Many community members feel a strong affinity for the Griswold, having "grown up" on the stage and it's velvet seats.
One of two historic theaters in Allegan, MI, The Griswold was built in 1929 through a $100,000 bequest from Marilla Griswold, wife of lumberman, banker and merchant, Isaac Griswold. Her dream was to provide a place for the community to come together, experience a variety of entertainment and most of all, enjoy themselves.
The auditorium, which looks much the same as it did in 1929, serves as the home of Michigan's oldest theatre company, the Allegan Community Players. The dark wood moldings, open floor plans, and numerous multi-pane windows reflect the classic Arts & Crafts or Craftsman architecture. While smaller than Marilla Griswold hoped, the facility has has met her dream and original purposes of a setting for community functions and hosts a variety of events year round.
According to local legend, the name "Allegan" comes from the Chippewa language and means, "Lake of the Algonquins." Indian agent and statesman Henry Schoolcraft coined the name of the county and city in 1837.
There is much to see and do in historical Allegan. A good place to start is by parking near the Allegan Public Library at 331 Hubbard Street and picking up a copy of the self-guided walking tour, which includes 70 historic buildings and homes. There are many vintage buildings in the historical downtown as well as unique gift stores, coffee shops, taverns, restaurants, antique stores and thrift stores. There are excellent views of the Kalamazoo River along the boardwalk, as well as many comfortable places to sit down, take a break and enjoy the view.
Allegan has a very active arts community. Music, theatrical and historical events are held throughout the year. For more information on events visit www.positivelyallegan.com.