OGDEN DUNES | The small town on the shore of Lake Michigan has a pretty rich and interesting history.
Born from Chicago developers looking to create a planned community until the Great Depression hit, the town also has its bits of mystery, including one famous resident, Alice Mable Gray, otherwise known as Diana of the Dunes.
Residents Ken Martin and Dick Meister have spent the last few months exploring the town's history, compiling photos and stories. "The History of Ogden Dunes" is being published by Arcadia Publishing as part of its Images of America books, Martin said.
The book will debut during a book signing and historical program at 4 p.m. Sunday, May 25, at the Ogden Dunes Community Church at the entrance of the town on Hillcrest Road.
"Both Dick and I have a passion for history," said Martin, who worked in marketing.
Meister is a history professor at DePaul University.
Martin said the book explores the town's history in some 220 photos and accompanying text, back to the mid 1910s.
"The book tells the story of the building of community," Martin said. "It is a history of conflict that brought us together or tore us apart."
Martin said the book tells of the conflict through the decades in the town, industry versus environment, accomodaters versus resisters. It looks at the challenges the community faced, the outside influences and how residents addressed their differences.
Martin and Meister are members of the Ogden Dunes Historical Society and took on the project last July. Martin said it took about three months to compile the information, including scanning some 700 photographs, before the book's deadline in November.
"It was fun, partly because we're crazy," he said.
Besides the book signing, the historical society also will host its annual ice cream social at noon on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26, at the Hourglass Museum, 7 Lupine Lane.