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The City of East Grand Rapids, Michigan, in Kent County, is surrounded by Grand Rapids except for the east, where it borders Grand Rapids Charter Township.

An inner suburb of Grand Rapids, other nearby cities include Kentwood, Wyoming, Grandville, Walker, and Lowell. Although it doesn't touch the city, M-37 is a north-west highway that runs just east of the city, nearly touching it in the northeast. I-96 passes north and east of the city, a couple of miles outside of its borders. A major route to and from the city is Lake Drive, which enters the city in the northwest and exits in the southeast, running through the center of town, where it connects with M-37. Others include Breton Road and Robinson Road SE, the latter of which forms the northern boundary of the city.

Reeds Lake, a 265-acre freshwater lake, is almost entirely within the borders of East Grand Rapids, in the northeast. While most of its shore is bordered by large homes, the west end of the lake includes a park, library, and municipal offices. To the west of Reeds Lake is Fisk Lake, a 26-acre freshwater lake that is entirely within the city. It receives water from Reeds Lake and drains into the Grand River by way of Coldbrook Creek. Surrounded by single-family homes, Fisk Lake is almost entirely hidden from public view.

East Grand Rapids is an affluent community. Although the city experienced significant population growth from 1900, the first year it appears on a census report, to 1970, it has declined slightly every decade since, although it is projected to increase by more than ten percent when the 2020 census comes out.

The founding of East Grand Rapids dates back to the 1930s, when Lew and Ezra Reed came to the area from New York, bringing their families. Miss Sophia Reed and Miss Euphemia Davis opened a school near Reeds Lake in 1834. The following year, a schoolhouse was built nearby, with Francis Prescott as teacher.

East Grand Rapids was incorporated as a village in 1891, becoming a city in 1926.

Reeds Lake soon became a popular summer destination for people from Grand Rapids, who spent summer days picnicking, swimming, and boating. By the 1870s, a lakeside pavilion on the west shore of the lake hosted orchestras and plays. Early visitors came by foot, stagecoach, or by horse and buggy. In the mid-1870s, the Grand Rapids and Reeds Lake Railway, a horse-drawn rail car, connected Grand Rapids with Reeds Lake. Later, the horses were replaced by a steam locomotive, and electric streetcars were introduced in the 1890s. They were replaced by buses in 1935.

Reeds Lake became the site of Ramona Park, an amusement park owned and operated by the Grand Rapids Street Railway. It Operated from 1897 to 1955. The Ramona Park Theatre Pavilion featured plays, musicals, Vaudeville acts, burlesque, silent films, and talkies. Local and nationally-known entertainers would often appear at the theater, which was dismantled in 1949. Regularly scheduled steamboat excursions on Reeds Lake began in 1882 and continued to 1955. At one time, there were four steamboats in operation.

Although several homes in East Grand Rapids are more than a hundred years old, its major home construction booms were in the 1920s and 1950s.

Named for the flickering gas lamps that line its streets, Gaslight Village is in the heart of the city, currently including a mix of more than fifty restaurants, shops, and professional services.

The focus of this guide is on the City of East Grand Rapids. As such, appropriate resources include websites representing the city itself, as well as any individuals, businesses, industries, schools, places of worship, organizations, attractions, and events within the city.

 

 

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