Grand Haven History - Written in 1882 in the book - The History of Ottawa County

This beautiful little city, the Saratoga of the West, lies compactly on the left bank of the Grand River, not far from its debouchure into Lake Michigan.

Immense sand hills rise like ramparts between the city and the lake shore, and encroach upon the west side, in some cases burying houses in their progress.

A bare and glistening wall of sand with a broad plateau greets the eye whenever westward turned.

The whole city is on light sand, which produces fine gardens and fruit orchards.

Across the river appear more sand bluffs upon a peninsula, or tongue of land, the property of I. V* Harris, where it was once supposed the city would ultimately be established, and where the D., G. H. & M. Railway Depot formerly was.

The depot is now on the Grand Haven side, and one wonders where it could have come in on the other side, so much have the mountains of sand encroached to the very verge of the river, so as to threaten to choke up the channel.

"Not a wrack is left behind" to mark the once busy scenes that were enacted over there; and the $40,000 that were once offered for the sandy peninsula will not soon be offered again.

The Government has caused board fences to be built along the sides of the bluff to stop the blowing of the sand into the river, with what success remains to be seen.

The principal thoroughfare is Washington street, which runs up from the river from where the D., G. H. & M. Depot stands, past the Kirby House, the Post Office, the Cutler House Block, and Sanitarium, on past the Court House Square, and so on over the hill, passing some fine residences and churches.


The D., G. H. & M. have a respectable and solid-looking stone depot, with a fine elevator a little farther up the river.

Their line crosses directly over a bayou and an island, and then the river by a fine iron bridge into Ferrysburg, and thence by another bridge into Spring Lake.

At their depot in Ferrysburg, also a neat little structure, they form a junction with the C. & W. M., which passes on the left side, and freight and passengers are here transferred.

The latter railway has running powers over the iron swing bridge referred to, and has its depot near the junction of Fourth and Jackson streets.

Thence its course is south to Holland and New Buffalo, where it meets the Michigan Central.

The C. & W. M. Depot is known as the Holland depot.

The word "Grand Haven" was not in the original title of the railway, which was simply "Detroit & Milwaukee Railroad."

The road came into Ottawa County in 1858, and has been sold out by the bondholders, so that it is controlled by the Great Western of Canada, F. Broughton, managing director, and F. C. Stratton the local agent.

We learned from Mr. Percival, ex-station-master, that the first station-master was Capt. Heber Squires; then followed in succession John Pickford, Mr. Reikie, Thomas Bromely, then Pickford again, George A. Mills, John T. Percival (1871-4), then F. C. Stratton from 1875 to the present time.

Connected with the change of the depot from the other side of the river there has been some litigation.

The company found the sand encroaching upon them, cramping them for room, and separated from the main center of population by a river.

The buildings needed rebuilding, and in this juncture the idea of moving occurred.

The people of Grand Haven were anxious to have the road on their side of the river, and so a bonus of $50,000 was voted to bring over a railway, the management of which was only too glad to come.

At this time a mania for railways was everywhere prevalent.

This was about 11 or 12 years ago.

About half the bonus was issued in bonds, but for some reason the city refused to pay, and the case has gone to the Supreme Court, which has declared the bonds illegal, except those in the hands of innocent purchasers, of whom it is not known that there are any.

About a year ago a demand was made by the railway company, but so far no suit has been entered for the amount.


Grand Haven is favored in the way of transportation, as she has two strong railway lines, independent of each other; one traversing the regions to the north and south; the other, the east and west, and connected with the fine line of steamers of the Goodrich Transportation Company, who are constantly adding splendid new steamers to their fine to Milwaukee and Chicago.

We doubt if there is in the United States a more magnificent steamer than the "Milwaukee," under the efficient management of Capt. Smallman.

The city has, besides, a priceless heritage in her noble harbor, and her water communication by the lake to the west and the river to the east.

Then in her great lumber business, which is assuming enormous proportions, and which is good for many years yet, Grand Haven is to be congratulated.

The product has risen from 58,000,000 feet in 1876 to 191,000,000 in 1881.

A city turning out about 200,000 feet of lumber has good reason to be proud.

We shall however speak hereafter more in detail.

Suffice it to say here that it has within its limits the greatest shingle mill in the world – that of Boyden & Ackeley.

In manufactures there is great promise of a great future.

The Wait Company, the Stearns Company, the Bryce & Co. Foundry, the Creager Factory, the Ottawa Iron Works (for Ferrysburg is but a suburb, and with Spring Lake, an allied village, and the whole three places may be regarded as one), are all institutions creditable to the rising city.

The two shipyards have done a large business in the past, and are capable of doing more in the future.

But one of the most important factors in the future of a city is its hotels, and in the Cutler House Grand Haven possesses an institution of which she may well be proud, and which is a monument to the public spirit of Dwight Cutler, its proprietor.

The Cutler, one of the finest houses in Michigan, and the beautiful Sanitarium, opposite, under the charge of the celebrated Dr. Paine, with its health-giving mineral waters, baths, and multiform appliances to restore health, will continue to attract increased numbers of tourists in search of health and pleasure.

Then on lake and river there is pleasant surf bathing or boating, with excellent fishing to attract the tourist, with the alternation of a pleasant drive into the country.

The fruit interest gives promise of steady improvement, both on Peach Plains and around Spring Lake.

