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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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Daniel W. Coit

Daniel W. Coit

GRHC - February 3rd, 2010

Today's Glance at the Past introduces an early Grand Rapids land owner, Daniel W. Coit.



Before his arrival in Michigan, business had taken Daniel Coit to South America and Europe. While there he had made several investments in property.

Coit came to Michigan in October of 1833 for the purpose of grouse hunting in the then unsettled lands of the territory. He fell in with a commissioner of the United States who was engaged in locating some lands for government offices. As the commissioner proved to be a brother sportsman, they enjoyed the pursuit of grouse together. He advised Coit that he could not do better than invest a few thousand dollars in government lands in well selected sites. It would at least serve to defray the expenses of his hunting trip.

Coit took this advice and continued on to the rapids of the Grand River where he found Louis Campau, the French fur trader. Campau took great interest in Coit’s skill in shooting and knowledge of wood craft, and consequently invited him to his house.  Campau pointed out the advantages the area had for settlement, and helped Coit in selecting desirable land.

Daniel Coit patented over 2000 acres in Kent County, most of it along or close to the Grand River. Thus we have Coit Ave., Coit School, and Coit Park, but Daniel Coit, himself, never lived in Grand Rapids. His son Charles W. Coit arrived here in 1870 to look after his father’s interests. His home still stands at the corner of Cherry and Madison.

Coit’s European investment were all lost during the economic chaos of 1837, but his investment in Grand Rapids property became the main support of his family for the rest of his life. 

Full Details

TitleDaniel W. Coit
KeywordsGlance at the Past, land, Daniel Coit, settler, history, WYCE, Grand Rapids, Historical Commission, Podcast
Pubdate StringFebruary 3rd, 2010

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