Editor: Arcadia Publishing
File Format: Pdf
Legendary Locals of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor by Summary
A cast of characters tumbles out of the pages of this book, beginning with the courageous settlers who tamed the wilderness. By the 1890s, dynamic denizens of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor harvested fruit, established factories, and opened tourist attractions. Drake and Wallace’s Silver Beach Amusement Park, with its roller coaster, fun house, and Lake Michigan beach, attracted visitors from Chicago. So did the curative mineral waters. Al Capone took “the baths,” despite their stinking like rotten eggs. The Israelite House of David, a Christian sect founded by Benjamin and Mary Purnell, welcomed summer visitors to their amusement park. Despite an infamous scandal and trial involving Benjamin, the House of David thrived for decades. The cities spawned inventors like Augustus Herring, who flew an airplane five years before the Wright brothers; Emory Upton, who developed an electric-powered washing machine manufactured by a company now known as Whirlpool; and Walter Miller, inventor of a record-changing machine manufactured by V-M. By the 1980s, manufacturing in the area had declined, and the cities suffered. Present-day entrepreneurs, artists, and community activists have jump-started their return to vitality.