WMGS-Blog

Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Browsing Posts in Local History

Early Memories…

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There are times that I just happen across things in my house that have been there for years… originating from a grandparent, distant cousin, or was acquired, stored and forgotten. Sound familiar? This is one of those stories. My grandfather Kenneth Bennett passed away twenty years ago. Since I was the “family historian” items often […]

1:00 – 1:45 PM Where Have All the Flowers Gone? Rediscovering Emma Cole’s 19th-Century Grand Rapids Flora Julie Stivers, Garrett E. Crow, and David P. Warners Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Public Museum In 1901, Emma Cole published Grand Rapids Flora, a catalog of plants growing without cultivation in the vicinity of Kent County. Enormous […]

11:30 AM-12:15 PM Making Waves: Michigan’s Boat Building Industry, 1865-2000 Scott M. Peters Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Historical Commission Michigan’s late-nineteenth century emergence as the boat-building industry’s hub drew together talented designers, builders, and engine makers to produce some of the fastest, most innovative boats ever created. Entrepreneurs like Christopher Columbus Smith, John L. […]

10:30-11:15 AM Selling Grand Rapids: Expositions in the Furniture City, 1878-1965 Scott St. Louis Sponsored by the Grand Rapids Historical Society Grand Rapids’ late-nineteenth century business leaders were ambitious and optimistic: striving for the greatest profit from available resources, they rationalized production workflows, integrating the latest technologies into their factories. They also took advantage of […]

Saturday, January 28, 2017, 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM  *Limited Seating – Space is limited and seating is offered first come, first served. There will be an overflow room available with a simulcast video presentation.  The first presentation of the day this year features the Dutch immigrant population… 9:30 – 10:15 AM Present, But Not […]

Our next monthly meeting: Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm in the Ryerson Auditorium, Grand Rapids Public Library Topic this month: Traffic Violations, Criminal Complaints and Marriages: Records of a Justice of the Peace Justices of the Peace served as local magistrates empowered primarily to administer summary justice in minor cases, to commit for […]

I confess I have spent more time researching the life and work of a former resident of my house in Grand Rapids than I have of any other single person. I can’t seem to resist searching for Lawrence Carmichael Earle when new resources come to my attention (see www.lcearle.com). Recently, I was looking on the Grand […]

One of the articles in the upcoming summer 2016 issue of Michigana is about Grace VanHoesen (1870-1959), a very active citizen of Grand Rapids. Grace was an involved citizen, dedicating her time to service on county boards and political entities. She was an organizer of Grand Rapids’ League of Women Voters, co-authoring their first edition, […]

Beer in Grand Rapids is big. But how big is it really? Journalist Pat Evans explores the history of beer in Grand Rapids and how it influences the multitude of brewers that now call West Michigan home. Evans will also take a broader look at how the current world beer industry developed, from an eclectic […]

By the middle of the 20th century the name Herman Miller had become synonymous with “modern” furniture. Working with legendary designers George Nelson and Charles and Ray Eames, the company produced pieces which would become classics of industrial design. Since then, Herman Miller has collaborated with some of the most talented designers in the world, […]