Eaton Rapids, Michigan

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Eaton Rapids is a city in Eaton County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,330 at the 2000 census.

The city is located in the south of Eaton Rapids Township, on the boundary with Hamlin Township, though it is politically independent of both townships. Its nickname is the Island City since it has an adjacent island, with a public park, in the Grand River.[3]

Contents

History

Eaton Rapids was first founded by American settlers in 1835. The land was attractive to these pioneers because it only cost $1.25 an acre. People were first brought to the city by its location on the river and its appealing timber. Within the first year a sawmill was created. Soon Eaton Rapids was a bustling village with promising agricultural opportunities. Eaton Rapids was referred to as the Saratoga of the West.[4]

In 1927, Oldsmobile President Irving Jacob Reuter and his wife Janet built Meadowvue, an English Tudor mansion, at which they lived for nine years. Mr. Reuter was also a financier and inventor. The Reuters donated substantial sums to charity.

The property was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lansing, and became the home of its first Bishop, the Most Reverend Joseph H. Albers as his private residence.[5] The home was later sold to CJ and Mille Sumner who furnished the home with antiques and opened the home as an unusually ornate Adult Foster Care Home which they named "Ivy Manor". The home was sold again in 1990 and made into a Bed and Breakfast. In 1991 it was listed in the state List of Registered Historic Places in Michigan.[6] The original 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) building, complete with many of the original antique furnishings, and is 15 acres (61,000 m2) of garden and pastoral countryside located on the river, are open to the public as a restaurant and bed and breakfast and are a tourist destination. See Irving Jacob Reuter. Eaton Rapids is the home of American Idol & America's Got Talent contestant Joshua David Perry.

Geography

Eaton Rapids is on the northward course of the Grand River as it flows from Jackson to Lansing, where it turns westward, at its confluence with the Spring Brook.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.5 square miles (9.0 km²), of which, 3.4 square miles (8.8 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (3.15%) is water.

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