In churches the city offers variety and abundance.

So numerous are the church edifices that it appears like the city of Brooklyn on a small scale.

In schools Grand Haven can boast of as fine a central school building, with as efficient a staff of instructors as can be found in any city of its size in the State.

Taking all these advantages into consideration, we are led to predict a prosperous future to Grand Haven, which for a number of years in its early history had rather a slow growth.

Its extended railway and water communication, the development of the surrounding villages and towns, and the rise of the city to be a popular summer resort, all augur well for its future.

Its climate and situation are favorable to its steady growth as a center of population.


In the progress of our history we have had to allude to matters connected with the early settlement of the first point in that settlement—the county seat—which, lying at the mouth of the river, was naturally the first to be chosen as a trading post and site of a village, either by those approaching from the lake, or coming down the river from the Rapids.

It is unquestioned that Rix Robinson was the first to occupy Grand Haven, he having pre-empted a quarter-section on the water front in 1825.

Early in 1833 Zenas G. Winsor came in from the Rapids as Robinson’s clerk, and his office was near the "Ferry" warehouse.

He still resides in the city, hale and hearty.

THE REV. WM. M. FERRY may be considered as the first settler who came in with his family and all his interests to make it his permanent home.

As he may be considered as the founder of the village, it may be well to give, as we did in the case of Rix Robinson, a more extended notice.

One whose personal history is identified with the early history of the county, whose life was identified with the business, social, moral and religious interests of the Grand River Valley, merits more than a passing notice.

Mr. Ferry was no common man, although modestly ranking himself as such.

As long as he lived he was looked up to by the community as a leader, and he was felt to be a power.

Briefly sketched, the record of his life is this:

Born at Granby, Mass., September 8th, 1796; the son of a sterling farmer, who, by honest toil, reared a large family, and by example and precept enforced the principles of virtue.

He had also the advantage of a noble and devoted mother, whose wise counsels he early learned to appreciate.

He was a slight, frail youth, not fitted for the rugged toil of a farmer's life.

He looked to the gospel ministry as his future field of action, and the serious question arose, "How shall I enter that field?"

His father's means forbade a hope for his assistance, and his father's pride wrung from him a promise that he would under no circumstances solicit aid from any one, but would rely upon his own endeavors.

Compelled for a time to abandon his cherished hope, he entered the store of his brother as clerk, studying as he could find opportunity.

At eighteen he became tutor in a female seminary under his uncle, Mr. Joseph Montague; taught one year; went to Plainfield, Mass., where he prepared for college, at the same time teaching the academy at Ashfield.

He entered at twenty-one the sophomore year at Union College, and through the kindness of Dr. Yates, one of the professors, who furnished him employment sufficient to pay his expenses, he graduated in his twenty-fourth year, pursued a theological course of two years at Brunswick, N. J., and of six months with Gardiner Spring, D.D., of New York; was licensed and ordained by the New York Presbytery in 1822.

He was appointed to explore among the Indians of the Northwest, which resulted in the establishment of the Mackinaw Mission, where he remained one year laying the foundation of his work.

In 1823 he married Miss Amanda White, of Ashfield, Mass., and with her returned to Mackinaw.

To this mission he devoted twelve years of incessant toil among the Indians and whites at Mackinaw.

None but one gifted as he was could have molded into usefulness such elements as were then adrift on the borders of civilization.

Much to the regret of the Mission Board, in the early part of 1834 he entered into business arrangements which resulted in his settlement at Grand Haven in the fall of that year.

We shall not particularly follow Mr. Ferry from this point, as his doings are blended with those of others, and will be noted in the history of the settlement.

He became more known as a leading business man than in his early character as a Christian teacher.

He built up an immense business, somewhat diversified in its character, becoming the central point of business in Grand Haven; which position he held until his death.

Notwithstanding his apparent absorption in business, he never forgot that he had consecrated himself to God.

For eighteen years he preached to the people of Grand Haven, chargeable to no one.

A generation grew up who revered him as their spiritual teacher.

In his ministrations he was the calm, quiet teacher, unostentatiously striving to lead in the ways of truth and righteousness.

Only the older residents can appreciate the benign influence of the calm, cool preacher, Ferry.

He died at Grand Haven December 30th, 1876, and rests in the cemetery at that place.

The simple inscription on his monument is,

"First toil—then rest:

First grace—then glory."

Among his bequests were $12,000 to a fund to be known as the "Ferry Missionary Fund," the interest to go to the support of the gospel in destitute places in Michigan;

$20,000 to Lake Forest University, Illinois;

$15,000 for a female seminary at Lake Forest;

$30,000 to the American Board of Foreign Missions;

$30,000 to the American Bible Society;

$15,000 to the American Tract Society;

$15,000 to the Presbyterian Publication Society.

It was the happiness and good fortune of Mr. Ferry to be associated with a woman of uncommon intellectual and moral worth.

By their children they were looked up to with veneration; a feeling alike honorable to them as it was to the object of such filial love.

Mr. Ferry was a man of medium height, had the air of a quiet, rather taciturn gentleman, more inclined to listen than to talk; was simple in his habits and tastes; made no display of wealth; was strong of purpose and persevering in his course.

He lived to see his aims accomplished, and died in the full faith of a humble Christian.

