1899: L.FRANK BAUM's OZ-Inspiring Macatawa Park

1899: L.FRANK BAUM's OZ-Inspiring Macatawa Park

by William Bollman


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1899 tells-and shows-exactly what L. Frank Baum experienced at Macatawa Park the very summer he was writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. From the long board walks through the woods, to the groups of cottages said to have given inspiration for Munchkinland, to much more.

This entry in the Vintage Photo Album Series focuses on a 110-plus-year-old vacation photo album assembled by Hattie A. Talcott of her summer of 1899 at a mystical Chicago summer playland called Macatawa Park. She traveled by horse cab and overnight steamer across Lake Michigan to get there as did much of Chicago's high society-including, as it turns out, L. Frank Baum! You see 1899 was an extremely important summer for L. Frank Baum, and Macatawa Park was an extremely important place as his favorite summer place provided inspiration for important aspects of the beloved The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. See what similarities you can find in the photos!

In 1899, author William Bollman melds Talcott's amateur photographs (taken with a turn-of-the-century Kodak No. 2 Bulls-Eye camera), with an abridged version of L. Frank Baum's satirical classic Tamawaca Folks to give the reader a sense of living in L. Frank Baum's shoes if but for that one important summer. These uncanny photographs-never before published-show us the actual life settings that undoubtedly inspired numerous aspects in both The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Tamawaca Folks, in this entry in the Trip Back in Time: Vintage Photo Album Series.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466983168
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Publication date: 03/18/2013
Pages: 120
Sales rank: 535,060
Product dimensions: 7.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.25(d)

Read an Excerpt


L. FRANK BAUM's OZ-Inspiring Macatawa Park


Trafford Publishing

Copyright © 2013 William Bollman
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4669-8316-8




By L. Frank Baum Featuring Hattie's vintage photos from 1899


Tamawaca exists, and is as beautiful as I have described it. I chose it as the scene of my story because I once passed an entire summer there and was fascinated by its incomparable charm. The middle West has no spot that can compete with it in loveliness.


When Jarrod finally sold out the Crosbys he had a chance to breathe freely for the first time in years. The Crosbys had been big ranch owners and herders, mine owners, timber and mill owners, bankers, brokers, bucket-shop manipulators and confirmed bull-dozers and confidence-men. They played the game for big stakes always and won by sheer nerve and audacity. Jarrod was their lawyer and they kept him in hot water every minute.

As fate would have it, on a balmy spring day he met an old friend—a Dr. Brush—who was a prominent and highly respected clergyman. Said the doctor:

"You need a change, Jarrod. Why don't you go to some quiet, pleasant summer resort, and loaf until fall?" said Dr. Brush.

"Where can I find such a place?" asked Jarrod.

"Why, any of the Lake Michigan resorts are desirable—Tamawaca, Bay View, Charlevoix or Petoskey. I've been to Tamawaca a couple summers myself, and like it immensely. It is n't so fashionable as Charlevoix and Petoskey, but it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen, bar none."

"What's there?" enquired Jarrod, listlessly

"Lake Michigan, to begin with; and Tamawaca Pool, which is really a lovely inland lake. You'll find there good fishing and bathing, a noble forest running down to the water's edge, pretty cottages, nestled among the trees, lots of ozone, and quiet till you can't rest."


"I mean quiet so you CAN rest."

"It sounds quite promising," said Jarrod. "Guess I'll go. My wife remarked yesterday we ought to escape the summer's heat on the children's account. This idea will please her-and it pleases me. And hunt. How's the hotel, Brush?"

"Bad as possible. Take a cottage. That's the only way to enjoy life."

"How can I get a cottage?"

"Oh, ask Wilder, when you get to Tamawaca. There are always cottages to rent. But stay! you might take Grant's place. He's a St. Louis man, and I understand his cottage is for rent."

"Thank you very much."

"Who is Wilder?" Jarrod asked his friend.

"Wilder! Oh, I forgot you don't know Tamawaca," said Dr. Brush.

"Therefore you don't know Wilder. Wilder is Tamawaca."

"I see," returned Jarrod, nodding.

"Oh, no you don't. You think you see, I've no doubt. But there is only one Wilder upon earth, and perhaps that is fortunate. You've been in with those pirate Crosbys for years. Well, Wilder is the Crosby—in other words the pirate—of Tamawaca. See now?"

