Although the Grand Haven State Park is now State property, it is within the City limits and was once City property.
On May 7th, 1884, the City paid Galen Eastman $3,500 for all of the dune land and beach property that is today Highland Park. Mr. Eastman had acquired it some years earlier from Rix Robinson, who had been granted a patent for all of the land south of the mouth of the Grand River by the U.S. Government, in 1833.
By 1895, Stephen Monroe, manager of the Grand Haven Gas Light Company, had acquired all of the property that is now the Five Mile Hill area, as well as the beach in front of that property.
During William Loutit’s run as mayor (1916-1920), the City of Grand Haven purchased the 35 acres of beach in front of Five Mile Hill from the Monroe estate for $1,000 to use as public beach. In 1920, the City sold the 22 acres nearest the pier to the State, and the Grand Haven State Park was born.
The City kept the remaining acreage, near Highland Park, for use as the City Beach, which to this day extends from the State Park on the north to Stickney Ridge on the south.Source: In the Path of Destiny by David Seibold