Early Timeline of Grand Ledge

Early Timeline

Native Americans call the area Big Rocks

1831

Land speculators purchase first land in the area1836First settlers reach Oneida Township

c1847

John Russell settles just west of Grand Ledge Henry Trench settles land in what will become downtown Grand Ledge.However after a few years he returns East.

1848

Edmund Lampson settles land that will become Grand Ledge.

1849

John Russell and Abram Smith build a dam across the river just upstream of where the bridge now stands.

1850

Settlers choose Grand Ledge as the name of the new village The Post Office is established Russell, Smith and David Taylor build the first saw mill located next to the new dam on the southside.

1851

Using wood from the new sawmill, Abram Smith builds his home on Jefferson Street, the first home built of lumber and not logs in the village School is first held in the Smith home Red School is build on the northside where Greenwood School is today Baptist Church organizes and holds meetings in the Smith home Methodist Church organizes and holds meetings in the Smith home Reuben Wood and Nathan Allen open first store located on the northside.

1853

First wooden bridge is built over the river. Original Plat of the village is layout and adopted on October 28.

1854

Congregational Church organizes Flour Mill is build by the dam on Water Street on the northside.

c1859

George Loveless begins pottery works west of the village along West Jefferson. This is believed to be the first pottery in the State.

1862

The Stone School is built next to the Red School.

1866

Congregational Church is built on East Front Street.

1869

Railroad comes to the northside of the village The Grand Ledge Independent is founded.

1870

The Iron Bridge is built The White School is built on Lampson Street on southside1871Grand Ledge is incorporated into a Village by the State on April 8th.

1872

John Burtch begins the Seven Islands Resort by launching the Dolly Varden steamer and building a small boarding house on Second Island German Luthern Church is organized and a church is build next to the Red School.

1874

Methodists build a brick church on West Scott Street Baptist build a brick church on West Scott Street across from the Methodists.

1877

S.M. Hewings purchases the Seven Islands Resort.

1878

Island House Hotel is built on Second Island.

1883

Grand Ledge Chair Company is found and located on Bridge Street.

1886

Grand Ledge Sewer Pipe Company is formed. A plant is built on West Jefferson Fireman’s Hall is built on the corner of Bridge and River streets to house the Firestation and Village Hall Julian Scott Mudge buys the Seven Islands Resort.

1887

Mudge builds new lower or Stone Dam, the dam remains today Northside School is built on site of Red School Union School is built on Lampson Street next to White School.

1888

Railroad Trestle or High Bridge is built to bring the railroad south of the river Grand Ledge become the second city in the State, after Lansing, to get electric lights During this era the Seven Islands Resort gets 60,000 or 70,000 visitors per year.

1891

J.S.Mudge builds a roller coaster on the Islands. Believed to be the first coaster in Michigan.

1893

Grand Ledge is incorporated as a City.

1895

Spiritualists Association creates campground, later to become Fitzgerald Park.

c1895

New Depot is build on Washington Street.

1896

Soldiers Memorial Cannon is dedicated in Oakwood Cemetery.

1898

American Vitrified buys the Grand Ledge Sewer Pipe Company.

1902

Crawford Chair Company opens in new factory on Orchard Street.

1903

Congregational Church moves into its new building on the corner of Bridge and Front.

1906

Grand Ledge Chair Company moves to its new building on Perry Street Grand Ledge Clay Products is formed. A factory is built on West Jefferson across from American Vitifried Company.

1909

The Water tower or Standpipe is built on northside.

1910

Cement Bridge is built.

1911

Methodists tear down old church and build new on in its place Trinity Episcopal Church builds on East Jefferson.

1913

Doty Greenhouse is founded.

1914

Baker Clay Company is formed. Later will become Grand Ledge Face Brick Company. New plant is built on the Northside on Tallman Road.

1915

Bridge Street is paved with bricks.

1918

City buys Spirtualist Campground and renames it Riverside Park.

1928

New High School (now Sawdon) is built of Grand Ledge brick.

1931

Crawford Chair Company becomes Hoerner Chair Company Library is built of Grand Ledge brick.

1934

Lion’s Head Rock is damaged by blasting for new sewer system Seventh Day Adventist campground is founded on Saginaw Road.

1935

Frank D Fitzgerald is elected Governor of Michigan from 1935 to 1936.

1939

New Post Office is built of Grand Ledge brick Governor Fitzgerald is reelected to office but dies March 16th.

1940

City renames Riverside Park as Fitzgerald Park St Michael’s Church is built on corner of Jefferson and Taylor.

1941

on December 7th the Memorial Grove is dedicated at Cemetery.

c1945

The last coal mine in Grand Ledge on the Haueter Farm on Tallman Road is closed.

1947

Grand Ledge Face Brick closes.