Pigeon Hill was a natural landmark to the local people of Muskegon from the time of the first Native Americans. It stood over 200 feet high and was dozens of acres wide at its base. With fantastic views of the surrounding land and water, it was a major tourist attraction for years. In the 1920s, a mining operation began which would completely flattened the dune and forever change the lakeshore landscape.
Backstory and Context
The dune was called Pigeon Hill because of the hundreds of thousands of now-extinct passenger pigeons that once lived there. The hill would sadly suffer the same fate as the pigeons. In the early 1920s, the Nugent Sand Company bought the land and sold the sand to foundries in Muskegon and around Lake Michigan. The City of Muskegon actually took Nugent Sand to the Michigan Supreme Court to prevent the company from exploiting the dune, but the case was overruled. It only took a dozen years (1925 – 1938) for the mining operation to completely level the dune. Sand from the area was mined until the 1960s. Today, a condominium community called Harbor Towne has been built on the flat sand pit that remains of the historic landmark.