Grand Rapids in 1844-1845

Frank Little, later of Kalamazoo, but a clerk in the store of J. Morrison at the foot of Monroe avenue in 1844 and 1845, gives us a splendid picture of Grand Rapids in those two years. He writes:
"In the late fall and early spring Monroe street, from Division to Canal street, became literally a river of mud. This mud was frequently from six to eight inches deep and the whole width of the street, and thick like hasty pudding. From the summit at Luce's block the descent was much more rapid than now, and in the early morning could be seen unmistakable evidence that, during the night, the whole viscous mass of mud to the depth indicated had, like an immense Swiss glacier, moved bodily down the hill ten, fifteen or twenty feet.

The people of Grand Rapids were noted for hospitality and a cordial, hearty welcome of all strangers and newcomers. there was nothing cold, chilling or forbidding in society, no aristocracy of blood or condition--no exclusiveness. All sorts and conditions were recognized, and accorded standing room. I bear cheerful testimony in my own experience to the warm-hearted friendliness and generous kindly interest taken in my welfare, and the volunteer disinterested proffers of aid by many, many well remembered friends."


Transcriber: Ronnie Aungst
Created: 16 January 2000
Created: 14 December 1999