Surveyed in 1839, the village of Pier Cove was once hailed as "the busiest port between St. Joseph and Muskegon." Before the Civil War, Pier Cove was a bustling community and a major point for lumber distribution, with ships departing daily carrying tanbark and cordwood to Chicago and Milwaukee. With the exhaustion of the lumber supply in the late 1860s, the fire of 1871 and the coming of the railroad, the sawmill was moved to Fennville, and Pier Cove's prosperity diminished. In the 1880s, however, fruit became a major shipping commodity. This site once overlooked the warehouse and two piers that revived the village's economy. In 1899 a freeze killed much of the local harvest and shipping at Pier Cove was reduced to passenger traffic. Commercial activity ceased in 1917.