This town began as a trading post established by Rix Robinson in the 1830s. Robinson, an agent for the American Fur Company, used this as one of his leading western Michigan posts. The Reverend William M. Ferry came here in 1834 from Mackinac to work with Robinson in developing a town. The Grand Haven Company was formed, and lots were platted and sold. By 1837 the town had more than two hundred inhabitants. A heavy influx of settlers in the 1840s caused the decline of the fur trade. Lumbering soon became the leading activity, and by the 1870s there were several sawmills, a shingle mill and a sash and door factory in the community of six thousand. Grand Haven became a popular health resort in the late 1800s, famous for its magnetic mineral spring.