Grand Haven is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Ottawa County. Grand Haven is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Grand River, for which it is named. As of the 2010 census, Grand Haven had a population of 10,412. It is part of the Grand Rapids Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 1,027,703 in 2014. The city is home to the Grand Haven Memorial Airpark (3GM) and is located just north of Grand Haven Charter Township. The Potawatomi and Ottawa Indians lived in the area for centuries and used the river as a trade route into the interior of Michigan. Some of the long culture of the Ottawa tribe is being revealed through the excavation of archeological artifacts.
The city dates its European-American founding to French colonial settlers. A fur trading outpost called Gabagouache was first established by Madeline La Framboise and her husband Joseph. After the War of 1812, this area became more settled by Americans. The first permanent resident was a Presbyterian minister, William Montague Ferry, who founded in 1834 the first area church and neighboring town of Ferrysburg. Residents named the town as “Grand Haven” in 1835. Sheldon Tannery was founded in 1838, developing to process leathers from the fur trade and cattle. The second church was organized in 1850. Ferry founded the city’s first bank in 1851 in the Ferry & Son building on Harbor Drive.
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