Page Four of Our Village Walk

Town Hall
Town Hall & Theatre

The Town Hall (adjacent to City Park) was built in 1898 to house government offices, a jail, and an opera house for those seeking a higher degree of refinement.  Grand Rapids became known as one of the finest facilities on the theatrical circuit.  Besides plays, many other fancy affairs were held there, and if you give your imagination a little play, you can see ladies in long, flowing dresses stepping down from buggies.  Escorted by properly dressed gentlemen, they hustle inside for an evening of quality entertainment.  The building has been placed on the National Register of Historical Places.  Here we also pass one of two full service marinas servicing the community, one with a newly constructed boat docking area.

The end of Front Street is where the Huffman Ice House used to stand on the quarry. In the winter the Huffmans and other men in the community cut ice from the quarry and stored it in the ice house to use in the summer.  The ice was packed in saw dust to keep it from thawing.

The Wichman House
The Wichman House

Now standing at the end of Front Street is a fine example of adaptive reuse.   The main part of the Wichman House is an old granary that Mr. Wichman rescued from its country location.  It still has bin marks on the interior walls.  The rear portion of the house was another farm building.  That now serves as a garage.   The enclosed porch on the west side, still another farm building in its former life, has original beams.  These three old buildings, knuckled together, create an outstanding house that is beautifully decorated to represent a country motif.

The Former Sisters of Thurston B&B
The former Sisters of Thurston B & B Nestled In the Trees

Turning left on Beech Street, at the intersection of Beech and Second Streets on the South side are two old homes.  The one on the left is the former Sisters of Thurston Bed and Breakfast, so named for the Thurston family who lived there for many years.  It was built by Dr. Mead.





Guyer House
The Gabriel Guyer House

Looking to the right, the house you see is reputed to be the oldest house in Grand Rapids.  It was built by Gabriel Guyer, but has been added on to in recent years.





The Heeter House
The Jacob Heeter House

A right turn onto Second Street brings you to the Jacob Heeter House, also known as the Ginger Bread House.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this house   was built in the 1870s and architecturally is Gothic Revival in style.  The house was renovated beginning in 1990.  It has a spacious lawn in the rear which complements the lovely plantings in the front.



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