The path Harrison Hutchins used to discover his home building site in 1837.
[The future Fennville Area]
In 1836, that's 180 years ago, there were no roads leading into the forests lying west of Allegan. The only routes of travel through the woods and dense underbrush were along the Indian Trails worn deep by the moccasins of the natives after years of travel. The runways of wild animals leading down to their watering places furnished access roads to the lakes and streams.
While the Kalamazoo River was the main route from Allegan to the shores of Lake Michigan, there were two Indian Trails which the whites used for travel overland from Swan Creek to the mouth of the river.
One of them entered Allegan County north of Silver Lake. It ran northwesterly, crossing Swan Creek at Stout's Mill, thence on past the site of Bailey's and to the mouth of the Kalamazoo. Later this trail became known as the BAILEY MILL ROAD.
The other trail ran past the site of Pine Plaines Tavern at Swan Creek, crossing the Kalamazoo at New Richmond, thence along the high ground to Singapore at its mouth. This was known as the Allegan-Singapore Road.
Harrison Hutchins, eager and ambitious, pressed into the woods over the Bailey Mill trail to explore the new territory beyond Swan Creek. His chief mission was to locate a place to build his home. SEE 1837 MAP!
In May of 1837, David and Harrison Hutchins decided on a piece of land on the north shore of the Little Lake (now Hutchins Lake) and took title to 160 acres in Section 1, Ganges Township, and James McCormick took up a claim in the southwest corner of Manlius Township just across the road, where they were the first settlers between Allegan and Singapore. That piece of land is where "CRANE'S PIE PANTRY" now exists.