Whoa – Michigan’s longest river, the Grand River, runs a full 252 miles thru Michigan: from Hillsdale County to Grand Haven. And in all those 252 miles, there’s bound to be countless discarded, hidden, or lost items hiding underwater or buried in the mud…and mudlarks are finding more and more treasures hidden among all that submerged debris.

To refresh your memory what a mudlark is, to quote myself, “a mudlark is someone who wades through bodies of water – rivers, lakes, ponds, streams – and scavenges for stuff discarded or lost, buried in the mud.” But mudlarking can be done a number of ways instead of traipsing thru the river mud, as showcased here.

The Grand River has an abundance of objects – some still useful, some not – and some are lost antiques, artifacts, and treasures that await the most patient mudlarks.

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The Ottawa name for the Grand River is “Owashtanong”, meaning “far-flowing water", and it lives up to its name. If not for the Grand River, Grand Rapids would’ve been called something else. The river’s “mile-long 300-yard-wide, and 15-foot-tall rapids” is what gave the city its moniker. Thanks to dam construction that began in 1835, those awesome rapids disappeared and have been gone for well over one hundred years.

The gallery below shows a good handful of items brought up from the Grand River, just a few blocks east of Lansing’s Capitol Building at the bridge on Michigan Avenue. These items include antiques like an old 1914 license plate, old road sign, and a couple of old business signs among other objects.

A far-flowing river, indeed…with many hidden treasures still waiting to be discovered by mudlarks.

Items Pulled Out of the Grand River, Lansing


Living Quarters in the Abandoned Lansing Coal Loader?

Close-ups of Vintage Lansing Downtown Shop Signs

Lansing Brothel 1880s-1890s

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