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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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Bailey Springs

Bailey Springs

GRHC - May 29th, 2011

Mr. Weston, a well digger, claimed a river ran under the city of Grand Rapids, It contained a stream of filtered water and surfaced at Bailey Springs, which could produce 5 million gallons of fresh water daily.    



Mr. Weston, a well digger with many years experience, claimed that Grand Rapids was built over a large underground river hundreds of feet across that varied in depth from 12 to 100 feet. In this river was a stream of filtered water, soft and of great purity, which if tapped in the right place would yield an inexhaustible supply of water.

According to Weston the main stream entered Grand Rapids from the east, running directly beneath Fisk Lake. Its course swept beneath the marshes north of the lake, and continued toward the Grand River until it was about a mile north of the Soldiers Home. Then its course ran parallel to the river until it reached the farm of Sluman S. Bailey, which occupied 1½ miles of riverfront. Here it rose near the surface creating what became known as Bailey Springs. Weston also believed another underground river surfaced on the Bailey Farm, one that came from Dean Lake to the northeast.

Bailey Springs was always in the running with Lake Michigan and the Grand River, around the turn of the century, when Grand Rapids was searching for more water sources to supply the growing city. It was estimated that the springs could provide 5,000,000 gallons of water per day. Bailey Springs was also a favorite location for picnics in the old days. Today the only remnant is Bailey Park Dr. that runs from Coit Ave. to the Grand River.




Full Details

TitleBailey Springs
KeywordsGlance at the Past, history, radio, Fisk Lake, Bailey Springs, Mr. Weston, Grand Rapids, Historical Commission, Podcast
Pubdate StringMay 29th, 2011

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