City of Portland / Portland Downtown Historic District

Registered Site L2326

City of Portland / Portland Downtown Historic District

In 1833, Elisha Newman filed a federal land grant for extensive land around the Looking Glass and Grand Rivers what would later become the village of Portland. Early Ionia County histories state that Philo Bogue built a trading post on the Grand Driver later that year, selling New York goods to local travelers. Settlers began arriving in numbers in 1836, and in 1837 a post office opened in the new town under the name of “Portland.” The village was incorporated in 1869. The railroad added a stop at Portland that same year, spurring industrial growth. Mills, furniture factories, metal foundries, ad a washing machine manufacturer were among the successful businesses. Cultural centers such as an 1880 Opera House and the 1905 Carnegie Library enriched village life, Continuing to grow, Portland incorporated as a city in 1969.
photo of City of Portland / Portland Downtown Historic District

Portland Downtown Historic District

Portland’s Downtown Historic District is located along Kent and Maple Streets, between Academy Street and Grand River Avenue, where the Looking Glass and Grand Rivers once hosted planning mills, sawmills and grist mills. Early downtown structures were built of wood, but brick buildings replaced these after several major fires occurred in the late nineteenth century. The district contains a variety of architectural styles, from late Victorian office blocks to a Neoclassical and an International style bank and a Modern movie theater. In1890 the Groton Bridge and Manufacturing Company of New York built the iron bridge across the Grand River that became known as Veterans Memorial Bridge. The district is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.



Erected 2019

Location: 157 Kent St
Portland, Ionia County

Topics:
Cities and Towns
Historic Districts

Latitude: 42.8697174, Longitude: -84.9049369

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