"He runs things, eh?"

"Yes; for Wilder."

A few days later the Jarrods—bag and baggage, parents and children-travelled up to Chicago and landed in the morning at the Auditorium Annex. A little fat man stood before the counter in front of Jarrod and winked saucily at the clerk.

"Gimme the best room you have," he called out, while scribbling his name on the register.

"Ah, a twenty-dollar suite?" asked the clerk, cheerfully.

"Hear me out!" retorted the little man. "Gimme the best room you have for four dollars a day."

"Oh," said the clerk, his jaw dropping. "Here, front! show the gentleman up to 1906. Any baggage, sir?"

"Just my wife," sighed the little man, with another wink, and a stout lady of ample proportions grabbed his arm and whisked him away. She didn't seem at all offended, but laughed pleasantly and said: "Now, George, behave yourself!"

Jarrod looked at the register. The little fat man had written: "Geo. B. Still, Quincy, Ill."

The Jarrods shopped during the day, and bought themselves and the children cool things for summer. In the evening they went down to the river and boarded the big steel steamer that was to carry them to their destination.

A whistle blew; the little tug strained at its cable, and snorting and puffing in the supreme struggle it drew the great steamer "Plymouth" away from its dock to begin its journey down the river to the open lake and thence, discarding its tug, across mighty Michigan to Iroquois Bay, Tamawaca, and the quaint city of Kochton.

The passengers thronged both the ample decks to catch the cooling breeze that came as soon as they were in motion, for the day had been especially warm for June. The older folds drew long lines of chairs to the rails, while the young people walked up and down, chattering and gay. To nearly all the voyage meant the beginning of a holiday, and hearts were light and faces eager and expectant.

Jarrod had no sooner located his family in a comfortable corner than he was attracted by a young man who sauntered by.

"Why, Jim, is it you? he exclaimed, jumping up to hold out a hand in greeting.

The other paused, as if astonished, but then said in a cordial tone:

"You here, Mr. Jarrod?"

He was a tall, athletic looking fellow, with a fine face. Jarrod had recognized him as the only son of a man he had known in St. Louis-a man very prominent and wealthy, he remembered.

"What are you doing here, Jim?" he enquired.

"Why, I live in Chicago now, you know," was the reply.

"You do?"

"Did n't you know, sir? I left home over a year ago. I'm hoeing my own row now, Mr. Jarrod."

"What's wrong, Jim?"

"Father and I couldn't agree. He wanted me to take to the patent medicine business, because he has made a fortune in it."

"Very natural," nodding.

"The poor father suffers a good deal from rheumatism, you know; so as soon as I left college he proposed to turn over to me the manufacture and sale of his great rheumatism cure."


"And I balked, Mr. Jarrod. I said the proprietor of a rheumatism cure had no business to suffer from rheumatism, or else no business to sell the swindling remedy.

"To be sure. I know your father, Jim, so I can imagine what happened, directly you made that statement. Did he give you anything when you—er—parted?"

"Not a sou. I'm earning my own living."

"Good. But how?"

"They don't take a boy just out of college for the president of a bank or the director of a railway. I'm just a clerk in Marshall Field's."

"How much do you earn?" asked the lawyer, quietly.

"Twelve dollars a week. But it's an interesting experience, Mr. Jarrod. You've no idea how well a fellow can live on twelve dollars a week—unless you've tried it."

Jarrod smiled.

"Where are you bound for?" Jarrod asked.

"A little place called Tamawaca, there to spend my two weeks' vacation. Just think of it! After fourteen months I've saved enough for an outing. It isn't a princely sum, to be sure-nothing like what I spent in a day at college-but by economy I can make it do me in that out-of-the-way place, where the hotel board is unusually cheap."

"I'm told it is as bad as it is cheap," said Jarrod.

"That stands to reason, sir. I'm not expecting much but rest and sunshine and fresh air-and perhaps a nice girl to dance with in the evening."

"I see."

"And, by the way, Mr. Jarrod," this with some hesitation, "please don't tell anyone who I am, if you're asked. I call myself James Ingram-Ingram was my mother's name, you know-and I'd rather people would n't know who my father is, or why I'm living in this modest way. They would either blame me or pity me, and I won't endure either from strangers, for it's none of their business."

Good night, Mr. Jarrod."

The young man walked on, and the lawyer looked after him approvingly.

