Garden of Allah was a rock garden within an area of three acres near Big Whitefish Lake. It was developed by Andrew Weigan from 1929-31 as a series of garden stone structures. The entrance was through a pair of great stone pillars. Once you were inside the main gates there was a four foot stone pedestal topped by a large sundial. There were steps leading to a stone lighthouse which stood by a large concrete pond stocked with goldfish and frogs. Additional attractions were a rock grotto with a waterfall, a lily pond, several cobblestone benches in addition to trees and flowering shrubs.
The Silver Family
Bert Silver was born into a show business family. In 1904 he started tent shows and had the first motorized circus in the United States, with four touring cars, four trucks and an advance car. Two of the trucks were built by the Tower Truck Company of Greenville. The Silver Circus was headquartered in Crystal on what is now a county park overlooking Crystal Lake in Montcalm County. Bert and his entire family played in the Silver Family Concert Band as part of the circus and also in concerts.
In 1916 the circus had to be disbanded because the tents and trucks were confiscated by the U.S. Government for use in World War I. When the circus disbanded the family settled in Greenville. In 1909 Bert opened a theater in what is now the Old Kent Bank in Greenville. In 1915 he purchased the Phelps Opera House and renamed it the Silver Theater. That building was torn down in June of 1988.
For additional pictures relating to the Silver Family of Montclam County please click here.