Early Timeline

Native Americans call the area Big Rocks
1831 Land speculators purchase first land in the area
1836 First 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 southside
1871 Grand 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.