Historic Grand Haven

Rix Robinson had a trading post for his fur business when Rev. William M. Ferry, his family, and a few others arrived from Mackinac Island on November 2, 1834. Robinson, Ferry, Nathan M. White, Ferry’s brother-in-law, and Robert Stuart, Ferry’s friend and financial supporter formed the Grand Haven Company to buy land, built a lumber business, and develop the area. Rev. Ferry wished to name the town Stuart, in honor of his friend, and for a few months he was Postmaster of a town by that name. Robinson’s plat, recorded in April, 1835, preceded Ferry’s application and the name Grand Haven became official on August 12, 1835. Ferry remained Postmaster Grand Haven until 1853. Prior to 1853 the post office was located in Ferry’s building on Harbor Drive. In 1853 it moved to a building then occupied by H. Tepon, and Ebenezer W. Barns became the new Postmaster, a position he held until 1861. By the 1890s Thomas Parish held that post. In 1872 a new post office was constructed at 100 Washington Street, and in 1906 a Federal Building, including the post office, opened for business at the northwest corner of Washington and Third Streets.

Grand Haven was incorporated as a City on March 30, 1867.
Source: Dr. Wallace K. Ewing, Ph.D.

In 2016, the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, listed the Grand Haven Central Historic District, Grand Haven, Ottawa County, in the National Register of Historic Places. We are delighted this significant property has been recognized through this historic designation. The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation.  The complete application may be found here: