“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” - Marcus Garvey
This statement is very fitting regarding our little slice of paradise, Portland, Michigan. The great folks at the Portland Area Historical Society work hard to ensure the whole community is aware of the Portland’s history, origin and culture as a small West Michigan town.
On Thursday, March 14, 2019, The Kutsche Office of Local History will be holding their 10th Annual Local History Roundtable titled: “Connections Along the Grand River,” at the Seidman building on GVSU’s Grand Rapids Campus.
The presentation will focus on how the Grand River has been a significant driver behind West Michigan’s growth and the shaping of the diversity found in the communities within the region.
The Historical Society will capture the rich histories of the communities and towns that located along the Grand River, how they became the vibrant communities they have and the role the river played in their survival and rejuvenation.
For this conference, the Kutsche Office of Local History is partnering with nearly 20 organizations and individuals that reach from Grand Haven to Portland to discuss the history connected to the Grand River.
Recently, The Kutsche Office of Local History received a Third Coast Conservations grant from the Michigan Humanities Council which will support the “Connections Along the Grand River,” project.
The Portland Area Historical Society is a non-profit organization which is dedicated to the preservation of Portland’s local history and the education of the community through reenactments and monthly programs.
For more information about the Connections Along the Grand River 10th Annual Local History Roundtable visit their website.
This year Portland will be celebrating 150 years since becoming a village in 1869 and a city in 1969. The Portland Area Historical Society will be hosting several events kicking off in the Spring and lasting into the Fall.
Always a Small Town
In 1870, Portland consisted of 1,060 people and had grown to be the home of 3,936 people. The first settlement, in what would eventually be called Portland, was owned by Elisha Newman in 1833. The first post office opened in 1837 and train service began in 1869.
For more information about the history of Portland, please visit the Portland Area Historical Society’s website or their Facebook page.