It's the area the Native Americans called “Big Rocks”.

Grand Ledge got its start in 1847 when Henry Trench settled in the area that would become downtown Grand Ledge.

Rather than go through a number of names before settling on a permanent one, the moniker 'Grand Ledge' was decided as early as 1850. That same year, a post office began operations and a sawmill was built near the dam on the Grand River.

1859: Grand Ledge started taking advantage of the vast amount of clay in the area, and soon a pottery shop was opened on West Jefferson.
1869: The town became a railway station along the Pere Marquette Railroad.
1878: The Island House Hotel is constructed.
1883: Grand Ledge Chair Factory begins operations.
1891: The first (believed) roller coaster in Michigan is built on the islands.
1895: The Spiritualist Campground is created, later called Fitzgerald Park.
1914: the Grand Ledge Face Brick Company is founded under the name 'Baker Clay' Company.
1945: Grand Ledge shuts down its last coal mine, and Grand Ledge Face Brick closes two years later.

Of course, there is so much more to Grand Ledge's history, and well worth researching. You can find out more at (and thanks to) the Grand Ledge Historical Society webpage. In the meantime, take a look at some great old photos of Grand Ledge, going as far back as the 1890s!

GRAND LEDGE, THEN-AND-NOW

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THANKS TO:
The Grand Ledge Historical Society