After this brief notice of the founder of the city, we resume our narrative of its settlement.

Robert Stuart, a noble-minded Scotchman in the employ of the Fur Company, with which John Jacob Astor was connected, and who had led an adventurous life among the Indians of the Northwest and the Pacific slope, was converted to Christianity under the ministration of Rev. Mr. Ferry, and ever after regarded that devoted missionary with a feeling of gratitude and warm personal friendship.

Having purchased a half interest in Rix Robinson’s pre-emption at the mouth of Grand River, he placed several thousand dollars in Mr. Ferry's hands to go down there from Mackinaw and look after his growing interests on the Grand River.

He had met Mr. Ferry in the East, where he had gone for a time to recruit his broken health.

Mr. Ferry associated with him his brother-in-law, Nathan H. White, and they came in from Detroit by land, arriving September 15th, 1834, in a canoe with two Indians, furnished by Mr. Slater, of the Grand Rapids Mission.

They found Rix Robinson and his family there; also a Frenchman, at the "Lower Diggings," as agent of Louis Campau.

Robinson was busy getting ready for his fall campaign, yet he spent several days in showing his pre-emptions, of which one-half had been purchased by the Grand Haven Company, consisting of Robinson, Ferry and White as equal partners.

Having completed his business arrangements, Mr. Ferry started for his family at Mackinaw in a birch canoe with two Indians.

Returning, he brought a number of persons, mostly Indians and half-breeds.

Robinson returned about the same time, bringing with him Mr. Lasley.

With Mr. Ferry came his bosom friend, P. C. Duvernay and family.

They arrived on Sunday morning, November 23d.

They landed none of their stores, but in Mr. Robinson’s log store, like the Pilgrims 214 years before, they united in solemn worship, Mr. Ferry taking for his text Zachariah iv. 10:

"Who hath despised the day of small things?"

They stopped with Robinson during the winter, and twenty-one persons lodged in a log house 16x22 feet, part sleeping in the loft of the cabin, and part in a vessel that wintered in the harbor.

Neighbors, we may almost say, they had none.

To the north none nearer than Mackinaw, to the west the lonely lake, to the east a few families in Kent County, to the south thirty miles off one family, no other white settlers in all Ottawa County, then an Indian reserve and wilderness.

The Grand Haven Company immediately set to work to lay out the village of Grand Haven, built a mill, bought large tracts of land, bought two mills at Grandville, employed George and Dexter Ranney and Nehemiah Hathaway to log at the mouth of Crockery Creek.

In 1838 they built on too large a scale a stern-wheeler, the "Owashtenaw," which, after running at a loss for a year or two, was burned at the same time as the log mill.

The company continued business five or six years, operating in land and lumber, and managed to use up instead of making money.

At one time a raft of 200,000 feet of lumber was lost in the lake; at another 30,000 logs.

After sinking $100,000 they divided the property by friendly arbitration.

In 1835 Nathan Troop and family arrived from Canada; T. D. Gilbert, Thos. W. White and Miss Mary White; also forty-two Robinsons, kindred of Rix, who came in a schooner from Mackinaw, and settled in Robinson Township and along the river.

Dr. Eastman came in the same summer.

William Butts and William Hathaway, both from Canada, commenced building at the Haven a steam mill, which was afterwards owned by Troop and Ferry.

Troop being a carpenter built a warehouse for Campau at the "Lower Diggings," which, with the land on which it stood, has been carried away by the encroachments of the river.

Captain David Carver came to trade with Clarke B. Albee as clerk, but failed in 1837, went West and perished in Fremont's expedition.

Warehouses were erected, one by Robinson, White and Williams in 1835, and one two years later by Carver.

Albee's warehouse was built by J. F. Stearns, afterwards a “lumberer” on the Muskegon.

The "Lower Diggings" warehouses were first occupied by Thomas Lewis and Peter Andree, of Detroit.

Luke A. White returned East in the fall of 1835, bringing Dr. Stephen Williams, and they, with Robinson, formed the first mercantile firm in the village.

Col. Hathaway came in the fall of 1836, and acted as lumber agent of the Grand Haven Company, afterwards removing to Grandville.

James Clydesdell arrived at this time with seven children, twelve shillings in money, and some portable effects, but did not remain poor, thanks to his industry and pluck.

In the winter of 1835-6 the little colony was threatened with starvation.

The company had money, and had purchased ample supplies, but these were all lost, the vessel being wrecked in which they were being imported.

The position of the colony seemed desperate.

No roads to the southern settlements, no bridges, and nothing but a desperate effort could save them from starvation.

But Nathan White was found ready with the money in his pocket to face the dangers of the way.

He started in a cold, stormy time, nearly lost his life in crossing the Kalamazoo River, but dripping and freezing he got out, and reaching the farming settlement at Battle Creek, bought 200 bushels of wheat, 100 hogs, and a lot of corn for the hogs, and hired men and teams to bring them to Grandville.

White, with his caravan of men, teams, and hogs, wended his way through the snow, to Grandville, where a part of the supplies were left for those dependent on the company there; the rest were taken on the ice to Grand Haven.

The river had fallen, leaving the ice on the banks sloping, so that the hogs once on could not get off, and they had no discretion but to go to the knife at Grand Haven.

