by the Covenant Church of Life for $300,000. They then developed the site into their worship center.
Grand Haven Michigan History
The Pottawattamie and Ottawa Indians were the first settlers in the area. The Grand River provided the Indians with a trade route deep into Michigan. Grand Haven later became a fur-trading outpost. The name for the area Gabagouache came from the Pottawattamie Indians. The outpost was established by Madeline La Framboise and her husband. The trading post was eventually taken over by business tycoon and the first millionaire in the United States, John Jacob Astor of the American Fur Company.
The name Grand Haven was taken up in 1835 and the area was not incorporated as a city until 1867. Grand Haven has gone from a lumber mill and shipping area to a manufacturing base. Automobiles and parts, to furniture and pianos are among the products produced here over the years. Businesses like Grand Trunk Railway, Story and Clark Piano Company, Eagle-Ottawa Leather Company and the Sheldon Tannery which was founded in 1838. All these businesses provided needed employment in Grand Haven.
The first Grand Haven south pier light house was built in 1839. The light house at the end of the south pier was built in 1875. The candlestick light house was built in 1905 along with the lighted catwalk.
Information from: www.en.wikipedia.org
Story & Clark Piano Factory History
Hampton L. Story and Melville Clark entered into a partnership in 1884. In 1900 the city of Grand Haven worked with Story & Clark to build a factory in Grand Haven and bring new jobs to the city. The city offered Story & Clark $20,000 and 10 acres of land. In return, Story & Clark promised to hire 100 people in the following three years. The deal was made.
The first stage of the complex was completed in 1901. Three more additions were completed over the next 50 years and completed in the 1950s. The first phases were constructed with heavy oak posts and beam construction. This was done at great expense. The benefit was greater fire protection, due to the fact that the beams would char on the surface, but would not burn through for a long time. Later construction was of steel beams.
Pianos were manufactured in Grand Haven from 1901 through 1984. Pianos marketed by Story & Clark included: Irvington, Tennyson, Hobart M. Cable, Hampton, Price & Teeple, Packard, Hamton Story, Behning & Klix, and Weber.