Our Story

OTRT at Dusk

This was the home-base for Mollhagen’s Lake Michigan fish operation, established in 1853.  This family-owned business operated as a fish wholesaler for over a century. In the 1970’s, the State of Michigan stopped issuing commercial fishing licenses so Mr. Lloyd Mollhagen converted his business to a charter service, marine gas station and tackle shop. After Mr. Mollhagen’s passing in the early 90s, the property was sold to some locals who converted it into a bar and restaurant (Barney’s Boathouse). In 2006, it was purchased by a gentleman from Mason, MI who leased the property out to several restaurateurs (St. Joe Boathouse and Mollhagen’s). In 2014, our management team purchased the site and created On The River Tavern, bringing the Morrison Channel back to life.

On either side of the Tavern were similar fishing operations. Adjacent to the South, the Truscott Boat Factory flourished (other companies nearby: cable-making, flour mill, fresh-water oyster processing, buttons, elevators)…and now, you are a part of its rich history!

The ‘Inter-Urban’ Railroad (Benton Harbor to South Bend) ran just west of the OTRT with a bridge over the Radio/Mechanics/Industrial Island and on into Benton Harbor. There was a turn-around spur just south of the farthest south building at Home Builder’s Lumber.

We relish those who knew ‘Mo’ and his family and their stories. We are collecting tales & pictures of the people, place and surrounding area and will share…so please contact us if you have a story!