Grand Rapids in 1831

by Rev. John Booth, Artist

Price: $15.00 ($12.00 for Historical Society members)
+ Add to Cart

Warm-tone Grayscale Reprint on Cream-Colored Paper
Suitable for Framing
Dimensions 14 3/4” x 11”



In the foreground of Rev. John Booth’s drawing (east side/left bank) is the camp representing a Native American Indian family, while further upriver, on the same side, are the buildings of Louis Campau’s fur trading post.

Across O-Wash-Ta-Nong, the Grand River on the west side (right bank) is the cluster of buildings that made up the Rev. Slater Baptist Mission, and off to the side on a small hill is the home of the Indian Chief, Nawa-Qua-Kesik (Noonday). Prominent in the river is the first of four islands that were later filled around and made part of the east bank.

The drawing from which this print was made was first given to a nephew, G. L. Peck in 1855. Peck, in turn, sent it to Mrs. Thomas D. Gilbert of Grand Rapids with the suggestion that it be donated to the public library.

*A few original drawings can be found in the Grand Rapids Public Library, Special Collections and Archives, Art and Graphics Collection 224.



Reverend John Booth came to Grand Rapids in 1831 to assist Reverend Leonard Slater who was conducting a Baptist Mission among the Indians who lived on the west side of the Grand River. A native of England, he came to the United States as a youth. After serving as pastor for churches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, he made his way to the Michigan Territory in 1829. For the next 40 years, Michigan was his home. In addition to the little mission on the Grand River, Booth labored in Troy, Pontiac, Fenton, Owosso and other small settlements. He is said to have preached over 6,000 sermons before he died in 1869. Booth did not stay long in Grand Rapids, but the area left a vivid impression in his mind, and years later he sketched for his family, the view that he had seen as he looked east from the west bank of the Grand River.


Originally Compiled by Gordon Olson, City Historian ©1980, 2018. Grand Rapids Historical Society.

Mailing Address
Grand Rapids Historical Society
c/o Grand Rapids Public Library

111 Library St NE FL 4
Grand Rapids MI 49503-3268

(616) 988-5497 GRPL

site created by GRCMC