Annual Local History Roundtable
10th Annual Local History Roundtable: "Connections Along the Grand River”
Our tenth anniversary local history roundtable will examine the histories of communities and towns along the Grand River--how they came into being--and the role of the river in their survival and revitalization. As part of this conversation we will consider how the river resulted in vibrant communities in the early 20th century and shaped the West Michigan landscape in tracing the river from the interior to Lake Michigan.
Earlier this spring, the Kutsche Office of Local History received a Third Coast Conversations grant from the Michigan Humanities Council. This grant supports our project "Connections Along the Grand River," which seeks to locate the Grand River as a significant driver of West Michigan's growth and shaping communities' diversity in the region. We're interested in capturing the histories of the communities and towns along the Grand River—how they came into being—and the role of the river in their survival and revitalization. As part of this conversation, we will consider how the river resulted in vibrant communities in the early 20th century and shaped the West Michigan landscape in tracing the river from the interior to Lake Michigan.
- 2018 (Returning to our Roots: Explorations of Western Michigan's Diverse Communities) Held at GVSU's Allendale campus; featured speakers included: Ronald J. Stephens of Purdue University, Kathryn Remlinger (GVSU), and Andrea Riley-Mukavetz (GVSU)
- 2017 ("Reconstructing Home"): Held at GVSU's Mary Idema Pew Library and Information Commons; featured speakers included Professor Bich (Beth) Minh Nguyen (author of Stealing Buddha's Dinner), Julie Tabberer, Head of the Local History Department and Special Collections at Grand Rapids Public Library, and Nathan Nietering of Saugatuck-Douglas History Center.
- 2016 ("Changing Communities"): Held at GVSU's Mary Idema Pew Library and Information Commons; featured speakers included Todd Robinson (author of City Within a City), Tim Gleisner (now of Herrick District Library), and Delia Fernandez (Michigan State University)
- 2015 ("Food, Farm, and Table"): Held at the Grand Rapids Public Library, featured speakers included Hank Meijer (Meijer, Inc.) and Ellen Messer (Tufts University).
- 2014 ("Immigration and Civil Rights"): Held at the Holland Museum, featured speakers included Bing Goei (State of Michigan) and Nora Salas (GVSU)
- 2013 ("Natives, Settlers, and Founders: Our Shared Community History"): Held at the Grand Haven Community Center, featured speakers included Eric Hemenway (LTBB), Wallace Ewing, and Marjie Viveen
- 2012 ("Transportation and Waterways"): Held at the Annis Water Institute in Muskegon, featured speakers included Kevin Finney (Jijak Foundation), Carl Bajema (GVSU), Daniel Yakes (MCC), Christine Byron (GRPL), and Tom Wilson
- 2011 ("Meaning of the 150th Civil War Commemoration"): Held on GVSU's Allendale campus
- 2010 (General meeting): Held on GVSU's Allendale campus