which is what it would take today to truly uncover the mystery – a lot of digging.
The bustling waterfront city existed for almost half a century as a busy port and shipbuilding town that also churned out upwards of 300,000 board feet of lumber a month courtesy of the three sawmills harvesting the abundant White Pine covering the surrounding land. From all over America, Canada and Europe immigrants arrived via Singapore’s port, an Ellis Island of sorts for the Great Lakes. Paved roads provided access to the shipyard, sawmills, a hotel, a general store, a cemetery and a wildcat bank, all just miles up the Kalamazoo River from Saugatuck, known then as the Flats.
mill town had to give. With their lumber completely depleted, the forests just behind the sand dunes completely decimated, the boom went bust; the several hundred residents went elsewhere, many to nearby Saugatuck and Douglas; Mother Nature began licking her wounds.
She licked and licked for the next four years, the west winds off Lake Michigan throwing sand for salve up into the now barren land just beyond Lake Michigan’s shores where the homes and saw mills and stores once bustled with activity. With no trees to stop the erosion, the sands dunes began their march inland, covering what once was Singapore.
By 1883 the abandoned town was reportedly partially buried beneath the drifting sand. When a new river channel was built in 1906, reports continued to surface about the nearby cottages half-buried beneath the sand.