Decades change landscape as town dies, lake moves

Capital News Service
Buried under huge, rolling sand dunes on Michigan’s southwest coast lies a town once called Singapore. Until about 130 years ago, this Lake Michigan port town was near what is now Saugatuck. Founded in 1836, it was made up of 23 buildings and about 100 people, according to Kit Lane, author of “Buried Singapore: Michigan’s Imaginary Pompeii.”

It was surrounded by dense forests. But they were cut to help rebuild Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871 nearly destroyed that city almost 100 miles away. Little did Singapore residents know that by deforesting the area, they were bringing the dunes to life.

New research helps protect dunes

Capital News Service
LANSING – New research findings about the geological and archaeological aspects of the Lake Michigan coastal dunes will help local governments and organizations protect them. “It’s important to make sure we haven’t damaged or destroyed dunes in an archaeological site,” said state Archaeologist Dean Anderson. He said information about dunes in the past concerns not only cultural but environmental methods. The most recent research collected data on the northern and northeastern shore of Lake Michigan, while former studies focused mostly on the southeastern part of the basin. It gives a full picture of locations for dunes among the state.