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Mecosta County Michigan Historical Markers

 
"Old Main" Marker image, Touch for more information
By Joel Seewald, August 4, 2017
"Old Main" Marker
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — "Old Main"
Near Oak Street near Ives Avenue, on the right when traveling east.
On this site was located "Old Main," a landmark of Ferris Institute in its early years. From its dedication in January 1894 until its loss by fire in February 1950, "Old Main" helped create many happy memories for thousands of "Fi's." Preparation . . . — Map (db m106742) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — L2202 — Fairman Building
On Maple Street at South Michigan Avenue, on the right when traveling east on Maple Street.
Banker Ferdinand Fairman (1833-1902) built this structure in 1880-81. The upper floors housed offices, and the basement and first floor offered a variety of commercial businesses, including a combined tobacco store--billiard hall and Fairman's bank. . . . — Map (db m106784) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — 114 — Ferris Institute
On Oak Street west of Ives Avenue, on the right when traveling east.
This college was founded in 1884 by Woodbridge N. Ferris as the Big Rapids Industrial School. His objective was to provide low cost, practical training for all with a real desire to study, regardless of a lack of previous formal education. The . . . — Map (db m106741) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — Ferris State College
On North Michigan Avenue at Maple Street (State Highway 20), on the left when traveling north on North Michigan Avenue.
This plaque marks the first permanent site of Ferris State College established by Woodbridge N. Ferris 1884 — Map (db m106919) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — L1418 — First United Methodist Church
On South Warren Avenue south of Elm Street, on the left when traveling south.
The First United Methodist Church was designed by W.E.N. Hunter, a Detroit architect who specialized in church designs. The domed Beaux Arts style building reflects a trend in using Early Christian architectural forms of the 4th and 5th centuries in . . . — Map (db m106753) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — Helen's Garden
Near Oak Street west of Ives Avenue, on the right when traveling east.
Helen Gillespie Ferris (1853-1917) loved flowers as much as she was inspired by learning and cultivating lives. This garden was conceived on the 125th anniversary of the institution that she and her husband Woodbridge N. Ferris, founded to . . . — Map (db m106744) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — Historic Downtown Big Rapids
On South Michigan Avenue, on the right when traveling north.
Caption - upper image This store was located at 114 S. Michigan Ave., where Rogers Jewelers is now located. Caption - lower image The J. C. Penney Co. and the A & P Food Store (right) occupied two . . . — Map (db m106716) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — Historic Downtown Big Rapids
On South Michigan Avenue, on the right when traveling north.
"This play house is said to have cost forty thousand dollars. Is a peach. Scenery raised above stage instead of sliding back," wrote Fred Roof of Big Rapids on the back of a postcard mailed on October 15, 1908 to his girl friend and future wife, . . . — Map (db m106752) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — Historic Downtown Big Rapids
On South Michigan Avenue, on the right when traveling north.
Caption - upper image "Uncle Ray" sent this postcard of Michigan Ave. to his nephew David Erickson in 1947. Judson's Hardware opened in 1903. Caption - lower image This photo was taken in front of the . . . — Map (db m106781) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — Historic Downtown Big Rapids
On South Michigan Avenue at Maple Street (State Highway 20), on the right when traveling south on South Michigan Avenue.
The Fairman and Newton Block replaced the Mason House after an act of arson burned down the wooden frame hotel in 1879. Ferdinand Fairman located his banking business in the basement of his brick building, while the upper stories were reserved for a . . . — Map (db m106840) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — Historic Downtown Big Rapids
On North Michigan Avenue north of Maple Street (State Highway 20), on the left when traveling north.
Upper Image Caption This building was built on this location in 1886. It became Citizens State Bank in 1901. The Big Rapids Pioneer was housed in the basement of the bank with an entryway on Maple Street. Lower . . . — Map (db m106920) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — Historic Downtown Big Rapids
On North Michigan Avenue north of Maple Street (State Highway 20), on the right when traveling north.
Upper Image Caption Don's Radio & T.V. and Lutzke's Pianos and Organs were once located on the west side Michigan Avenue, across from City Hall, where we now have a shopping center parking lot. Lower Image . . . — Map (db m106958) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — L1119 — Mineral Well
On Northland Drive at South State Street, on the left when traveling east on Northland Drive.
Side 1 In 1890, Alf Clark, who hoped to find oil at this site, found instead mineral water. Baths or drinks of Clark's Red Cross Electric Mineral Water were said to cure many maladies. By 1893 the Big Rapids Mineral Water . . . — Map (db m106717) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — L547 — Nisbett Block
On Maple Street (State Highway 20) at South Michigan Avenue, on the right when traveling east on Maple Street.
Daniel F. Comstock (1831-1903), a lumberman and president of Mecosta County Savings Bank, began erecting this building in 1885 to house stores, a hotel, and the bank. When the bank failed in 1896, Comstock lost all of his assets, including the . . . — Map (db m106756) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — L384 — Old Mecosta County Jail
On South Stewart Avenue, on the right when traveling south.
Big Rapids became the county seat in 1859 and incorporated as a city in 1869. This building, antedated by two other jails, served as the county jail and sheriff's residence from 1893 until 1965. The oldest public structure in the original plat of . . . — Map (db m106754) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Big Rapids — L414 — St. Andrew's Episcopal Church
On South State Street (Business U.S. 131) at Locust Street on South State Street.
St. Andrew's Parish was organized in 1870, when Michigan's logging industry was flourishing. Among its early members were George Stearns, the mayor, and Thomas Lazell, the police magistrate. The simple white pine Gothic Revival church was built by . . . — Map (db m106747) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Green Charter Township — S720 — Anna Howard Shaw
On 22 Mile Road 0.3 miles west of 220th Avenue, on the left when traveling west.
Side 1 As a child in 1859, suffragist Anna Howard Shaw (1847-1919) moved with her family from Massachusetts to Mecosta County. Her father soon returned east with two of his sons, leaving behind his wife and four younger children . . . — Map (db m106786) HM
Michigan (Mecosta County), Paris — S506 — Paris Fish Hatchery
Near Northland Drive 0.2 miles north of 22 Mile Road, on the right when traveling north.
Opening in 1881, the Paris Fish Hatchery was the state's second fish-rearing agency. This area was selected because of its abundant sources of water and excellent railroad connections. The Paris Fish Hatchery was a major supplier of salmon and brown . . . — Map (db m55404) HM

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