Having seen teams and hogs safely on the ice, White arranged for his own triumphant entry into Grand Haven.

He made a collar and tugs for his horse, of hay, lashed a cross-pole to the bow of a canoe, placed his saddle in the stern, with a bed-cord , kindly furnished by Mrs. Oakes, for fines, he harnessed his horse with the haybands hitched to the cross-pole.

He mounted the saddle, kissed his hand to the fair Mrs. Oakes, waved his hand to the by-standing crowd, and shouted, "Git up!"

Like an Esquimaux he shot over the ice, passed the teams midway on the river, and was hailed at Grand Haven, not with the booming of cannon for they  had none, but with the hearty "God bless you" of the whole little community.


On Second Street near Washington stands the first frame building ever erected in the city, dating back to 1835, the old school house, used for many purposes, including county house, meeting house, church and Sunday school.

It is a small plain one-story structure, and now stands denuded of its porch.

It is the oldest landmark of the Haven.

The history of the Presbyterian Sunday school, now one of the largest and best managed in the State, is connected inseparably with the old school house; for here in the autumn of 1835 it was opened to receive 9 children belonging to three families viz.: Wm. M., T. W., and Noah H. Ferry; Francis, Peter and Louise Duvernay; Mason, George and Galen Eastman.

Miss Mary A. White of Ashfield, Mass., sister-in-law of Rev. Wm. M. Ferry, had come from the east to assist in the education of his children, and continued to be the superintendent of the Sunday school until 1851, and today she is still the honored teacher of the ladies' Bible class.

The Rev. W. M. Ferry was the owner of the school house.

Among those who in an early day gave their encouragement and support to the Sunday school were Robert Stuart, Rix Robinson, Henry Pennoyer, Lucius Boltwood, Amos Root and others.

In 1851 Henry Griffin was chosen superintendent and after a time was succeeded by Senator Ferry who held the post for ten years.

In 1857 the school was moved into the new church, and in that year Miss Mary L. Ferry (now Mrs. Galen Eastman) gathered an infant class, "the big little class" at first numbering 12, but now over 100.

The present superintendent is Major S. C. Glover, the postmaster; the pastor the Rev. Mr. Johnson teaches the gentlemen's Bible class.


The progress of Grand Haven has been rather slow until the last few years when everything indicates "a boom."

In five years after the settlement in all Ottawa there were but 280 persons.

Sixteen years after its foundation, it was of such small importance that it had but one mail a week from Grand Rapids.

In 1858 it had but 1,100 inhabitants when the first railroad came in, and connected it with the outer world.

In 1867 and again in 1868 the city was visited by destructive fires which laid low many of its finest blocks, to be succeeded however by finer.

In 1851 there were but four merchants—Ferry, Albee, Gilbert, Griffin.

In April 1853 the steamer Detroit commenced the experiment of making regular trips to Chicago, and the "sawdust" road was made to the ferry.

In 1854 the population was 671, Spring Lake was then Mill Point, a mere lumbering place, the Washington was the chief hotel (since burned).

The second schoolhouse was then built, but there was yet no church edifice, the old school being still used as a place of worship.

Mr. Albee commenced a tannery, in which he employed 100 hands, but it was not a financial success, and so it ceased to exist.

In 1874, the population was 4,363.

In 1867 it became a city, and in the same year the founder of the city Rev. Wm. Ferry died.


In summarizing the history of Grand Haven, the pivotal dates are 1825 as the first entrance of the white man with a trading post; 1834, settlement begins;

1835, village platted—population about 200;

1836, first steamboat, the Michigan, enters the river;

1838, the county seat obtained;

1846, revival of business;

1853, steamer "Detroit" commences regular trips to Chicago;

1854, population 671;

1858, the first railroad; 1861, the second school house opened;

1867, year of the city charter;

1871, Union School House opened, cost $50,000;

1872, July 4th, formal opening of the Cutler House, cost f 200,000;

1874, opening of the Kirby House, cost $50,000, in which year pioneer C. B. Albee died.

1867 was the year of the city charter, with George Parks as the first mayor, and also of the death of the founder of the city, Rev. W. M. Ferry.

In this year there were but three churches in the city - the Presbyterian, the Congregational and Dutch Reformed - but the Episcopal and Lutheran were organizing.

Ferry & Son's was the only banking institution.

There were two newspapers, twenty stores of various kinds, and but two sawmills in that year.

The county officers were:

George Parks, Judge of Probate;

H. Doesburg, Clerk and Register;

George W. Woodard, Treasurer;

B. Fleurtis, Prosecuting Attorney;

M. B. Hopkins, Circuit Court Commissioner;

A. Y. Peck, Surveyor;

C. C. Bailey, Sheriff.

C. B. Albee's tannery, on the corner of Water and Washington Streets, was in full blast.

The four hotels were the Grand River House, by E. Andres, who was also Justice of the Peace; the Railroad House, by W. Kirkland; the Rice House, by J. A. Rice, and the Ottawa House, by James Donelly.

J. W. Barns published the News, and L. M. S. Smith the Union.

H. C. Akeley was Collector of Customs and practiced law.

De Kwake & Co. (C. J. Pfaff and A. De Kwake) carried on a brewery.

The Clerk of Grand Haven Township was John Fuite.

Slavin & Safford had a shingle mill, and Wyman & Buswell had a steam sawmill.

