The Name Pinchtown  
from the book Pinchtown written by Mildred Lois Swanson Johnson

Back to Startpage

Startpage

Genealogy
Genealogy

"Pinchtown!!" "Where's that?" Many people ask this question when they first hear the name "Pinchtown". According to the plat book for Muskegon county for 1872, Pinchtown was a narrow strip wedged in between the Village of lakeside and the City of Muskegon. It was bounded on the west by Ruddiman Creek, on the east by Laketon Avenue, on the south by the gully to the north by Muskegon Lake.

In the spring of 1840, George Ruddiman, an early limberman arrived in Muskegon. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. When he was seventeen years old he and his parents had set out for America, in 1833. At the time Mr. Ruddiman arrived in Muskegon the Indians abounded and came to Muskegon to sell their furs and sugar. There were few settlers. There was nothing where the business part of Muskegon is except a log house near where the corner of Terrace Street and Western Avenue now is. Muskegon according to Gerage Ruddiman had neither law nor gospel, but the folks lived as near the golden rule as possible.
Ruddiman Creek was once known as Cherokee Lake. It recieved its new name because of the lumberman, George Ruddiman who plotted the area.


The name Pinchtown was suggested by James A. Robinson and this because the area was pinched in between the Village of Lakeside and the city of Muskegon.
One of Muskegon's newspapers reported the following on September 21, 1883:
"
What a horrible name!! However the Village of Pinchtown is growing rapidly and has sixty homes. It ought to be annexed to the city."

For the most part the nationalities that settled in Pinchtown were immigrants from Sweden. There were also Norwegians, Germans, English, Scotch, Irish, Polish and Hollanders.
The 1884 Census reported that Pinchtown had 607 inhabitants. It contained the homes of respectable and industrious people and had a good school. This school was named the Lakeview School in 1895 when Pinchtown was annexed to Muskegon.

Click for top of page