Kentwood Michigan History
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Tornadoes are rare in Western Michigan, but when they strike it's a reminder that they can happen almost anywhere, anytime. The Musketawa Trail is one of the best places to escape if you live or work in Kentwood, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor or Grand Haven. These cities are bordered by the Grand River, the campus of Michigan State University and the University of Michigan Medical Center.
Oakdale Park had its own post office until 1888, when it became part of the city of Grandville, which had been governed since 1834. The former Wyoming Township included the Greenville subdivision of CSX Pere Marquette (sold to Mid-Michigan in 1976), which had just over six miles of track running from south to north in the eastern part of Vergennes Township. This hall was eventually sold to the city of Grand Rapids in 1967, where it stood until the late 1970s, when it was demolished to make way for a modern fire station.
Occupied by the Oakdale Park Historical Society, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, the museum has completed the construction of a new exhibit on the history of the community of Kentwood and its history.
The first collection of the museum, founded in 1854 as the Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History, were cabinets and curiosities, compiled by a group of students from the University of Michigan College of Arts and Sciences. The Western Michigan Genealogical Society is located in Oakdale Park Historical Society, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Capital contributions have helped build a new exhibition on the history of Kentwood and its history, as well as the expansion of the Community Archives and Research Center, a cooperative support facility in a former Meijer grocery store on East Main Street, east of Grand River Avenue.
It was built in 1858 and is one of the oldest houses in South Haven and registered on the National Register of Historic Places. There is a surviving Hopewellian group of barrows that once existed in the lower Grand River Valley and whose hills still exist. It is located on a 17-acre site that originally consisted of 17 barrows and is located at the southeast corner of East Main Street and East Michigan Avenue in Kentwood.
Today Paris Township is part of the city of Kentwood, but only historians and descendants of founding families remember the history of its origins. The historic significance of this site was recognized in 1957 when it was added to the Michigan Register of Historic Sites, and in 1965 when the site was designated a National Historic Landmark and then entered on the National Register for Historic Places.
In 1839 the municipality was formally established by the state legislature and the first town assembly was held. In 1841, the city was incorporated to prevent the Paris community from losing to the new city of Grand Rapids, but the area, including the town hall, then called Oakleigh-Shawmut School District, was incorporated into the city of Grand Rapids in 1959. The Paris township remained a part of Kentwood, a town of about 2,000 inhabitants in 1842.
The company decided to stay in Michigan and then began building a plant about halfway between Grand Rapids and Detroit. Originally seen as a potential site for a new plant in the city of Detroit, the focus shifted to Grand Rapids, where a tax-free "renaissance zone" was designated to provide incentives for the company to build.
Although the city of Grand Rapids opposed the proposed mall, residents were willing to make a change and integrate. A 1961 map shows the railroad on its original route, while a 1962 map indicates that Pennsylvania ended at the intersection of Kalamazoo Avenue and Kalazoo Street in Kentwood Township. The parallel tracks of Conrail Pennsylvania (GR) were removed in 1971 after the railway agreed to concentrate its operations on one track. C & O kept its Detroit operations (which were discontinued on April 30, 1971), but stopped at an intersection on Kal Rapids Avenue for the first time in its history.
In the mid-20th century, the fast-growing Grand Rapids annexed parts of surrounding communities, including Paris, and the tracks were removed in 1991. Rockford had a station in Pennsylvania (GR) and had a post office since 1848, which was incorporated as a village in 1866. Comstock Park was the first station in Kentwood Township and one of only two in Michigan State. Pere Gratiot, a town of about 1,000 people, had its own train station called Alto, which was about a mile west of the Grand River and about two miles north of Kent County.
In 1997, it was also revealed that Autocam was bought by a subsidiary of General Electric, the largest US electronics company at the time. In early 1999, they announced that they would close their South Carolina plant and move their operations to Dowagiac, Michigan. The first fire at the Kentwood Community Fire Station in Kent County occurred at midnight on Saturday, November 23, 1963. It had a population of about 1,000 people and a fire department with two fire stations, a police station and an ambulance.