Grand Haven, Michigan
|Grand Haven, Michigan|
|— City —|
|Grand Haven Lighthouse|
|Nickname(s): Coast Guard City U.S.A.|
|• Mayor||Geri McCaleb|
|• Total||7.36 sq mi (19.06 km2)|
|• Land||5.77 sq mi (14.94 km2)|
|• Water||1.59 sq mi (4.12 km2)|
|Elevation||662 ft (202 m)|
|• Estimate (2011)||10,511|
|• Density||1,804.5/sq mi (696.7/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0627084|
Grand Haven is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and is the county seat of Ottawa County. Grand Haven is located on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Grand River, for which it is named. As of the 2010 census, Grand Haven had a population of 10,412. It is part of the Holland-Grand Haven Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 263,801 in 2010. The city is home to the Grand Haven Memorial Airpark (3GM) and is located just north of Grand Haven Charter Township.
The city dates its founding to French settlers and a fur-trading outpost called Gabagouache, which was first established by Madeline La Framboise and her husband. The outpost took the name from the Pottawattamie Indians name for the area, Gabagouache. The trading post was later taken over by business tycoon and first millionaire in the United States, John Jacob Astor and the American Fur Company and became a hub of economic activity in the area.
The Pottawattamie and Ottawa Indians lived in the area much earlier as the river was a major Native American trade route into the interior of Michigan. The impact of the Ottawa tribe on the area continues to be seen with the discovery of new artifacts.
The city was first called "Grand Haven" in 1835 and the community was incorporated as a city in 1867. The first permanent resident was a Presbyterian minister, William Montague Ferry, who founded the first area church and neighboring town of Ferrysburg. The second church opened 16 years later in 1850. In 1851, Ferry created the city's first bank in the old Ferry & Son building on Harbor Drive. Ferry also started a school, Ferry Elementary, which is still operating to this day.
In the mid-to-late 19th century, Grand Haven developed into a logging, lumber mill and shipping area, as well as a shipbuilding center. During the early 20th century Grand Haven was as a manufacturing hub for the area building everything from automobiles to car parts to furniture to lighting and pianos.
The former Grand Trunk Railway on the waterfront near the river is now a historical museum. The Story and Clark Piano Company built pianos in the city from 1900-1984. The smokestack at the piano factory collapsed during the Southern Great Lakes Derecho of 1998. In August 2006, Eagle-Ottawa Leather Co. which traces its origin back to the Sheldon Tannery founded in 1838, announced it would close all Grand Haven operations in October.
The Grand Haven Lighthouses were first built in 1839 on the south pier marking the channel into the river. The current lighthouses, painted red, were built in 1875 (outer light) and 1905 (inner). They are connected by a lighted catwalk which runs along the pier to the shore.
Business and tourism 
Grand Haven is now an active resort, boating, fishing and port community. The city has over 100 miles (160 km) of bike trails, a state beach, boardwalk, two lighthouses, a pier, wharf, large charter fishing fleet and a Great Lakes port, where it imports limestone, slag, cement and coal while exporting sand. Grand Haven is a destination point for residents of inland cities of West Michigan, such as Grand Rapids. Many Grand Rapidians visit regularly to take advantage of the pristine Lake Michigan beaches, State campgrounds, restaurants, bars, attractions and many even have cottages in the area as their home away from home.
Grand Haven State Park was nationally recognized for having one of the top five beaches in the United States, by Good Morning America - Travel Mom. In summer, water temperatures can reach the low 70s (Fahrenheit), bringing tens of thousands of visitors. These visitors are a boon to the local economy.
West Michigan has been called the Midwest Mecca of beach volleyball due to the quality of sands. Grand Haven State Beach is one of many destinations for volleyball enthusiasts and hosts the AVP Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament throughout the summer months.
The state park also includes a campground on Lake Michigan, near the pier and lighthouses. In addition, the city features a ski park (Mulligan's Hollow Ski Bowl) and a skate park. The waterfront locations bring tourists from all over the state and region for boating, sailing, jet skiing, and wind surfing.
Grand Haven is also home to a golf course. The Grand Haven Golf Club was designed in 1965 by the legendary pioneer of Michigan golf, architect Bruce Matthews Sr. It has been featured in Sports Illustrated, Golf Digest magazines and on USA Network's "PGA Tour Sunday." It also gained national attention as being home to the LPGA's Shoreline Classic until recently.
Grand Haven is home to the United States Coast Guard's "Group Grand Haven," which coordinates all Lake Michigan Coast Guard activities. The first Coast Guard presence in the city was in 1924. The Coast Guard cutter Escanaba was based in the city until the Second World War. After it was sunk by a U-boat of the German Navy, the citizens of Grand Haven raised more than $1,000,000 in bonds to build a replacement cutter bearing the same name; several pieces of wreckage remain displayed on the city's waterfront. Grand Haven hosts the annual Coast Guard Festival, a celebration based on Coast Guard Day, which draws U.S. and Canadian vessels along with parades of bands and other activities, including a memorial to the 101 sailors lost in the Escanaba sinking. The yearly attendance for this event exceeds 300,000 people over the two-week period of the festival. Grand Haven is only city officially designated as Coast Guard City, USA by an act of Congress signed by President Bill Clinton. The act was Public Law 105-383 enacted by the United States Congress and signed by the president on November 13, 1998.
