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Book to tell history of Cedar Springs

New book in the works

The Cedar Springs Historical Society is working on a new book to tell the history of Cedar Springs in both word and photos, some never seen before. Sharon Jett, Director at the Museum, has shared some of the pages with us, which we have shared with you over the last few of weeks. Sharon said she hopes the book will be released in the next few months.

Interviews tell the tale

In 1976 Sally Grannis Grayvold interviewed some of the oldest citizens in Cedar Springs. Her tapes have proven to be a treasure trove on our early history. The following is an excerpt from one of her taped interviews with Ora Lewis. 

“When my father Dennis Lewis, lived in Grand Rapids, he had heard of a place a long distance north. It was called Cedar Springs. He found a Tavern where one might stay and a dealer in some provisions. The road was somewhat used to Laphamville (Rockford) but beyond that it was nearly solid pine, hardwood and tamarack. Near the road by Cedar Creek was the tavern, just about where the old City Hall is now (1965) on the creek behind the old water tower. Close by it was a large Cedar tree and some small ones. Close to both was a large spring. Thus the tavern and its location became known as Cedar Springs long before there was a settlement here or a surveyed road to it.” 

Ora’s father saw this when he walked to Cedar Springs as a very young man. He related the story to Ora many times. The place where Dennis Lewis stayed had to be that of John & Lydia Smith. 

By the late 1800’s or early 1900’s the village owned the property. The Cedar Springs Pumping station was located on the spot and soon after “City Hall” was housed there in part of the old pumping station building. Around 1868 or 69 the log tavern was torn down “to make room for more modern improvements.” History of Kent Co. 1881, under Zimri Phelps Bio. 

Old City Hall 

This picture was taken in in the building that used to be the pumping station on Cedar Creek. Miles Mulford, sitting behind the desk was a successful Solicitor of Pensions Justice of the Peace and a Notary Public in Cedar Springs. 

Born July 30, 1844 in Chemung, NY, Miles died July 19, 1927 in Cedar Springs, Mich. His wife, Mary A. Harris, was born in 1848, and died in 1929.

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