Located on the Kalamazoo River, a short distance from its outlet into Lake Michigan, Douglas stretches west with a long string of large cottages along Lake Michigan. The village was settled as a lumber mill town in 1851, laid out in 1861, and incorporated in 1870. The Jonathan Wade House (1851; 149 Washington Street), a plank house that preceded the Settler's House ( OT4) in Holland, was the first house. Locally cultivated peach orchards replaced lumber in the 1880s. Following the end of the orchards and a local boat building industry in 1900, Douglas assumed prominence as an art and resort colony. Examples of its architect-designed houses from the resort period are the wooden Red House (2006, Jeffrey A. Scherer of Meyer, Scherer and Rockcastle) at 325 Water Street overlooking upper Lake Kalamazoo and inspired by orchard farm structures, and the large ten-bedroom Hellmuth Cottage (1924, Harry and George Hellmuth) at 204 Lakeshore Drive with a view of Lake Michigan.
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