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Grand Beach, Michigan
—  Village  —
Location of Grand Beach, Michigan
Coordinates: 41°46′21″N 86°47′30″W / 41.7725°N 86.79167°W / 41.7725; -86.79167
Country United States
State Michigan
County Berrien
 - Total 0.9 sq mi (2.2 km2)
 - Land 0.9 sq mi (2.2 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 620 ft (189 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 221
 - Density 257.6/sq mi (99.5/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 49117
Area code(s) 269
FIPS code 26-33260[1]
GNIS feature ID 0627080[2]

Grand Beach is a village in Berrien County of the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the village population was 221. The village is within New Buffalo Township on the shore of Lake Michigan near to the Michigan-Indiana border.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.9 square miles (2.2 km²), all land.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 221 people, 108 households, and 69 families residing in the village. The population density was 257.6 per square mile (99.2/km²). There were 340 housing units at an average density of 396.4/sq mi (152.6/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 98.19% White, 1.36% African American, and 0.45% from two or more races.

There were 108 households out of which 13.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.2% were married couples living together, 2.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.54.

In the village the population was spread out with 13.1% under the age of 18, 2.7% from 18 to 24, 14.5% from 25 to 44, 42.5% from 45 to 64, and 27.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 56 years. For every 100 females there were 85.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the village was $61,875, and the median income for a family was $103,369. Males had a median income of $86,188 versus $36,875 for females. The per capita income for the village was $51,788. None of the families and 1.8% of the population were living below the poverty line.


Grand Beach was founded by the Grand Beach Company around 1903. It was conceived of partially as a short-stay resort. People would take the Michigan Central Railroad to Grand Beach station, rent small cottages for a day or two, eat in the dining hall (located at the corner of Lakeview and Whitewood), and enjoy bathing and golfing.

The beach has always been important to the people of Grand Beach. An entertainment pier was built out into Lake Michigan and offered dining and even dancing in the 1920s. The pier has long since disappeared, though its supporting posts are sometimes visible when the lake levels are low. The Golfmore Hotel was built as a luxury hotel just across the creek in Michiana Shores, Indiana. A footbridge over the creek linked the hotel to the pier area. The hotel was an important part of the social life of the beach in the 1920s, even in the winter when it hosted ski jumping events. The hotel burned down around 1939.

The public golf course has been an integral part of village life at Grand Beach since its establishment. At one time there were 27 holes, but for many decades the course has been a charming 9-hole course that runs from the club house down to the village gate and back. In the 1950s the village hall moved from the old dining hall structure on the lake to the newly built golf club house / community center.

Lake levels have had an impact on the focus of village social activities. In the early 1950s and during much of the 1970s lake levels were high and beach frontage minimal. From the mid-80s the beach has been wider and more people have thus been able to enjoy it.

Three Frank Lloyd Wright homes were built in Grand Beach. One of them, the Ernest Vosburgh Summer House (built in 1916) on Ravine Road near Crescent and Royal still retains much of its original design.

The 1950s brought relative decline as all of Southwest Michigan was bypassed by Chicagoans in favor of more exotic resorts. However, beginning in the 1980s Grand Beach and nearby New Buffalo has undergone a renaissance as a charming, unpretentious, yet accessible resort area. The former Forest Beach YWCA camp was developed as a gated community with multi-million dollar homes, thus giving the area a slightly more upscale image.

In recent decades Grand Beach has probably been most famous because of its association with Chicago's Daley family.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

External links

Coordinates: 41°46′24″N 86°47′51″W / 41.77333°N 86.7975°W / 41.77333; -86.7975

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