Browse Exhibits (16 total)

Annual Reports

Department of Public Service Annual Report 1923-1924.pdf

Many departments submit annual reports to the City Commission detailing what activities or projects they have worked on throughout the year. There are financial informaiton in the reports, as well as information about departmental staffing. If you do not see a department that you are interested in researching please let us know using the contact us page. 

Assessor's Appraisal Card files

Ionia Ave SW, 639 - 1936.tif

This subject exhibit compiles all of the Assessor's Appraisal Card files into one location. If you do not see a specific record that you are interested in revieweing please send us an email through the contact us page.


Photo 019216 Copy.jpg

The first bridge across the Grand River was located at Bridge Street. It was built in 1845 and throughout the years many bridges were added, joining the east and west sides. Some of the bridges, like the Leonard Street bridge, have been replaced. Others have been standing for over a hundred years, such as the Sixth Street bridge.


Bridge NW, 745 - 1941 (1) - Copy.jpg

There are numerous churches located within Grand Rapids, many of which can trace their roots back to the mid to late 1800s. The earliest church was organized as a mission and was started in 1822, prior to the organization of Grand Rapids as a village. The churches listed here are only a small sample of those in Grand Rapids. Click on All Churches at the top of the list to view a map of all the churches represented in this Exhibit. Click the individual church names to see more images and information on each individual church. If you do not see an individual church listed check in All Churches.

City Buildings

Photo 010814 Copy.jpg

The Buildings Exhibit features images and documents on the various city buildings within the city of Grand Rapids. This exhibit will pull from the Assessor's Appraisal Card collection and from the Photograph collection. 

City Commission Proceedings

1936 Better Scan.pdf

This exhibit showcases the proceedings of the Grand Rapids City Commission. This includes the proceedings from the Board of Trustees, the proceedings of the Common Council, and the proceedings of the City Commission. If you do not see the years you are looking for please reach out to us through the contact us page. 

Fire Department

Photo 002578 Copy.jpg

In 1857 the Common Council was authoized by a revised city charter to create fire districts and fire companies. Various individual companies had been created as early as 1844 and in the 1850s they were reorganized. The Fire Department grew and multiple stations were built over the years, many of which still stand.

Furniture Companies

Front Ave SW, 86 - 1937 (1) Copy.jpg

Grand Rapids was at one time known as the United States furniture capital. At the height of the furniture making heyday Grand Rapids had more than 40 furniture factories. Many of these factories have been repurposed and still stand today.

Grand River

Photo 002006 Copy.jpg

The Grand River is a major feature of our city. The river flows through multiple counties, cities, and townships. There are bridges over the river and dams within. The river was a necessary ingredient in making Grand Rapids the furniture capital of the United States, supplying a way to move the logs and a power source for the many factories along the waters edge.


Monroe Center NW, 125 - 1937 Copy.jpg

Grand Rapids is home to many great, unique neighborhoods such as Heartside, Eastown, and Cheshire Village among many others. The photographs in this exhibit are organized around those neighborhoods.