In drawing a chair to the rail he found that seated beside him was the little fat man he had noticed at the Annex. This jovial individual was smoking a big cigar and leaning back contentedly with his feet against the bulwark. Jarrod thought the expression upon the round face invited companionship.

"Going to Tamawaca?" he asked.

"Yep," said Geo. B. Still.

"Been there before?" continued Jarrod, leaning back in turn.

"Yep. Own a cottage there."

"Oh," said the other; "then I'm glad to meet you."

"Because I own a cottage?"

"No; because you can tell me something about the place."

"Sure thing!" responded Geo. B. "Climate's fine. That Tamawaca climate's a peach."

"Do you think I can rent a cottage there?"

"Sure. Ask Wilder. He'll fix you."

"Is there a grocery handy, where one can purchase supplies?"

"Yep. Wilder runs it."

"And a meat market?"


"Can I rent a good boat, for fishing?"

"Wilder has 'em."

"Good. Dear me! I forgot to get a bathing suit in Chicago."

"Never mind. Wilder's Bazaar has 'em. Two dollars for the dollar kind."

"What time does the boat get to Tamawaca."

"Four o'clock in the morning. But you stay on board and ride to Kochton, and get your sleep out. Then, in the morning you take a trolley back to Tam.

The steamer puts your baggage off at Iroquois Bay, just across the channel."

"What becomes of it?"

"Wilder ferries it over for twenty-five cents a piece. It's too far to jump."

"But is n't that a heavy charge?"

"Not for Wilder. It's a good deal, of course, but Wilder's deals are always good-for Wilder. You're lucky he don't take the baggage."

"Therefore, if you want Tamawaca, sir, you've just got to take Wilder with it," resumed the little man; "and perhaps you could n't be half so happy there if Wilder was gone."

"Does he own the place?"

"Of course. He and old man Easton."

Tamawaca's the gem of the world-a heaven for loafers, lovers, bridge-players and students of nature-including human. You'll like it there. But as for Wilder and Easton-say! any combination lock on your inside pocket?"

* * *

"When Jarrod arrived at Tamawaca in the course of the next forenoon he found all prophecies most amply fulfilled. Fronting the beautiful bay was a group of frame buildings bearing various signs of one general trend: "Wilder's Grocery;" "Wilder's Ice Cream and Soda Fountain;" "Wilders Model Market;" "Wilders Boat Livery;" "Wilder's Post Office" (leased to Uncle Sam;) "Wilder's Bakery;" "Wilder's Fresh-Buttered Pop-Corn;" "Wilder's Bazaar;" "Wilder's Real Estate Office," etc., etc.

As the lawyer helped his family off the car a man dashed out of the grocery, ran up to him and seized both his hands in a welcoming grip. He was a stocky built, middle sized man, with round features chubby and merry, a small mouth, good teeth, and soft brown eyes that ought to have been set in a woman's face.

"My dear, dear boy. I'm delighted to see you—indeed I am! Welcome to Tamawaca," said the man, in a cordial, cheery tone. "And these are the dear children! My, my—how they have grown! And Mrs. Jenkins, too, I declare!"

"Pardon me," said the lawyer, a little stiffly; "my name is Jarrod."

"Of course—of course!" cried Wilder, unabashed. "Nora, my dear, help me to welcome our good friends the Jarrods, that Dr. Brush has written us about. How nice to see you at last in lovely Tamawaca!"

"I want to enquire about Grant's cottage. He says you have the rental of it."

Wilder's face fell, and his merry expression gave way to one of absolute despair.

"Dear me!" he exclaimed, as if deeply distressed; "how very unfortunate. Grant's cottage was rented only last evening. How sad that I did not know you wanted it!"

"But there are others, of course," suggested Jarrod, after a moment's thought.

"Let-me-see," mused Wilder, reflectively. "There's the Stakes place-but that's rented; and Kimball's is gone, too; and Smith's, and Johnson's, and McGraw's-all rented and occupied. My dear boy, I'm afraid you're up against it. There is n't a cottage left in Tamawaca to rent! But never mind; you shall stay with me—you and the wife and the dear little ones. I live over the grocery, you know—really swell apartments. You shall stay there as my guests, and you'll be very welcome, I assure you.