Barns & Akeley (H. C.) were into furniture, and G. D. Sanford carried on the book and stationery business.

The Deputy Collector of Customs was James A. Stevenson.

Geo. Hubbard had G. W. Miller in partnership with him in the hardware business.

Martin Glover and E. Ball carried on carriage making on Second Street.

Sidney Clark and H. Sprick had livery establishments.

The clergymen were Rev. C. Vanderveen, Dutch Reformed; Rev. J. B. Fiske, Congregational; Rev. D. H. Evans, Presbyterian.

Wm. Baird had the Michigan Exchange on the north side of the river.

J. F. Reekie was the agent of the D., G. H. & M. Railway.

The doctors were McNett and Vanderveen.

The lawyers were Park (W. H.) & Akeley (H.C.), Hopkins (M. B.) & Curtis (B. F.).

James P. Donelly was telegraph operator.


We are enabled to give a partial description of the city in this year from a copy of the Grand Haven Union, of July 4th, 1871, of which the editor and proprietor was L. M. S. Smith, the well-known pioneer and late postmaster of the city, and one of his ablest editorials is an obituary notice of his life-long friend, Hannibal Allen Hopkins, who had died just three days before the issue of the paper.

He speaks of him as born at Ulysses, Tompkins County, N. Y., September 5th, 1821, of his removing with his father, the late Benjamin Hopkins, and his four brothers and three sisters in 1831, of his family leaving Canada during the troublous times of- the Rebellion in 1837, of his settlement in Scranton (Eastmanville), of his arrival in Mill Point (Spring Lake), of the old Hopkins' sawmill there, of the discovery of mineral springs, and of his life of general activity and usefulness.

The Union refers to the resignation of Prof. Darling from the public schools.

The Goodrich Transportation Co. was about to withdraw the Skylark from the trip from Holland to Chicago, as it did not pay.

Rowdies seem to have infested the city, as the editor calls for a man with a star on his vest to stand on Washington Street to tap on the shoulder certain roughs who insult the ladies, particularly on Sunday evenings.

The county officers were:

Sheriff—Henry D. Weatherwax;

Judge of Probate—Edwin Baxter;

Clerk—Alfred A. Tracy;

Register—Cornelius Van Loo;

Treasurer—Chas. N. Dickinson;

Prosecuting Attorney—Stephen L. Lowing;

Circuit Court Commissioner —Samuel L. Tate;

Surveyor—James Sawyer;

County Supt. Schools—Charles S. Fasset;

Coroners—Albert Bolks, C. W. Gray;

Fish Inspector—John Zitlow.

City officers:

Mayor—Henry Griffin;

Recorder—C. T. Pagelson;

Marshal—Reuben Vanderhoef;

Treasurer—Jacob Van Der Veen;

Street Commissioner—John Bolt;

City Surveyor—Jas. C. Brayton;

Supervisor—I. V. Harris;

Attorney—R. W. Duncan.

The Aldermen were:

First Ward—James Rice, A. J. Leggat;

Second Ward —H. Rysdorp, E.Killean;

Third Ward—Isaac H, Sanford, Peter Vanweelden;

Fourth Ward—Hiram Bosch, H. S. Clubb.

Deputy Marshals—S. W. Barden, James Kennedy.

1871 must have been a remarkable year, as we read of two frosts in July which nipped the vegetables.

Grosvenor Reed, of Olive, drops in to tell the editor that the crops on under-drained land had escaped the effects of frost.

One of the editorial conundrums was: "Is Vallandigham a patriot?"

This is disposed of in the negative by the publication of a letter of his to Col. Isball, of the Rebel Army, in which "Vall" relieves himself of considerable gall.

The third page of the Union was devoted to Agriculture and Horticulture, with Jacob Garzhorn as editor.

The first column describes a visit to Lake Harbor, and tells what Messrs. J. O. Antisdell and Fletcher Fowler were doing in fruit and Messrs. Cobb with their box and basket factory.

Peach Plains is next spoken of, and John Goldberg is mentioned as one of the largest growers.

L. M. Holcomb and Mr. Soule, the Supervisor of Grand Haven Township, are mentioned as beginning to raise small fruits.

But it is in the advertisements that we notice the greatest changes from the present, and we read with regret of the names of esteemed citizens that have passed away.

Ferry & Son (W. M. and T. W.), advertise as bankers.

Eastman's land office was on the corner of Water and Washington streets.

Hancock & Stitt speak of their wagon factory in Spring Lake, where Aloys Bilz was closing out furniture at a bargain.

A. M. Decker advertises hardware at the old hardware store next to Sheldon & Slayton's.

J. J. Bisbee, of the French Academy of Arts, informs the people that he will paint oil portraits at from $20 to $50.

J. B. Wait has leased C. DeVleiger's new planing mill.

Celeste Bennett has the city laundry, corner of Third and Fulton streets.

Weston, Dudley & Soule, of Spring Lake, offer one million bricks for sale.

Chas. Fasset, County Superintendent of Schools, notifies the public that he will be found at the Court House on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month to examine candidates for teachers' certificates, which would give one twenty-four chances a year to get through.

D. Gale had just removed his stock of drugs to the new and beautiful store in Akeley's block.

Henry Griffin & Co. (established in 1849), advertise "special attention to orders for any kind of merchandise."

