Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Allen Zagarell

Second Advisor

Dr. Arthur Helweg

Third Advisor

Dr. Charles Cleland

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries many communities adapted themselves to the leisure industry with the growth of a middle class that had time for leisure activities within the United States. One impetus for this change suggested for the period is a lack of manufacturing and extractive activities (Brown 1995).

This thesis tests this scenario on one community of the period, Saugatuck, Michigan, by examining the employment and business structures of the town while also examining land use. This was accomplished through the use of both primary and secondary documents.

Data gathered and placed within its historical context does not support in this case a lack of manufacturing and extractive activities as a driving force in the adoption of the resort industry. Information gathered in this study suggests that transportation features and the general aesthetics of the local physical landscape were a more important role in the development of Saugatuck into a resort community.

Included in

Anthropology Commons