Pinchtown was officially known as "Ruddiman's Addition to the City of Muskegon" when it was platted by William Ruddiman in 1873. Township Clerk James Robinson gave the settlement its common name because it was pinched between the village of Lakeside and the City of Muskegon. On March 12, 1895, the Michigan legislature passed a bill, signed by Governor John T. Rich, that annexed Pinchtown to the city. Pinchtown was bounded by Lakeshore Drive, Laketon Avenue, Ruddiman Creek and a gully. A shopping district occupied this site from the 1890s to 1950s.
Some of Muskegon's earliest lumber mills were located in Pinchtown. In 1842, Joseph Stronach built a sawmill west of here on Muskegon Lake at Ruddimans Creek. In 1844, George and John Ruddiman purchased the mill. In 1848 the mill was swept away in a flood, and the Ruddiman's rebuilt it the following year. Newcomb McGraft and Anthony Schuyler Montgomery purchased purchased the mill in 1875. In 1890 the mill burned. Standard Oil Company (present-day Amoco) tanks and docks occupied the site from 1924 to 1991.