Plainwell in Allegan County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Early History of Plainwell
"The Island City"
Plainwell, formerly know as Plainfield, became an incorporated municipality in 1869, and later became designated as a city on March 12, 1934. The community is nestled along the banks of the Kalamazoo River and the Mill Race giving it the unique distinction of “The Island City”. Main Street in Plainwell, also known as 10th Street or Old US-131, at one time was part of the Old Plank Road that extended from Grand Rapids to Kalamazoo.
Hicks Park, originally called the Flat Iron because of its shape, is located between Allegan Street (M-89) and West Bridge Street in the center of town. The rear of the pie shaped piece is Church Street. Dedicated at Plainwell’s first homecoming in 1907, it is the city’s oldest park. After the property was established as a park, it was named in memory of the village’s first president, Joseph Hicks.
Pictured here is the J.F. Eesley Buckwheat Mill originally located on West Bridge Street between W. Bridge and Chart Streets. In 1904, Mr. Eesley had the building moved to the 700 block of East Bridge Street (where it still stands today) to make room
Plainwell Paper Mill began as Michigan Paper Company in 1886 and has also been known through the years as Hamilton Paper and Simpson Paper. The mill produced quality paper materials from waste paper and was instrumental in the history and development of the community. Operations of the mill ceased in November 2000 and was later acquired by the City of Plainwell in August 2006 with a vision to redevelop it as a multi-use facility.
Bridge Street School
The brick Bridge Street School was built in 1910 to replace the White School House which the community had outgrown. The school did not open until 1912 because additional rooms had to be added. In 1968, the School Administration Department moved into this building after all of the school children were moved to new buildings. The Administration Department remained at this site until 1984. Shortly thereafter, the building was sold to a private individual to be restored for apartment living.
Erected by City of Plainwell.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Education • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is March 12, 1934.
Location. 42° 26.699′ N, 85° 38.52′ W. Marker is in Plainwell, Michigan, in Allegan County. Marker can be reached from N. Main Street north of E. Bannister Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Plainwell MI 49080, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Soule Memorial Fountain (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Otsego Methodist Church (approx. 2.9 miles away); Welcome to the City of Otsego (approx. Otsego Civil War Memorial (approx. 3.1 miles away); Welcome to Pine Creek (approx. 4.7 miles away); Cooper Congregational Church (approx. 4.9 miles away); DeLano Homestead (approx. 6.2 miles away); The Kalamazoo Region (approx. 6.2 miles away).
More about this marker. The marker is at Site #28 of the Allegan County Heritage Trail (driving tour).
Credits. This page was last revised on May 1, 2022. It was originally submitted on June 18, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 892 times since then and 108 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. submitted on June 18, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.