Ask many Michigan residents about Grand River Avenue, and they’re bound to tell you they have many fond memories of traveling along Michigan’s grand old highway. They may not all recognize it by the same name – after all, it changes in several places as it meanders from Detroit to Lansing, on through Grand Rapids and finally ends in Muskegon, but, it’s all Grand River Avenue -- US-16.
And the history of Grand River Avenue truly tells the history of Michigan.
Originally a Native American trail, this ancient path has been a westbound route from the Straits of Detroit to the eastern shores of Lake Michigan for more than a thousand years. Over time it has served as a footpath, a horse trail, a wagon rut, a stagecoach route, a plank road, a partially macadamized roadway and ultimately a two-lane motorcar route or “highway” that gave America’s earliest motorists one of their first tastes of long-distance automobile travel.
Let co-Authors Jon Milan and Gail Offen, “Grand River Avenue: From Detroit to Lake Michigan” (Arcadia Press, 2014), take you on a visual tour along one of Michigan’s true “Blue Highways,” sharing an hour of photos, memories, anecdotes and history of this amazing treasure.
Event Type(s): Adult Program
Presenter: Jon Milan and Gail Offen, Co-Authors