Residents of Coldwater Can Say ‘Tarzan Slept Here’
Lovers of the "Tarzan" books (and its subsequent movies about the same character) know the author Edgar Rice Burroughs is from Chicago, and spent a majority of his life on, and around the Lake Michigan area, before moving to California later in his life.
But a book published in 2014 describes how the acclaimed author would often retreat to a small town in southwest Michigan as an escape from the big city.
Burroughs married into a Michigan Family. His first wife, Emma Hulbert, was from Coldwater. So it makes sense that he would spend a fair amount of time visiting. And it was a fairly short trip from the hustle and bustle of Chicago, around the southern part of Lake Michigan, to Coldwater.
Initially, Burroughs said he liked spending time in Coldwater, and camping around Lake Morrison, to relax, and not think about work for a little while.
But while he was "relaxing" in Coldwater, he was still inspired to write some of his most well-known works, including "Beyond Thirty," (also known as "The Lost Continent") and "Jungle Tales of Tarzan," which he spent two years putting out between 1916 and 1917.
The retreat where Burroughs spent most of his time, with his in-laws, specifically, was "Sunnyside Farms," which is still there today. The property is private, and not open to the public. However, private tours can be arranged, and a recent conference took a trip to the farm, where they can confirm, to this day, many of the buildings that Burroughs may have worked around, and lived in, are still standing.
And this is only the TIP of the iceberg of his live in Coldwater. In 2014, Michigan author Michael A Hatt wrote about his live in Coldwater. The book, "Tarzan Slept Here," talks about his time "relaxing" in southwest Michigan, and includes photos, artifacts, and illustrations of his time there.
It's amazing to me, that even overlooking a small lake, near a small town in southwest Michigan, Burroughs was still inspired to write about a man living in the jungle, and some incredible science fiction... because nothing screams "jungle man" and "science fiction" like the lakes and trees of southwest Michigan.