Spring Lake, a very thriving and prosperous village, with many beautiful residences in it, and unrivaled for its beautiful aquatic scenery, was first platted as Mill Point in 1849, by T. W. White and S. C. Hopkins.

In two years its population reached 371, but in the next seven years it gained only eighteen in population.

But the rise of the fruit interest after this gave it an impetus, as in 1874 half of the improved land was devoted to that object.

Lumbering also, although not very profitable, had also considerable to do with its development.

As early as 1874 it had nine saw mills in its limits, and some of these, the largest on the river; and also two planing mills and a sash and door factory.

The village was incorporated in 1869, the people choosing the following named gentlemen for their officers:


  • President, H. A. Hopkins;
  • Trustees—Allen C. Adsit, John H. Newcomb and Martin Vischer;
  • Recorder, H. W. Cleveland;
  • Street Commissioner, Stephen Woolley; Marshal, Frank Lilley;
  • Treasurer, L. O. Perham.


Within its corporate limits, which are almost bounded by Grand River and Spring Lake, are six large saw mills, some of which are of immense structure and capacity, one large planing mill, one wash-board factory, three hotels, one of which, the Spring Lake House, owing to the large and well conducted faculties for bathing, the curable qualities of the water, the pleasure of fishing and other sources of amusement, its beautiful grounds and excellent accommodations, has become famous as a Summer resort.

It has also three large general stores, two hardware, six grocery, three millinery, three boot and shoe shops, two drug stores, one jewelry and one tailor shop.

Also one flour and feed store, one good livery stable, one blacksmith shop, one wagon shop and a barber shop, three doctors, five churches namely, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Dutch Reformed and Catholic.

A splendid and well attended graded school, two fire engines and a company second to none in the State.

In a word, this village is supplied with everything required by a well regulated incorporated town.

Its resources are lumber, fruit and farm products, all of which are made valuable by easy access by water or rail to all consuming' markets in the neighboring States.

Sail vessels and steamboats, are daily landing and leaving its docks.

On the whole, this is as clean and handsome a village as the State can boast of with a population of 1,500.

Its present officers are:


  • President—T. D. Denison;
  • Treasurer—Otto De Wit;
  • Trustees—John Koster, Alex. Wood, Martin Walsh;
  • Recorder—C. M. Kay;
  • Marshal—M. M. McLean;
  • Street Commissioner—Enno Pruim.


The village is delightfully situated on a peninsula or tongue of land south of Spring Lake and north of an arm or bayou of Grand River.

It is narrower from north to south, and the D., G. H. & M. Railway runs from east to west across the north of the village, with a station at the west end of the village, whence it runs across the- narrow inlet of Spring Lake into Ferrysburg.

The chief business street with fine residences at the east end is State Street, one block south of which is Exchange Street, and Liberty Street running one block north and parallel to State.

The original plat was in the west to School Street, which was the section line; then comes Barber's Addition, then Bryant's Addition and various small additions to the southeast.


The Hopkins family had considerable to do in the early settlement of the village, but they have all passed away except the youngest brother, Mordecai L., who is still in Grand Bapids.

The widow of Hannibal A., a former Representative of the county, still resides in the village, and her daughter teaches in the public school.

She has treasured up some relics of the celebrated Col. Ethan Allen, among which is the sword and scabbard with which that hero, "in the name of the great Jehovah and the Continental Congress," demanded the surrender of-Fortress Ticonderoga on May 10th, 1775.

This sword is an old-fashioned affair, 27 inches in length, figured with flower-work, and with a handle of bone or ivory 7 inches long.

The scabbard is not the original one, but a facsimile of the one that was consumed in the burning of the Spring Lake Masonic Lodge, in which was the Tyler's weapon.

The sword was saved, but the scabbard was burned, and the Brethren took pains to reproduce an exact copy.

It has a silver band on which is inscribed, "Ethan Allen, 1775."

Ethan died in 1789, and his eldest son, Col. Hannibal Allen, died in 1813, leaving a widow, "Aunty Allen," recently deceased, and who lived many years in Spring Lake, being connected by marriage with the Hopkins family.

The Hopkins family were Silas the eldest, then John V., Hannibal A., Franklin and Mordecai, who were all engaged in the lumbering and mercantile business.

They built the Hopkins mill, afterwards" purchased by Montague, Savidge & Cutler.

About fourteen years ago the mill site proper and other adjoining property were sold to the Spring Lake Mineral Company, who built a splendid hotel, cottages, bath houses, etc., which ultimately fell into the hands of the late Hunter Savidge.

Captain Benjamin Hopkins went from Tompkins County, N. Y., in 1831, to Canada, which he left during the troublous times of the rebellion in 1837, settling in Eastmanville with his four sons and three daughters.

Hannibal A. was the third son, born September 5th, 1821, and died July 1st 1871.

He was president of the village from its organization to his death, and was actively engaged in agricultural and lumbering operations.

He was the originator of the project which resulted in the discovery of mineral springs.

He was a man highly respected, and his death was regarded as a loss to the community.