Village of Lisbon
Sparta Township, Kent County, MI
In Sparta Township, five miles southwest of
the city of Sparta on the Ottawa county line, is located what once was the
Village of Lisbon.
A chartered village in 1859 which at one time had a population of 300, now numbers about 50. E. J. Pintler is one of the residence, who is the grandson of the first white settler. John Pintler arrived on 10 November 1844 by ox team from Battle Creek, the nearest railroad station, after coming west from New York state. In 1844 the area was a wilderness and he had to blaze a trail from Grand Rapids bringing with him his family and his few worldly goods. His nearest white neighbors were at the edge of Grand Rapids. There were no bridges over the Grand River and he forded it at the most shallow spot. He built a log cabin and here his son, Curtis, was born in 1852, the first white child born there. Other pioneers began to come and the spot was soon known as Pintler's Corners. In 1848 it attained a postoffice and Mr. Pintler was made the postmaster. In 1859 the name of the area was changed to Lisbon.
Business increased and there were hopes of the village growing. Businesses such as: G. M. Miller built a flour mill; Joseph Bodine erected a grist mill and steam thresher works; stores were open by: Charles Heath, F. G. Thurston, J. R. Harrison, R. Hawkins; Doctors C. E. & S. J. Koon operated a drug store; H. B. Irish and J. J. Smith had hardware and farm implements; a 3-story wood frame hotel was built by Lorenzo Chubbs. The hotel had a hall on its third floor where there was dancing, entertainments, plays and lectures. There were two churches, first the Methodist Church as built and then the Free Will Baptist erected a building; Chubb's Tavern in Lisbon was located on the old state road which ran to Newaygo was the stopping place for many business men in the lumbering days.
There were big hopes that the railroad would go through Lisbon and, as many other communities, were disappointed when the railroad went through the Village of Sparta.