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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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Wild Animals

Wild Animals

GRHC - October 13th, 2010

The wild side of early Grand Rapids life.    



Louis Campau had near his log house, at the foot of Huron street, a hen house, also made of logs in which he kept three or four dozen hens. One night in 1833, hearing a great commotion and more cackling than usual, his men went out and closed and fastened the heavy door to the coop. Soon the noise ceased.

In the morning they found plenty of feathers, but no hens. In their place a very active wolf showed his teeth and snarled. They shot him, took off his pelt, and dragged his carcass up the Monroe Street Indian trail, where for several days its location could easily be found, either by the sense of smell or by watching the buzzards.

Barney Burton was favored with a visit among his swine by a pack of wolves, which succeeded in getting away with some of his pigs. Although closely pursued, those wolves escaped.

Sometimes there were wolves, and sometimes bears. Joel Guild, in 1835, built a small house on what he called his "marsh farm." Hearing a terrific squealing among his swine one night, he went out to investigate, and found in his pig sty a lusty young hog struggling between the paws of a much lustier bear, who was just about to carry his victim over the log wall. The bear had not the courage of his convictions, and though the rescuing party had no weapon, he dropped the lacerated pig and ambled away into the woods.


Full Details

TitleWild Animals
KeywordsGlance at the Past, history, radio, wildlife, wolf, bear, wolves, pig, animals, WYCE, Grand Rapids, Historical Commission, Podcast
Pubdate StringOctober 13th, 2010

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