Mrs. Bentham had moved her millinery to the rooms previously occupied by J. F. Storrs.

Mrs. Kennedy's millinery store was next to Sandford's book store.

Mrs. Gray had just opened one next to the City Hotel, and Mrs. Bird's store was on Second Street.

Geo. Stickney was agent for the Engelmann Transportation Co., with their steamers La Belle and Ironsides.

Z. G. Winsor was agent for the Goodrich Boats, the unfortunate Alpena, and the Navarino.

This is only a small portion of the news that could be extracted from one copy of a ten year old newspaper.

We must draw our observations to a close, leaving each reader to his own comments and reflections upon the mutability, of human affairs, especially in Grand Haven.

In this year the Union School Building was opened at a cost of $50,000.


The city is represented in the County Board of Supervisors by Col. Ferry, G. D. Sanford, and Klaas Brouwer.

On the 4th of July of this, the Centennial year, Col. Ferry delivers his oration on The History of Ottawa County, which we publish in this work.

The Colonel was the “Centennial Mayor."

This year was noted for the County treasury difficulty, the erecting of the engine house and City hall on the Court house square.

Col. Ferry receives the unanimous thanks of the County Board of Supervisors for the able manner in which, as their representative in the State Board of Equalization, he had secured a deduction of $900,000 from the equalized value of the county.


The City Supervisors are the same as the previous years.

Joos Verplanke is Sheriff.

The facilities for travel were this year much greater than in 1867, and in some respects ahead of 1881.

There was, of course, the D., G., H. & M, Railway and the C. & M., L., S. Railway, Engelmann's day and night line of steamers from Milwaukee, Goodrich's daily line from Chicago, Engelmann's daily fine from Manistee, Muskegon, etc., and Ganoe's daily line from Grand Rapids.

The mills turned out about 1,500,000 feet per week, the shingle mill 250,000 per day.

There was a stave factory, by H. Rysdorp & Co. and K. Brouwer, with a capacity of 40,000 a day; an agricultural implement factory, sash and door factory, and a foundry and machine shop.

There are now eleven churches, a Union School costing $50,000, and two good ward schools.

The Cutler House flourishes.

The Kirby House, erected three years before at a cost of $50,000, is kept by W. G. Sherman, who also keeps the Cutler.

The Union is defunct; the Herald is published by Dubois, and the News and Journal by Lee & Hitchcock.

The mineral springs have been opened up by W. C. Sheldon, and the city is becoming a summer resort.

The term of Asa Reynolds as Postmaster is just about expiring, to make way for a four-year term of L. M. S. Smith, who in 1881 was succeeded by Major Glover, the present incumbent.

The First National Bank is established with;

E. P. Ferry, President;

D. Cutler, Vice President, and G. Stickney, Cashier.

Marvin W. Bailey keeps the Cutler livery,

H. Lilley is express agent,

W. Savage is railroad telegrapher,

B. Sinclair is lumber inspector,

J. Stark, U. S. Steamboat inspector,

N. Howlett is Secretary of the Ottawa Boom Co.,

E. D. Blair is searcher of titles.

The transportation companies have as agents;

F. E. Yates, for the Grand River Transportation Co., and also for the Goodrich Co.;

S.B.Humphrey, for N. W. Transportation Co.

The lawyers now are A. C. Adsit, Akeley & Farr, E. Baxter, B. W. & M. A. Boynton, R. W. Duncan, D. F. Hunter, Lowing & Cross, G. W. McBride, C. E. Soule, G. L. Stewart, and Peter Yates.

The physicians are Drs. McNett, J. N. Reynolds, A. Vanderveen and E. D. Weed.

Joseph Hutty and J. Vanderveen are into drugs, and the old house of H. Griffin & Co. into the same business.

F. C. Stratton is D., G. H. & M. station agent,

James Hall manages the Western Union Telegraph,

E. P. Cummings has opened a dentistry office,

J. A. Young runs the famous Washington House,

Boyce & Gronberg have a machine shop,

G. W. Friant and H. W. Hall are lumber dealers, as also are Bigelow, Stone & Co., Monroe Boyce & Co., N. B. Howlett, Boyden & Akeley, H. Bysdorp & Co., White & Friant, and Wyman & Buswell, Heber Squier and T. Stewart White are into business as contractors, tug owners, etc., and do an extensive business, as do also Kirby, Furlong & Co. as steamboat and vessel owners.

Ball Bros., grocers, commenced business in November of this year.


The City Supervisors are G. C. Stewart, G. D. Sanford, and H. Brouwer.

In October Mayor B. D. Safford appears as a representative in the County Board.

The total equalized value of the worth $581,000.


For the two previous years the Supervisors were, in 1879, Messrs. Safford, Sanford and Pfaff, and in 1880 Messrs. Hubbard, Pfaff and C. N. Dickinson.

The Alpena disaster, in which the editor of the Herald went down, occurred in October, 1880, and resulted in the withdrawal of the Goodrich Line of steamboats which will, however, be resumed in -the Spring of 1882, which would be an event hailed with pleasure by the whole county, alike advantageous to the Company and the public.

The Supervisors are A. A. Tracy, G. D. Sanford, and Charles J. Pfaff.

