WMGS-Blog

Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Browsing Posts in Grand Rapids Public Library

One local spot about fifteen-minutes from DeVos Place is Pietro’s Italian Restaurant. A sentimental favorite in Grand Rapids originally opened in 1980 by Peter Secchia (former Ambassador to Italy from 1989-1993), the restaurant is named after his Italian immigrant grandfather who came to the United States in 1906 armed with family recipes.  Pietro’s has an […]

Grand Rapids History & Special Collections Grand Rapids Public Library – Main, 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids, Mich. 49503 Phone: 616-988-5400; E-mail: Contact us Hours: Sun 1-5p.m.; M-Th 9a.m.-9p.m. F-Sat 9a.m.-6p.m. “The Grand Rapids History & Special Collections area of the library, including the archival collections, is one of the largest collections of historical [& genealogical] […]

It is springtime on “The Ridge” and the orchards are in bloom.  The Ridge is an agricultural area northwest of Grand Rapids. This time of the year is the most beautiful as the orchards are in bloom with apple, peach, pear and plum trees setting their crop for the year. The agricultural area northwest of Grand […]

The Grand Rapids History & Special Collection Department was established in 1904 as the Ryerson Library-was being completed. When planning this “new” library, board members ensured that a “Michigan Room” be set aside in which to preserve collections. Currently, the archives contain over 450 processed collections, accessed with a request slip. My favorite is the […]

On the west bank of the Grand River stands the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum and, just to the north, are the grave sites of the late president and first lady. Ford, the only un-elected president of the United States and the only president from Michigan, and his wife, Betty, both grew up in Grand […]

Some are amazed to find that many libraries in Kent County have local historical organizations involved with a room of their own, right in the library! When checking federal census records or plat maps, you might find an ancestor from one of the cities or townships in Kent County, Michigan. A look into one of […]

The fourth floor of the downtown Grand Rapids Ryerson Library is a genealogist’s dream. It is filled with a variety of family history resources from all states, eastern Canada and Europe. The very best thing anyone can do before going to any library is to research resources. Search grpl.org/history before going to the Grand Rapids’ […]

Time for my second adventure!  No snow.  No rain.  This time from the west side of Grand Rapids.  This time a 10 minute ride and then a 5 minute walk.  Free ride, $2 parking; vs. free parking and a about $3 ride. (See SilverLine)  dash-West is FREE! It runs 6:30am-10pm.  Parking at the dash-West Parking Lot#9 […]

I spent Saturday at the Grand Rapids Public Library’s main branch. A group of wonderful volunteers and staff have created a fantastic series of workshops and talks designed to help a group of eager, new researchers learn more about their African American ancestry. Saturday’s focus was learning how to find information in three databases: Heritage […]

What a fun day on the Silver Line in Winter! My day was warm (overcast and higher than freezing). I was ready for an adventure. This is new for me and I needed to know. I drove to 60th Street and Division Avenue, an easy exit at 68th Street then north Division a mile to […]