46 Facts About Grand Rapids


Grand Rapids is a city and county seat of Kent County in the U S state of Michigan.

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Grand Rapids was the childhood home of U S President Gerald Ford, who is buried with his wife Betty on the grounds of the Gerald R Ford Presidential Museum in the city.

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That year, Grand Rapids was described as being the home of an Odawa village of about 50 to 60 huts on the north side of the river near the 5th Ward, with Kewkishkam being the village chief and Chief Noonday being the chief of the Odawa.

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In 1823, McCoy, as well as Paget, a Frenchman who brought along a Native American pupil, traveled to Grand Rapids to arrange a mission, though negotiations fell through with the group returning to the Carey mission for the Potawatomi on the St Joseph River.

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Grand Rapids represented the settlers who began arriving from Ohio, New York and New England, the Yankee states of the Northern Tier.

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Shortly after, Detroit-born Louis Campau, known as the official founder of Grand Rapids, was convinced by fur trader William Brewster, who was in a rivalry with the American Fur Company, to travel to Grand Rapids and establish trade there.

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Lucius Lyon, a Yankee Protestant who would later become a rival to Campau arrived in Grand Rapids who purchased the rest of the prime land and called his plot the Village of Kent.

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An outcropping of gypsum, where Plaster Creek enters the Grand Rapids River, was known to the Native American inhabitants of the area.

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In October 1870, Grand Rapids became a desired location for immigrants, with about 120 Swedes arriving in the United States to travel and create a "colony" in the area in one week.

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Grand Rapids was an early center for the automobile industry, as the Austin Automobile Company operated there from 1901 until 1921.

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In 1945, Grand Rapids became the first city in the United States to add fluoride to its drinking water.

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Grand Rapids developed on the banks of the Grand River, where there was once a set of rapids, at an altitude of 610 feet above sea level.

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Grand Rapids is divided into four quadrants, which form a part of mailing addresses in Kent County.

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Grand Rapids has a humid continental climate, with very warm and humid summers, cold and snowy winters, and short and mild springs and autumns.

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In 2015, Grand Rapids was rated as the second-worst city for African Americans, behind only Milwaukee to succeed economically based on disparities in employment, income, and home ownership levels.

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Grand Rapids is home to the United Methodist Community House, whose mission is to increase the ability of children, youth, adults and families to succeed in a diverse community.

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Grand Rapids has long been a center for manufacturing, dating back to its original roots in furniture manufacturing.

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In 1881, the Furniture Manufacturers Association was organized in Grand Rapids; making it the country's first furniture manufacturing advocacy group.

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Grand Rapids area is known for its automobile and aviation manufacturing industries, with GE Aviation Systems having a location in the city.

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In 2010 Grand Rapids was named the "most sustainable midsize city in the U S " by the U S Chamber of Commerce Civic Leadership Center and Siemens Corp.

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Grand Rapids was chosen over finalist cities Davenport, Iowa and Hoover, Alabama.

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Grand Rapids is home to the oldest co-educational Catholic high school in the United States, Catholic Central High School.

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In 1973, Grand Rapids hosted Sculpture off the Pedestal, an outdoor exhibition of public sculpture, which assembled works by 13 world-renowned artists, including Mark di Suvero, John Henry, Kenneth Snelson, Robert Morris, John Mason, Lyman Kipp and Stephen Antonakos, in a single, citywide celebration.

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From 1980 to 2015, Celebration on the Grand Rapids was held the weekend after Labor Day, featuring free concerts, fireworks display and food booths.

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In 2013, Grand Rapids was the sole winner of "Beer City USA", taking the prize with more votes than those combined for the second-place Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the third-place Asheville, North Carolina.

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Grand Rapids is the home of John Ball Zoological Garden, Belknap Hill, and the Gerald R Ford Museum.

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Along the Grand Rapids River are reconstructed earthwork burial mounds, which were constructed by the prehistoric Hopewell tribe; a fish ladder, and a riverwalk.

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Grand Rapids is home to many theaters and stages, including the newly reconstructed Civic Theatre, the city's largest theater; DeVos Hall, and the convertible Van Andel Arena.

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In 2014, Grand Rapids was named the No 1 U S travel destination by Lonely Planet.

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Grand Rapids has several popular concert venues in which numerous bands have performed, including 20 Monroe Live, the DAAC, the Intersection, DeVos Performance Hall, Van Andel Arena, Royce Auditorium in St Cecilia Music Center, Forest Hills Fine Arts Center, The Pyramid Scheme, and the Deltaplex.

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Grand Rapids Symphony, founded in 1930, is the largest performing arts organization in Grand Rapids with a roster of about 50 full-time and 30 part-time musicians.

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Grand Rapids Barbershop Chapter Great Lakes Chorus is an all-male a cappella barbershop harmony chorus, including quartets.

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Opera Grand Rapids, founded in 1966, is the state's longest-running professional company.

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Grand Rapids is home to several professional and semi-professional sports teams.

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Grand Rapids Gold is an NBA G League basketball team that plays at the Van Andel Arena, with the team being an affiliate of the Denver Nuggets.

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The Grand Rapids Blazers won the United Football League Championship in 1961.

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Grand Rapids Press is a daily newspaper, while Advance Newspapers publishes a group of weekly papers that provide community-based news.

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Grand Rapids, combined with nearby Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, was ranked in 2019 as the 45th-largest television market in the U S by Nielsen Media Research.

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Grand Rapids area is served by 16 AM radio stations and 28 FM stations.

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Homicide rate in Grand Rapids was at its highest in the early 1990s, with the highest number of homicides being 34 in 1993.

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In 2014, Grand Rapids experienced the lowest homicide rate in fifty years, with six murders occurring that year.

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In recent years, Grand Rapids has seen an increase in auto thefts; in both 2020 and 2021 there were over 800 cars stolen in Grand Rapids.

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Under Michigan law, Grand Rapids is a home rule city and adopted a city charter in 1916 providing for the council-manager form of municipal government.

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Until the mid-1950s Grand Rapids Union Station was a hub for passenger trains from different directions in Michigan and beyond.

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Early railway transportation in Grand Rapids began in 1865, to connect with the Detroit–Milwaukee train station.

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Commercial air service to Grand Rapids is provided by Gerald R Ford International Airport .

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