The Standard Sand Mine, located off of Lakeshore, Ave. in Grand Haven is easily one of the most cherished and loved places by Forgotten Existence. So many memories have been made here for us.
This facility started off as the "Kinney Sand Company. Started in 1924, its name was soon changed to Standard Sand Company. ... the company mined sand to be sold to foundries and railroads. The sand in more recent years was hauled out by truck, but in the early years a railroad spur was laid along side the sand dune and trains were used to transport the high-quality sand. The company employed about six people." (Ewing, 1999 pg. 17)
The Standard Sand Mine produced 650,000 tons of sand per year at one point. This was a direct result of constant upgrades and additions to the mine. According to Mr. Dan Warner, an associate of Standard Sand, "In 1977 we added a third conditioning tank to the system and now have a total retention time of six minutes at a feed rate of 300 tons per hour." (Warner, pg. 44)
However, upgrades and additions to the mine are a thing of the past. "Interest in preserving the [sand dunes surrounding the facility] ... began as early as the 1960s when students at [a local elementary school] petitioned a local senator for the state to protect the dune[s]. By 1989 the Ottawa County Parks and Recreation Commission's plan to acquire the Rosy Mound property, including 3,400 feet of beach front, was a number one priority. ... The Standard Sand Company proved to be a good citizen to the community and cooperated in the land transaction with the State purchasing the land and then deeding it to the county." (Costal Care, 2016) It was shortly after this land transaction that the facility became abandoned.
Forgotten Existence first set foot in this facility in early October of 2019. At this time, all of the buildings were still standing, and somewhat stable (however stable and abandoned building could be, that is). Later this same month, in late October 2019, arsonists struck the facility. "The Michigan State Police [is] offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and/or prosecution regarding the recent fires at Standard Sand Corp" (Vargo, 2019) These fires resulted in multiple buildings to collapse, and for the entire facility to quickly feel its affects.
In late 2020 and early 2021, operations began again at the Standard Sand Mine. Only this time, it wasn't to mine sand, it was to demolish the entire site. As of April 2021, there is nothing remaining at this site. It is all completely flat land, filled with sand.