Muskegon’s Western Avenue

Our taproom’s 55 foot mural of historic downtown Muskegon shows us a Western Avenue very different from the one we know today.

Click on the images below to learn more about the history behind our downtown.

From Jefferson Street, Looking West.  Circa 1900.

Lyman Block Building

The Lyman Block was built in 1888 at the corner of First St and Western Ave. When constructed, it was Muskegon's only four story building and featured a passenger elevator and electric lighting. Lyman Block' type="text">' type="text">The Lyman Block was built in 1888 at the corner of First St and Western Ave. When constructed, it was Muskegon's only four story building and featured a passenger elevator and electric lighting. Lyman Block

Street Cars

In the early 1900s, street cars were an extremely popular method of transportation throughout downtown Muskegon and other parts of the city. During the summers, street cars left downtown for the beach every 10 minutes, charging 5 cents for the trip.

Fred Brundage & Co.

Fred Brundage & Co. was one of the best known druggists in Muskegon. In addition to medicines, the store was extremely well known for toys and holiday goods.

Brundage

Amuse Theater

The Amuse Theater was located at the corner of Western Avenue and Jefferson St. It opened in approximately 1911 and closed around 1917.
Amuse Theater

From Market Street, Looking East.  Circa 1938.

Flatiron Building

The Flatiron Building sat in the middle of the intersection of Western Avenue (right) and Market Street (left).

Flatiron Building

Pigeon Hill Brewing Company Advertisement

The advertisement may be digitally altered, but this billboard was among the most desirable in town until the demolition of the Flatiron building. The original advertisement (one of many displayed here over the years) is shown below.
Billboard

Brundage Drugs

Fred Brundage & Co. was one of the best known druggists in Muskegon. In addition to medicines, the store was extremely well known for toys and holiday goods.

Brundage

A. Schulte

A. Schulte Cigar Store opened in the early 1920s and remained as the Flatiron Building's anchor tenant for many years.

G & L Hot Dogs

This "EAT" sign marks the location of the first G & L hotdogs location, opened in 1926. One of many quick-service hot dog stands to open downtown during this period, G&L has experienced lasting success and remains a local favorite.

Coney Island Restaurant

The Coney Island Restaurant (with a sign that is only faintly visible in this photograph) was another popular lunch spot on Western Avenue in the first part of the 20th century.

Coney Restaurant

From Third Street, Looking East.  Circa 1910.

The Occidental Hotel

Originally built in 1867 as a 14-room boarding house, the Occidental Hotel went through several major renovations and additions, eventually becoming one of the finest hotels in West Michigan. The hotel was leveled in April of 1975 to make way for parking. The photo below shows the Occidental circa 1930.

Occidental Hotel

Laflin's Cafe

Laflin's Cafe and Lunch Room was opened around 1895 and served "first class meals at popular prices." The location was especially popular with the numerous businessman who frequented the location for both lunch and dinner.

This streetcar, part of the parade shown in the photo, was one of many that transported passengers between downtown Muskegon and Lake Michigan.

Muskegon's Opera House

Originally built in 1878, the Opera House was intended to bring "upscale" entertainment to a city full of saloons and brothels. The Opera House burned to the ground in 1913 and in 1914, the Elk's Temple was built in the same location.

Opera House' type="text">
Opera House Originally built in 1878, the Opera House was intended to bring "upscale" entertainment to a city full of saloons and brothels. The Opera House burned to the ground in 1913 and in 1914, the Elk's Temple was built in the same location.

Opera House

From Jefferson Street, Looking West.  Circa 1938.

Lyman Block Building

Lyman Block The Lyman Block was built in 1888 at the corner of First St and Western Ave. When constructed, it was Muskegon's only four story building and featured a passenger elevator and electric lighting.

G & L & Puritan Sandwhich Shoppe

Both G&L and Puritan Sandwich Shoppe were frequent lunch stops for the businessmen, shoppers, and workers who spent their days downtown.

Regent Theater

The Regent Theater opened in 1916 with seating for 1,100 people. The theater was eventually torn down to make way for the Muskegon Mall. Look on our taproom wall for an original movie poster from the Regent Theater.

Amazon Building

The Amazon Knitting Company operated produced underwear, gloves, hosiery, and other garments in this building from 1896 through 1943. For several decades, the building housed various manufacturing companies before it was rehabilitated and converted to a mixed use residential/retail building in 2001.
Amazon Building

Noble Buick

Although you cannot see it in the photo, the Noble Building is located in approximately this location. Noble Buick

Shaw Walker Furniture Company

Formed in 1899 by A.W. Shaw and L.C. Walker, Shaw-Walker Furniture became a leader in furniture manufacturing and innovation. The one million square foot furniture factory is one of only three buildings shown on our wallpaper that still stands today.

Shaw Walker

Neisner Brothers & S.S. Kresge

Neisner Bros. and S. S. Kresge were both "chain stores," with prices ranging from 5 cents to $1.00. Kresge's eventually morphed into K-Mart. Further down the block, both Florsheim and Woolworth's operated retail stores, evidence of how successful the shopping district was in downtown Muskegon.

Hackley Union National Bank

Hackley Bank