Peek into West Michigan’s nursing history

After graduating from nursing school in the 1890s, Lulu L. Cudney worked as a registered nurse in Grand Rapids for more than 60 years. In 1951, she compiled a history of nursing in the community, including stories and photographs about dozens of local women.

A restaurant with flair

Started by Lebanese immigrant Deeb Hattem in 1910, Hattem’s was a fixture at Wealthy and Division for nearly 60 years.

Breaking a barrier

In 1947, employment options for Black Grand Rapidians were limited mostly to hotels, restaurants, domestic work or hard labor.

All downhill from here

Sledding has long been a popular winter activity for kids in Grand Rapids.

Libraries on wheels

The Merrie-Go-Round brought books to the community.

‘Where friends meet’

The Apartment Lounge is a haven for those in need of community.

Saving nature

Community organizing helped keep Charles Garfield’s legacy intact.

Rock enthusiast

Blandford Nature Center founder was a hidden gem.

Women on the line

A group of Grand Rapids factory workers stood up for labor rights.

Breaking barriers

Dr. Eugene Browning paved the way for Black doctors in Grand Rapids.

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

Rev. David May ensured Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy grew in Grand Rapids.

Holidays past

This holiday scene shows what Christmas looked like in a house at 458 Adams St. SE, circa 1925.

Here comes Santa

The Jaycees ensured Santa Claus continued to visit Grand Rapids each year.

Women and Prohibition

As Prohibition played out in Grand Rapids, local women were active on both sides of the issue.

Unknowable history

An old ice cream sign leaves many questions unanswered.

Victory gardens

Gardening during times of upheaval has a long history.

Bridging community

Once a logging route, today the Blue Bridge is a gathering spot.

Back to work

Unemployed workers were given jobs during the Great Depression.

Play time

Mary Gardner Premington created a 'public art playground.'

Capturing history

The Robinson Studio archive offers a glimpse of the past.




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