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The City of Cedar Springs, Michigan is in the northern part of Kent County. Straddling Solon and Nelson townships, portions of the city border on Algoma and Courtland townships.

As the focus of this guide are on Cedar Springs, the online resources here should pertain to the city itself, or to any businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, events, sports teams or leagues, or recreational opportunities within the city.

The chief route to or through Cedar Springs is US-131. Although the larger part of the city is about a mile east of the highway, and accessed through 17 Mile Road NE, a non-contiguous section of the city abuts the entrance and onramp connecting the two routes. Other routes leading to and through the city include 18 Mile Road NE, Northland Drive (Main Street), and White Creek Avenue.

Sand Lake is 5.7 miles north of Cedar Springs, Rockford is 7.9 miles south, Kent City is 10.2 miles west, Sparta is 12.2 miles southwest, and Greenville is 18.1 miles east.

The first permanent European-American settler in the area that was to become Cedar Springs was Robbins Hicks, who came from Ohio in 1855. A community began as others settled in the area, lumbering being the chief attraction. On February 4, 1857, a post office was established, with Nicholas Hill as postmaster. In 1859, the village was platted and Hill recorded it in 1860.

The Grand Rapids & Indiana Railroad was completed through to Cedar Springs in 1867. At that time, there were a few homes, but very little in the way of business. By rail, the town was about twenty miles northeast of Grand Rapids. For a couple of years, while Cedar Springs was the northern terminus of the railroad, the town grew rapidly. By 1870, the town had six steam-operated sawmills producing shingles and lumber, a livery stable, four blacksmith shops, a wheelwright, and cooper, as well as three or four restaurants, three hotels, and some other shops. In 1868, the Baptist Society built a church, and the Methodist Episcopal Society began construction on a church in 1870. There was a Masonic Hall, a Union Hall, and a couple of other halls for various public gatherings. The Wolverine Clipper, a weekly newspaper, was published by Maze & Sellers. A school had been developed, although a dedicated schoolhouse had not yet been provided for.

In the early 1870s, a factory producing red flannel undergarments was established, largely targeting loggers whose work required them to be outdoors in harsh winter weather. This business survived the end of the logging era, and exists today as a viable part of the community, and one that is well represented in Cedar Springs, including its annual Red Flannel Festival.

In 1871, Cedar Springs was incorporated as a village, and the village became a city in 1960. Its incorporation as a city came about due to the need to develop a water distribution system and sewer system independent of Solon and Nelson townships.

After a couple of decades of decline beginning in 1880, Cedar Springs has enjoyed gradual growth since 1910, with only a couple of census years showing a very slight decline. Between 1970 and 1980, the city grew by 44.7%, which was followed by a decline of 0.6% in 1990.

With easy access to Grand Rapids, Cedar Springs presents as an attractive community with tree-lined streets and a mixed housing base. The city boasts a small retail business district and a stable and diversified industrial base.

The Cedar Springs Public School District covers more than a hundred square miles that includes the city and seven surrounding townships.

Opening as the Hubbard Opera House in 1880, the Kent Theatre served a variety of purposes over the years before it was acquired by the Cedar Springs Theatre Association in 1998, and is currently used for both films and live performances, including plays, concerts, jam sessions, pageants, and poetry readings.

The Fred Meijer White Pine Trail is a linear state park that dissects the city, serving bicyclists, joggers, walkers, and roller bladers during the summer, and the portion of the trail north of Russell Road can be used by snowmobilers in the winter. Situated a block south of Main and Muskegon, Morley Park includes a playground, baseball field, track, covered shelter, and several places for picnicking. The park also hosts a summer concert series. Smaller neighborhood parks include H.B. Riggle Memorial Park and North Park.

These and other topics related to the City of Cedar Springs are the focus of this guide.


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