Downtown Grand Haven is rich in history with a heritage that dates back to the early 1800s when the city was founded by French settlers. It was best known in those days for its fur-trading outpost called “Gabagouache,” which was first established by Madeline La Framboise and her husband. The outpost took the name from the Pottawattamie Indians name for the area, Gabagouache. The trading post was later taken over by business tycoon and first millionaire in the United States, John Jacob Astor and the American Fur Company and became a hub of economic activity in the area.
Over the years, downtown Grand Haven evolved into a modern day district with architectural elements still evident from virtually every decade in the 1900s and beyond. For more detailed information about the heritage of Grand Haven, visit the Tri-Cities Historical Museum section of our site or the museum’s web site.