The Grand Haven Musical Fountain was built on the opposite bank of the Grand River from the city center in 1969. It plays nightly during the tourist season. When it was built, it was the world's largest such fountain. Today, the overall largest fountain is in Las Vegas.
Grand Haven has been one of many technology leaders in West Michigan and throughout the country, having been featured in the national media, including on ABC, in PCWorld, ComputerWorld and Forbes magazine. The city was the first municipality in the country to feature a city-wide wireless internet service. The wireless service is designed to work throughout the city and up to 15 miles (24 km) offshore for boaters. In 2004, the city started offering wireless internet service every day to residents, businesses and visitors. However, this wireless internet service is not free, and users must pay to use it on varying cost-time scales.
Primary and secondary schools 
- Grand Haven Public Schools
- Grand Haven High School
- Central High School
- White Pines Middle School
- Lakeshore Middle School
- Voyagers School
- Rosy Mound Elementary
- Robinson Elementary
- Peach Plains Elementary
- Mary A. White Elementary
- Lake Hills Elementary
- Griffin Elementary
- Ferry Elementary
- Grand Haven Christian School
- St.John's Lutheran School
Major highways 
- US 31 runs through the city along a boulevard and utilizes a drawbridge over the Grand River at the northern city limit.
- M-104 runs easterly from US 31 in Ferrysburg, through Spring Lake and toward I-96.
2010 census 
As of the census of 2010, there were 10,412 people, 4,769 households, and 2,721 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,804.5 inhabitants per square mile (696.7 /km2). There were 5,815 housing units at an average density of 1,007.8 per square mile (389.1 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.0% White, 0.7% African American, 0.9% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.
There were 4,769 households out of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.1% were married couples living together, 11.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 42.9% were non-families. 37.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.82.
The median age in the city was 42.9 years. 20.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.2% were from 25 to 44; 28.5% were from 45 to 64; and 19.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.4% male and 52.6% female.
2000 census 
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,168 people, 4,979 households, and 2,892 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,923.5 per square mile (742.2/km²). There were 5,532 housing units at an average density of 952.8 per square mile (367.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.35% White, 0.45% African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.87% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.40% from other races, and 1.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.58% of the population.
There were 4,979 households out of which had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.9% were non-families. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.81.
In the city the population was spread out with 20.1% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.0 males.
The city also has its own radio station, WGHN 92.1FM/AM1370.
Economic data 
The median income for a household in the city was $40,322, and the median income for a family was $50,000. Males had a median income of $34,846 versus $28,472 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,274.
The median home cost in Grand Haven is $180,700. Home appreciation over the last year has been 2.20 percent. Homes directly on Lake Michigan cost considerably more than the median price though.
Grand Haven's cost of living is 6.10% lower than the U.S. average.
71.55% of the registered voters of Grand Haven are registered Republican, 27.64% Democrats, and the remaining 0.8% are independent.
Grand Haven public schools spend $6,588 per student, while the average school expenditure in the U.S. is $6,058. 19.85 percent of the city's population holds a four-year degree, compared with 15.16 percent nationally.
The unemployment rate is 12.6 percent. Recent job growth is positive and jobs have increased by 0.76 percent.
As of 2007, the area's major employers included:
- Herman Miller, Spring Lake
- Shape Corporation
- County of Ottawa
- Grand Haven Area Public Schools
- North Ottawa Community Hospital
- Meijer, Inc.
- ASIMCO Technologies
- Alcoa Automotive Castings
The city houses some of the courts for Ottawa County. Other offices are located in West Olive, Hudsonville and Holland Township. It manages its own fire and police departments and is the location of the lakeshore's power source, Grand Haven Board of Light and Power.
Notable natives 
- Neal Ball, the first player in Major League baseball to execute an unassisted triple play (accomplished in 1909)
- Gary Hogeboom, former NFL quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys. Also a former contestant on the CBS reality TV show Survivor: Guatemala. He also coaches the Grand Haven High School JV Girls Basketball Team.
- Dan Bylsma, former National Hockey League forward and current head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Tom Izzo, current Michigan State Spartans Basketball coach, owns a home and spends his summers in Grand Haven
- Howard Bailey, former Detroit Tigers Pitcher
- Al Capone, famous American gangster. Reputed to have owned a safe house in Grand Haven.
- John Potter, NFL Kicker for the Buffalo Bills.
- Dann O'Neill, NFL Offensive Tackle for the Houston Texans.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-02.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Grand Haven, Michigan
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- First WiFi City - First City to Offer CityWide WiFi Coverage
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