The Creager & Cilley planing mill was built near the C. & W. M. RR depot, and the foundry and machine shops of Bryce, Bloecker & Co. burned and rebuilt, as well as Brown's blacksmith shop.

Lumber business was never so prosperous or active; the product, 191,000,000, was the highest yet produced.

The death of two leading lumbermen of Spring Lake within a few weeks of each other, Hunter Savidge and J. B. Hancock, was a public loss.

A change occurs in the Post-office, Major Glover succeeding L. M. S. Smith, after a four year’s term of office.

Activity prevails in the ship yards, and in all departments of business.

The Unitarian church and grand residence of H. C. Akeley are erected.

Telephones are introduced by Thos. Parish.

Ottawa Iron Works are greatly extended.

The Herald passes into the hands of Kedzie & Kedzie.

The Grand Haven Lumber Company purchase new mills, and greatly extends operations.

Dr. Paine takes charge of the Sanitarium, and it has a larger patronage than ever.

In the summer of this year was the great gas explosion at the Cutler House, which resulted in the death of the brother of Dwight Cutler, Jos. H. Spires, the manager of the house, narrowly escaping with his life.

M. H. Creager becomes Collector of Internal Revenue.

The Wait Manufacturing Company was organized, with E. G. Bell, president.

In all, there was expended $100,000 on new buildings, of which the principal were the Akeley residence, $25,000;

Second Ward school, $5,000;

Bryce & Bloecker's foundry, $2,500;

D. C. Wach's house, $1,000;

G. D. Sanford's addition to residence, $1,000;

J. T. Wixon's and G. A. Abbott's residences, each $1,000;

G. Hubert's $1,500;

E. P. Blodgett’s, $1,100;

Dan Miller's, $1,000;

David Evan's, $1,000;

Capt. G. Robinson’s, $1,000;

H. T. Armstead's addition, $1,000;

J. Pfaff's, $2,000;

L. B. Stearn's and M. Hopkins', each $1,500;

Wm. Verhoek's, R. E. Pierce's, Rev. B. Lewis, and, S. Stuveling's, and K. Van Weelden's, each $1,200;

Independent Reformed Church, $2,000;

G. Vyn's saw mill, $1,600;

New engine house on Water Street, $850, also $700 for engine house in Fourth Ward, $900 for J. Fuite's addition to store, besides numerous other improvements, among which may be mentioned a heavy expenditure on the revetment at the harbor, by Squier & White, contractors.

The Courier-Journal, of Dec. 31, 1881, in closing its summary for the year, says:

"During the year the city has put up seventy-five street lamps; built a number of cross walks where there has been none heretofore; and cut down Washington street hill, among the other improvements.

"The Michigan Bell Telephone Company has stretched lines all over our city, connecting the principal business places and many residences with each other, and with Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Spring Lake.

Mr. Thomas A. Parish is the efficient and popular manager of the system in this city and Spring Lake.

Already the convenience of this mode of communication has been proved of inestimable value.

"Our youthful population has increased to such an extent that it has been necessary to erect an additional school-house, which has been done at a total cost of about $5,000.

The building is situated in the Second Ward on Columbus Street, is veneered with brick, slate roof, and contains three commodious and tasty school rooms, all on the ground floor.

"A new engine house has been built in the First Ward, near the river, furnishing additional fire protection.

"A small lake of fresh paint has been spread on buildings, fences, etc.

Many houses have been newly shingled, and new fences have been built.

"The government has expended quite a large sum in putting up fences on the hill west of the river, to prevent the drifting sand from obstructing navigation; and in harbor improvement, which includes the extension of the dock from foot of Clinton street to the south pier, thus narrowing and improving the channel.

"Gerrit Vyn has erected a saw mill on the island, for the purpose of doing hard wood sawing, and has been busy the last half of the season in his line.

"B. & A. D. Fessenden, a large wooden ware manufacturing firm in Townsend, Mass., bought Glover & Tate's factory early in the spring and after refitting it, commenced, and are now carrying on a successful business in their line, under the superintendence of Mr. F. A. Larkin.

They employ about twenty-five hands at present, mostly in manufacturing fish-kits, which are sold in St. Louis and vicinity.

"Our newly appointed post-master, Capt. S. C. Glover, has had the inside of the post-office torn out, and everything rebuilt and rearranged in the most convenient manner, and we believe will keep it in all points a first-class office.

This we can class among our very greatest improvements, and with the street lamps, the most widely approved.

"Business has been good all the year.

Prices of provisions, etc., have ranged a trifle high, but as the wages of the laborer have been equally good, no cramping has resulted.

The small fruit crop was a very fine one, and the prices received such as to well repay the grower.

Peaches were few and far between, owing to the severe frosts late in the spring.

But few native peaches were shipped from this point.

Although the Goodrich Co. did not put on a line of boats from here to Chicago this season, we do not think much injury was done to Grand Haven thereby.

There was a fine of freight boats most of the season, and an ample, cheap and convenient route was operated by rail.

We are assured by good authorities that the Goodrich Company have concluded to resume operation on the Chicago and Grand Haven route next Spring.

"The Cutler House was filled with summer visitors as usual, and Dr. W. Paine's Sanitarium became a widely known and popular resort for the afflicted.

As the Sanitarium is now open the year round, quite a number of people from abroad are spending the Winter here (this being not only a cool Summer resort, but a warm Winter resort as well) and taking the treatment thus afforded."


