Chamber Celebrates 125 Years!

In 2018, the Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce celebrates 125 years of impacting our community for the benefit of businesses, members, and more!

Since forming in 1893, the chamber has worked on many projects for the advancement of our community. During our 125 year journey, the chamber has helped in projects such as the Muskegon County Airport, public park systems, and the Muskegon Farmer’s Market. Along the way, we have earned national recognition for doing so.

Each month, we will be recognizing a historic moment of the Chamber’s history in what we are calling “Hist-o-gram Stories”.

Hist-o-gram Stories


1893- This month, we are featuring how the Chamber began. It all started with Charles Hackley and a few other lumber industry leaders who saw the need for urban revitalization and economic development in Muskegon. They organized the Muskegon Board of Trade that later formed into the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce in 1893. Thank you, Charles Hackley and other lumber industry leaders, for paving the way!

Exciting Chamber History

1879 – Muskegon Board of Trade is Formed

Charles Hackley and other lumber industry leaders see the need for urban revitalization and economic development. They organize what is called the Muskegon Board of Trade.

 1927 – Chamber Launches Airport Campaign

The Chamber launches a successful campaign to establish a public airport in Muskegon County.

 1950 – Chamber Raises Important Funds

 The Chamber raises funds to construct a new sports arena, which was later named the L.C. Walker arena (1952).

 1954 – Chamber Establishes United Fund

 The Chamber establishes the United Fund with great success. This fund ultimately becomes the United Way of Muskegon County.

 1964 to 1975 – Chamber Reorganizes

 In 1964, the Chamber combines with the MAEPDA and is known as the Muskegon Area Development Council (MADC). The MADC disbands in 1975, and the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce is reorganized.

2002 – Chamber Makes Big Move

The Chamber partners with the Community Foundation, Paul C. Johnson Foundation, and the city to create the Downtown Muskegon Development Corporation (DMDC), to acquire and develop sites downtown.

2007 – Chamber Breaks Ground

The Chamber becomes the fisrt new business to break ground for new building construction, leading the way for more revitalization of Muskegon’s downtown.

1893 – Chamber of Commerce is Formed

The Muskegon Board of Trade form a new Chamber of Commerce to lead local efforts related to urban revitalization and economic development.

1941 – Chamber Welcomes Ferry

The Chamber advocates for and celebrates the inaugural sailing of the Milwaukee Clipper to provide daily ferry services from Muskegon to Milwaukee.

 1953 – Chamber Receives National Recognition

  The Chamber receives national recognition for its “Freedom Week” program to promote patriotism and faith during the Cold-War era of Muskegon’s downtown.

 1957 – Chamber Receives More National Recognition

The Chamber wins national recognition by the United States Chamber of Commerce for having one of the best safety programs in the nation.

 1989 to 1999 – Chamber Reorganizes Twice More

In 1989, the Chamber comes together with other local organizations to form the Muskegon Economic Growth Alliance (MEGA). In 1999, MEGA dissolves, creating the new Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce.

2004 – Chamber Becomes Founding Member

The Chamber becomes one of the founding members of an initiative to revitalize the downtown. They lobby successfully with others to establish Muskegon, Michigan as a Main Street Community.