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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

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Michigan Oak School

Michigan Oak School

GRHC - December 26th, 2012

The first school in Grand Rapids Township, District No. 4 was a small log cabin with ten pupils that opened in September 1844. The teacher, Miss Amelia Davis received $12 for the three-month term.


The first school for Grand Rapids Township, District No. 4, was a 20 X 20 ft. log school built at the NW corner of Michigan and Maryland. It opened in September of 1844 with ten Pupils. Miss Amelia Davis taught the three-month term for the grand sum of $12. Originally, the school was to be a frame building, but its price of $250 exceeded that of the log building at $150.

In 1857 the district voted unanimously to build a new school and raise $200 for a building. It was constructed on James McCrath’s land on the north side of Michigan between Baltimore and Somerset Drives. In payment for the site McCrath received the old school building and $25, to be paid in two annual installments. By 1859 the district reported all debts for the new building had been paid. 

The district’s third school was built on land given by a Mr. Ball at the NW corner of Michigan and Plymouth; date of its construction in not known. Another building was constructed on that site in 1911. Originally a two-room building, the basement was later remodeled, adding two more classrooms.

Construction of a final Michigan Oak School began in 1953, back again on the 16-acre site of the old McCrath farm. In 1988 Wealthy Park Baptist Church, formerly Wealthy St. Baptist Church, occupied the former school as its new home.


Full Details

TitleMichigan Oak School
KeywordsGlance at the Past; WYCE; radio; history; Grand Rapids; Historical Commission; schools; Michigan Oak School
Pubdate StringDecember 26th, 2012

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