Ralson M. Russell was the first barber of Grand Haven.

He was a colored man.

Reuben Vanderhoef, ex-sheriff, ran-the first steam ferry across Grand River in 1865.

It connected the city with the D. & M. Railway depot, then across the river.

John H. Newcomb built the first house and the first mill at Spring Lake in 1841.

Ira Robinson, youngest brother of Rix Robinson, the pioneer, is still living in Robinson Township.

Rix's son, John Rix Robinson, is an Indian missionary.


The business public of the city seem to be very desirous to secure waterworks for the city, but the proposition to go extensively into this matter has been several times voted down by the people at large.

The last vote was taken in February of this year.

In the latter part of 1881 the council expended about $5,500 for partial waterworks at the foot of Clinton Street, which will serve the business part of the city, putting in new boiler, and engine and pipes.

Henry Sanford, the engineer, resides above the works.

The new waterworks were first started at 11 p. M., Jan. 11, 1882.

M. Walker, Port Huron, is manufacturer of the pump, which has a steam cylinder 12x13 inches, 13 inch stroke, 13 inch bore, water cylinder 8x12.

The main is 10 inch pipe, and the works can pump about 1,250,000 gallons in twenty-four hours.

Henry C. Sanford, engineer in Fire Department, was born in Akron, Ohio, Jan. 14, 1807.

At 12 years of age he came to Niles, Mich., and in 1858 came to Grand Haven, clerked for Col. Ferry till 1868.

While driving a well for Wyman & Buswell 180 feet deep, he struck the first mineral water.

He has now charge of both fire engines, his brother Isaac having been the first chief engineer in the city.

He married in 1870 Eugenia Beckwith and has two sons, Isaac, born Nov. 18, 1871; Harry, Nov. 8, 1876.


The earliest fire apparatus was of course of a very primitive character, a few pails and ladders carried on the shoulders.

The beginning of a better organization was in 1863, with Isaac H. Sanford as chief; D, F. Miller, 1st assistant; Jas. Donelly, Foreman of Rix Robinson Engine Co.; John Thornton, Foreman of Pioneer Hook and Ladder Co. It was reorganized in 1869.

The present Captain is A. L. Holmes, who came in 1873, and since that time has been in the department, having risen from full private in the hose company to be assistant foreman, foreman, assistant chief and finally chief three years ago.

There are two steamers, the first, the Rix Robinson, made at Hudson, N. Y., by Clapp & Jones, weighing 5,250 pounds and costing one dollar a pound.

It has stood a good deal of wear and tear, and is now held as a reserve engine.

George Parks is the name of the new steamer purchased in 1877 at a cost of $3,000.

The staff is:

Chief Engineer—A. L. Holmes; Asst. Engineer, Jas. Lewis. Hose Co.

Hose Co. No.  1.—Jos. Adams, Foreman; L. B. Stearns, Asst. Foreman; G. A. Bottje, Secretary.

Hose Co. No. 2.—Jos. Palmer, Foreman; M. Donelly, Asst. Foreman.

Hook and Ladder Co.—Byron Parks, Foreman;

M. C. Fordham, Asst. Foreman.

Engineer of Waterworks, Henry C. Sanford;

Asst. Engineer, Ralph Vanderhoef.

In 1881 there were forty-two alarms of fire.

THE LIGHTHOUSE is on a high sand hill on the south of the harbor about 300 yards from the light on south pier, and was built in 1855 of stone, a square with tower at the south end, and with the light 150 feet above lake level, making a bright flash every one and a half minutes, worked by clock work.

It can be seen eighteen miles off, and in clear days twenty-five miles down to the south of Holland.

It is of French glass and cost $4,000.

The residence is in connection and the keeper is Capt. Harry Smith, who has been there since 1875.

He was born in Denmark in 1823; brought up a sailor; been all over the world; married Oct. 9, 1853, Lena Scheppers, of Holland; has two sons and three daughters.

THE PIER LIGHT on South Pier is fifty or sixty feet above the water; a steady bright light, visible eight to ten miles, called a beacon light.

On the North Pier is a private light of steady red color, on a cross pole visible two or three miles, attended to by Mr. Kirby's orders.


On the North Pier near the entrance of the harbor is this neat little structure, well equipped, which has done good service.

There was first a volunteer corps which in 1876 was superseded by government service, and in 1880 Capt. John de Young, who had been surf man No. 1, succeeded Capt. Richard Connell as head of the institution at $400 a year, while the men get for the Summer $40 a month.

The station is two stories high, and has a lookout on the roof.

There is one six ton fife boat, self-baler and self-righter; and a surf boat, which is the only one used so far; also a life car which has saved many lives, as numbers of crews have been rescued by the men of the life station, among others those of schooner Montpelier and Gen. Paine, of Detroit; L. C. Woodruff, schooner America, of Chicago; the schooner Elione, of Oswego; and the Amazon.

Capt. John de Young, born in Holland, 1812, is an experienced mariner and fisherman.

Jan Wissel, No. 1. surf man, was born in Holland, March 9, 1842, came to Grand Haven in 1866; was brought up a sailor on the ocean; has been a fisherman, and 5 years in the life saving station; he married in 1877 Alice Dwyerek and has four sons and one daughter.