"Oh, I can't do that, Wilder," said Jarrod, much annoyed. They had strolled, by this time, to the porch of the grocery and bazaar-a long building facing the bay on one side and the hotel on the other. It had wide porches set with tables for the convenience of consumers of ice-cream sodas. Inside, the building was divided into the meat market, the grocery and the bazaar, all opening on to the same porch.

Jarrod sat down at one of the tables, feeling homeless and despondent.

"Ah!" cried Wilder, slapping the table with emphasis; "I have it! You are saved, dear boy-and not only saved but highly favored by fortune. How lucky I happened to think of it!"

"What is it?" asked Jarrod, with reviving interest.

"Why, I've got Lake View for sale, the prettiest and finest cottage in the whole Park. You shall have it, dear boy-you shall have it for a song."

"But I don't want to buy a cottage," protested Jarrod. "I've not even seen Tamawaca yet, and I don't know as I'll like it."

"Not like it! Not like Tamawaca!" Wilder's voice was sad and reproachful. "My dear boy, everybody likes Tamawaca. You can't help liking it.

"Come, I'll show you the charms of our little heaven upon earth, and at the same time you shall examine lovely 'Lake View.'"

Let us walk over to the Lake front, and I'll astonish you with the beauty of our fairyland."

So Jarrod, leaving his family to be entertained by Mrs. Wilder, who seemed an eminently fitting spouse for her cheery husband, followed this modern Poo-Bah along a broad cement walk that led past the hotel and through a shady grove. There were cottages on every side, clustered all too thickly to be very enticing, but neatly built and pleasant enough for a summer's outing.

A few paces more brought them to a magnificent view of the great inland sea, and soon they emerged upon a broad beach lapped by the rolling waves of grand old Michigan.

Jarrod's eyes sparkled. It was beautiful at this point, he was forced to admit, and the cool breath of the breeze that swept over the waters sent an exhilarating vigor to the bottom of his lungs and brought a sudden glow to his cheek.

Along the lake front was another row of pretty cottages, running north and south for a distance of half a mile or more. At frequent intervals an avenue led from the beach back into the splendid forest, where, Wilder explained, were many more cottages hidden among the trees.

"Some people prefer to live in the forest," said he, "while others like to be nearer the water. The cottage you have just bought is near the big lake, and finely located."

"Here," continued the guide, as they went south along the wide beach walk, "is the residence of the Father of Tamawaca, my dear partner Mr. Easton." He stumbled on a loose, worn out plank, and came to a halt. "This walk, dear boy, ought to be repaired. I've talked to Easton about it more than once, but he says he's too poor to squander money on public improvements."

"Who owns the street?" enquired Jarrod.

"Why, we own it, of course—Easton and I. You see, this whole place was once a farm and some men bought it and laid out and platted Tamawaca Park. They incorporated under the laws of Michigan as a summer resort company, and so they kept the control of all the streets and public grounds in their own hands. It's a private settlement, you understand, and when a man buys one of the lots he acquires the right to walk over our streets as much as he likes-as long as he behaves himself."

"And if he doesn't?"

"If he doesn't we can order him off."

"Was the original plat recorded?" asked Jarrod.

"Yes; of course."

"With the streets and public grounds laid out in detail?"


"Then," said the lawyer, "the first man that bought a lot here acquired a title to all your public streets and grounds, and you lost the control of them forever."

"Nonsense!" cried Wilder.

"I've read law a bit," said Jarrod, "and I know."

"Michigan law is different, dear boy," announced Wilder, composedly. "Still we mean to do what's right, and to treat every cottage owner fair and square—as long as he does what we tell him to."

Jarrod's face was beaming. He had not been so highly amused for months—not since the Crosbys had sold out. He had n't seen Lake View Cottage as yet, but already he had decided to buy it. A condition that would have induced an ordinary man to turn tail and avoid Tamawaca was an irresistible charm to this legal pugilist. But his cue was now to be silent and let Wilder talk.

"Here, dear boy," that seraphic individual was explaining, "is where Noggs lives, the wealthy merchant prince of Grand Rapids. And here's the cottage of our distinguished author. Don't have to work, you know. Just writes books and people buy 'em. Snap, ain't it?"

"Looks that way," said Jarrod. "What's that cottage standing in the middle of yonder avenue?"

Excerpted from 1899 by WILLIAM BOLLMAN. Copyright © 2013 by William Bollman. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Foreword....................     xi     

Prologue....................     xiii     

Tamawaca Folks....................     1     

Epilogue....................     79     

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