Historic Map - Grand Rapids, MI - 1868

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View of Grand Rapids, Kent County, M.I., 1868 / drawn & published by A. Ruger.

This hand-colored bird’s-eye view print of Grand Rapids, Michigan was drawn and published by Albert Ruger, Chicago Lith. Co. in 1868. Grand Rapids was settled by Europeans in the 1830's along the banks of the Grand River.

The land, which had previously been cultivated by the Ottawa Indians, continued to yield valuable crops of wheat, corn, potatoes and garden produce for the early settlers. Grand Rapids was a central marketing and transportation center for the farmers of the region as well as an agricultural supply town.

Gypsum began to be mined in the area in the 1840's. Ground locally, the mineral was used as a farm fertilizer additive.

Grand Rapids earned city status in 1850. By that time, the lumber industry was of great interest, as furniture manufacturers began to emerge throughout Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids was referred to as “Furniture City” during this era.

The image includes labeled streets, buildings, bridges, waterways and railroad routes.

Features numbered references to the following locations:

  • High School.
  • Ward School.
  • County Offices.
  • D. & M. R. R. Depot.
  • East Side G. R. & I. R. R. Depot.
  • West Side G. R. & I. R. R. Depot.
  • 1st Baptist Church.
  • 2nd Baptist Church.
  • Congregational Church.
  • 1st Dutch Reformed Church.
  • 2nd Dutch Reformed Church.
  • Episcopal Church.
  • Catholic Church.
  • Hollandish Church.
  • Lutheran Church.
  • 1st Methodist Church.
  • German Methodist Church.
  • 1st Presbyterian Church.
  • 2nd Presbyterian Church.
  • Swedenborgian Church.
  • Universalist Church.
  • Methodist Church.
  • Cemetery.
  • National House.
  • Rathburn House.
  • Bridge St. House.
  • Eagle Hotel.
  • Tremont House.
  • Michigan House.
  • Union House.
  • Canal St. House.
  • Ohio House.

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