Every community has its own vocabulary -- the names and places that make it feel like home. Here's an insider's look at the history, culture, and special character of a place called West Michigan. By the time you're done reading, you should be able to find us on The Mitten, name some of our beautiful beaches and local celebrities, describe the function of the Fish Ladder, and identify why dentists have a special place in their hearts for Grand Rapids. For extra credit: what world-famous architect designed our downtown amphitheatre?
To the rest of the world, he's America's 38th President. To Grand Rapids, he's our Favorite Son. Ford represented West Michigan in Congress 13 times before joining the presidential ticket with Richard Nixon. When he died in December 2006, the entire community mourned, lining city streets to salute his flag-draped coffin on its way to the burial service at Grace Episcopal Church in East Grand Rapids. One of Ford's last public appearances in Grand Rapids was July 30, 2003, when 10,000 people turned out for his 90th birthday party on the lawn of the Gerald R. Ford Museum. He is buried next to his museum on the banks of the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids.
See also: Celebrities, Museums
Download a brochure of all 57 Reasons to Love West Michigan (pdf). This information has been provided by The Right Place.