Grand Rapids in 1868

by Albert Ruger, Artist

Price: $15.00 ($12.00 for Historical Society members)
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Grayscale Reprint of “Grand Rapids, Michigan 1868” Map on Off-White Paper
Suitable for Framing
Dimensions 25” x 16 1/2”



Panoramic maps were also called bird’s-eye view maps because towns and cities were drawn as if viewed from above at a slanted angle, much like a bird might see from a half mile away as it flew by the town. Panoramic cartographers didn’t worry so much about the exact scale of their drawings; they concentrated instead on illustrating street patterns, individual buildings, and major landscape features in perspective.

The Grand Rapids, Michigan 1868 map shows both the East Side Water Power Canal and the newly completed West Side Water Power Canal with a wooden log dam routing the water just above the rapids. Also notice most of the river boat channel is still there before it will be completely filled-in the 1870s.

The original map was produced by Chicago Lithographing Company, 152 & 154 Clark St., Chicago, Illinois in 1868.



Panoramic map artist, Albert Ruger popularized this type of map in the mid- to late-1800s. Ruger formed Merchants Lithographing Company with a partner in the late 1860s, producing many of these popular maps across the United States. Aerial photographs and earth-orbiting satellite mapping techniques of today have made Ruger’s panoramic map-making techniques somewhat outdated, but his panoramic maps can give us a glimpse into the past of America’s towns and cities.



1. High School
2. Ward School
3. County Offices

Railroad Depots
4. D. & M. R. R. Depot
5. G. R. & I. R. R. Depot – East Side
6. G. R. & I. R. R. Depot – West Side

7. 1st Baptist
8. 2nd Baptist
9. Congregational
10. 1st Dutch Reformed
11. 2nd Dutch Reformed
12. Episcopal
13. Catholic
14. Hollandish
15. Lutheran
16. 1st Methodist
17. German Methodist
18. 1st Presbyterian
19. 2nd Presbyterian
20. Swedenborgian
21. Universalist
22. Methodist
23. Cemetery

24. National House
25. Rathbun House
26. Bridge St. House
27. Eagle Hotel
28. Tremont House
29. Michigan House
30. Union House
31. Canal St. House
32. Ohio House

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

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