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Your destination - Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is located in central Michigan on the Grand River rapids, the source of the citys name. Once known as the Furniture Capital of America, the city achieved this reputation at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876--as well as from waterpower supplied by the rapids, the abundance of local lumber, and the highly skilled cabinetmakers who immigrated to the area from The Netherlands, Sweden, and England. Though Grand Rapids continues to be a leading producer of office furniture, its economy has diversified into fields of manufacturing ranging from automotive parts, hardware, machinery, and tools, to footwear, plastics, home appliances, processed foods, and printing.

The city’s multiracial population estimated at more than 190,000 is served by Kent County International Airport, four railroads, and five bus systems. Notable points of interests are The Ford Presidential Museum, housing exhibits associated with President Gerald R. Ford; The Furniture Museum; The Public Museum of Grand Rapids; the Alexander Calder metal sculpture in the downtown Vandenberg Center; 50 parks, a planetarium, a zoo, and the annual Grand Rapids Festival of Arts. For recreation, the city is near the Lake Michigan resort region. In the early 1800s, Grand Rapids was settled by European missionaries and fur traders on land originally occupied and cultivated by the Ottawa Indians. It was incorporated as a city in 1850.


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