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Grand Junction, Michigan is in northern Columbia Township, in northern Van Buren County, at the junction of County Roads 215 and 388.

Grand Junction is an unincorporated community, although its business district is larger than that of Breedsville, the township's only incorporated community, just over a mile south of Grand Junction. Other incorporated cities or villages within twenty miles of Grand Junction are Bangor, Bloomingdale, Lawrence, Gobles, South Haven, Hartford, Fennville, and Paw Paw. Berlamont and Lacota, both unincorporated communities, are with ten miles.

It is believed that the area that would become Grand Junction was first inhabited by the Mound Builders, a race of people about whom little is known. They were followed by the Potawatomi, who migrated to the area from southern Wisconsin around 1740, and were still in the area after Bangor and Breedsville were founded.

Before a town was founded at Grand Junction, the region was under the control of the French from 1634 to 1774, the English from 1760 to 1796, and it was a US territory until 1837, when Michigan became a state, and Van Buren County was organized in 1829. During this time, while Europeans and European-Americans had gone through the area from time to time, a town was not established here until the late 1860s, when it was learned that a railroad was going to come through.

As it turned out, two railroads came through, crossing at this point, earning the future community the name of Grand Junction. A branch of the Pere Marquette Railroad ran in a north-south direction, from Holland to Chicago, intersecting the Kalamazoo & South Haven Railroad's east-west track. At that point, a depot and a water station were built by the Pere Marquette Railroad. The Kalamazoo & South Haven Railroad arrived at Grand Junction in October of 1870, while the Pere Marquette arrived in February of 1871.

Anticipating the arrival of the railroad, Daniel Young bought six lots at the site that he believed a town would be built and became the first settler. He later opened an inn there. The second settler was a black man named Hungerford.

As the region was heavily forested, lumber operations were already in place. The lumbering firms of William F. Dickenson and Samuel Rogers donated forty acres of land for a townsite. The proprietors were Samuel Rogers, Marvin Hannahs, Conrad Crouse, and George W. Crouch, and the village was surveyed by A.J. Pierce, and recorded on December 8, 1871, although it was never incorporated as a village. A post office was established on March 4, 1872, with Mr. Crouch as postmaster.

After the railroads came, it was not unusual for three or four hundred passengers to disembark each day. Most of the early homes in Grand Junction were built of newly sawed lumber rather than the log homes that characterized many other early Michigan homes.

In 1872, there were six bars, as well as the Young Hotel, and some other small businesses. The railroad had erected several buildings on its forty acres of land, which included everything south of Main Street. Most of the town was north of Main Street, east of the post office, and along the road leading to Breedsville.

Even as the new town was being built, burning debris started a fire that destroyed most of the town, except the Young Hotel and a few smaller buildings. A restaurant owner named Nichols rebuilt the railroad eating house, as passengers would otherwise have to eat in Bangor. Conrad Crouse opened the town's first store, and John A. Wright built a sawmill in 1874.

A Congregational Church was formed in 1881, with financial support from Samuel Rogers, and St. Cyril's Catholic Church began in a small building on its current location in 1886, although it was then known as St. Casper's Mission Church.

The Grand Junction Telephone Company began in the 1920s, with a local exchange run by a residence operator. The telephones operated on batteries and to call an operator, a customer would turn the crank once, which operated an electric generator. Originally the Tri-County Telephone Company, it later became the Union Telephone Company. When automatic phones were installed by General Telephone in 1960, the local operator was no longer needed.

Since the 1930s, blueberries have been an important industry in Grand Junction and the surrounding region.

As Grand Junction is not a census-designated place, numbers for its population are not calculated, nor does it have defined borders. However, it is concentrated on the intersection of County Roads 215 and 388, with a residential area extending east along CR-388 to just beyond 53rd Street, and south along CR-215, where there is industrial development along Pickle Street.

Appropriate topics for this guide include businesses, industries, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, and events in Grand Junction, Michigan.

 

 

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