House of David Benton Harbor Michigan Virtual Park Tour and Museum - The History of The House of David Benton Harbor Michigan
 

Click The Picture To ENLARGE  -  House of David Eden Springs Park & Zoo Benton Harbor Michigan


  House Of David Virtual Tour 
 Eden Springs Park & Zoo
~  Main Entrance   ~

Tour The Park by Arial MapandCome see all the move cips compliments of Earl & MaryAlice Boyersmith and Dan & Deb Geib

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Click the pictures to enlarge
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Click The Picture To ENLARGE  -  House of David Eden Springs Park & Zoo Benton Harbor Michigan

Click The Picture To ENLARGE  -  House of David Eden Springs Park & Zoo Benton Harbor Michigan

Click The Picture To ENLARGE  -  House of David Eden Springs Park & Zoo Benton Harbor Michigan

Click The Picture To ENLARGE  -  House of David Eden Springs Park & Zoo Benton Harbor Michigan

Click The Picture To ENLARGE  -  House of David Eden Springs Park & Zoo Benton Harbor Michigan

Click The Picture To ENLARGE  -  House of David Eden Springs Park & Zoo Benton Harbor Michigan



Click The Picture To ENLARGE  -  House of David Eden Springs Park & Zoo Benton Harbor Michigan


Click The Picture To ENLARGE  -  House of David Eden Springs Park & Zoo Benton Harbor Michigan



Main Entrance 
Eden Springs Aviary & Zo
o

   Israelite bands were often to be seen and heard around the colony’s buildings and soon the colonists found a crowd of non-members hanging around on weekends to hear the bands play.  A bandstand  and a large birdhouse to the north of Bethlehem were built to entertain their "Gentile" visitors. They also constructed an ice cream parlor, where the waffle cone is said to have been created.

    By 1907 the crowds drawn to the Ice Cream Parlor became so large that they began to get in the way of their daily living.  The business needed to be relocated away from their private dwellings.  Land to the immediate south of the existing colony was purchased from the Eastman Springs Company.

     In 1907 Benjamin Purnell announced plans to develop an amusement park in the large area which is now located between Britain and Empire Avenues in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  The park opened in 1908 and during its long impressive history included a zoo with lions, tigers and bears, miniature train rides, an aviary where peacocks roamed freely, live music and entertainment, the birth of the waffle cone and numerous other attractions.

   Your tour begins here at the Southside main entrance located off of what is now Empire Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan.  In the past, you could travel by boat and ride buses and street cars to the park.  From the main entrance  you could get  train tickets and have dinner and stay at the  Hotel  and  Vegetarian Restaurant.  You could also enter the park from the north side train station on Britain Avenue.


    From here you could walk East past the Train Station and Restaurant and enter the Gardens, Zoo & Aviary


   "The south depot was the arrival point for most visitors to the park. There was also an earlier version of the south depot. The depot was ringed by cottages, a baseball park, zoo, restaurant and hotel.  Inside the depot were souvenir stands and an ice cream parlor.  On the east side of the depot was a hopper and water tank for the replenishment of coal and water for the miniature engines.  Once refueled the trains would depart on their return trip through the zoo, over the east trestle, past more tourist cabins and the Diamond House to the north depot on Britain Ave. "( Israelite House of David website)

"As you entered the zoo you would find a  row of bird cages on your left or the South side or near the ravine.  There were  parrots, small birds, eagles, cockatoos, peacocks and emus.  There were three people who had charge of the zoo - Tapping, Billy Harrison and Chic Bell.  Mr. Tapping was associated with the birds in the beginning." ( Israelite House of David website)

The zoo also included  alligator ponds, kangaroos a monkey house &  sea lion Lion and Tiger cages were opened in 1908 and closed in 1945. The animals were sold to the The Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

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Click to Go To the Movies

We are very happy to bring you  movie clips
compliments of Earl &
Mary Alice Boyersmith

Train House I
Train House II
Main Entrance
Main Entrance II
All Aboard

Train Coming In




 

 

  

Here are some pictures of the South Train Station as it exists today. Even as time left its mark, the beauty and craftsmanship can still be seen

Exterior Pictures
Interior Pictures

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This Website Created by
Dan Geib