Mulligan’s Hollow is named after John Mulligan, who settled at the base of Five Mile Hill in the 1880s and made a small farm to work. The City purchased the land in 1908, and it was used as a site for barracks for the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. These were later used as a boot camp for the Coast Guard during World War II.
The use of the buildings in Mulligan’s Hollow decreased gradually after the war with most of them falling into a state of disrepair. By the early 60s the only structure still in good condition was the old mess hall (with its concrete floor), and this was converted into a warming hut for the new Mulligan’s Hollow Ski Bowl, which opened with a spectacular Christmas show in December of 1963.
In the early 70s any other remaining buildings were demolished to make way for the park. Mayor John Walhout dedicated the park on August 25, 1973. This 80-acre piece of land has become Grand Haven’s largest and most versatile park, and houses the Ski Bowl, YMCA, tennis courts, softball/soccer fields, and of course it most recently became home to the Grand Haven Skatepark.Source: In the Path of Destiny by David Seibold