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The Tisdale House, now known as Great Lakes Manor, dates to the 1870’s and was constructed by William Graham Tisdale as his family home. Mr. Tisdale, an important local builder, was instrumental in building a wooden bridge that connected the towns of Saugatuck and Douglas in 1874. He also built a mill for the Dutcher family and a tanning factory for the Gerber family, who would later invent the famous baby food here in Douglas. William Tisdale passed away in 1907.
William’s daughter Electa Tisdale married William Campbell of the Campbell Road family, and they moved into the Tisdale house. They operated a Lake Kalamazoo ferry directly across the street from the house to take travelers to and from Saugatuck. In 1914, William’s son George Tisdale retired as a GreatLake’s ship captain and moved into the house. George took over the ferry business, operating two boats, one named “The West Shore” and the other named “Isobel”.
In 1919, Mrs. George Tisdale, who’s father, Lieutenant William White was a civil war veteran, hosted a dinner honoring him and other civil war veterans here at the house. The event was reported in the local newspaper, The Commercial Record, on October 8, 1919.
It is alleged that the famous author, James Fennimore Cooper, was a friend of the Tisdale family and that the creek running through the property was the creek James Fennimore Cooper described in his book, Oak Openings. The Tisdale family owned the home for approximately 100 years. The Manor was most recently operated as a Bed and Breakfast known as Deer Creek Inn & Cottages.
Now operating strictly as a Saugatuck / Douglas vacation rental property, our guests can come and go as they please, relax in the shaded yard amidst lush gardens, ride bikes to and from nearby attractions, and enjoy their time away from the daily rigors of their day.
+1 (888) 458-1113