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Entries : Resorts: Summer Journey to Saugatuck
Resorts: Summer Journey to Saugatuck

Resorts: Summer Journey to Saugatuck

Trips across the lake to towns like Saugatuck, St. Joseph, South Haven, and Michigan City were popular with Chicago workers in the early twentieth century. Day, weekend, and even week-long trips to these resorts were easily made by ship from downtown Chicago. Hilda Satt Polacheck, a young Jewish woman who worked in the knitting trades and was an active participant at Hull House, spent the 1911 summer working at the Forward Movement Park in Saugatuck, Michigan. The camp provided vacations for deaf, crippled, and blind children from Chicago. Polacheck described her journey:

It was an overnight trip from Chicago to Michigan, but we were as excited as if we were going to cross the ocean. For some of us it was the first vacation away from Chicago. We had reserved state rooms, one for the boys and one for the girls. There were four bunks in each room. There was little or no sleeping that night. We stayed up on deck, watching the lapping water as the big ship went skimming along. There was a small orchestra on the boat and we danced for a while. We were young and life was beautiful....

Our first view of the Forward Movement Camp was a sight I can never forget. The lake was blue and calm that morning and the sandy beach seemed endless.... The angry whitecaps that I had often seen in Chicago during the stormy weather were hidden in the bosom of the lake. The clouds had been stored in ethereal bags; it was a perfect day!

Polacheck, Hilda Satt. I Came a Stranger: The Story of a Hull-House Girl, ed. Dena J. Polacheck Epstein. 1991, 111–113.