Step Back in Time with History Detectives at the Grand Rapids Public Library

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A consortium of local historical organizations invites you to step out of the winter cold and into our city’s rich past on January 18 at the Grand Rapids Public Library.

The day-long History Detectives event is sponsored by The Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, Grand Rapids Historical Society, GVSU Kutsche Office of Local History, Grand Rapids City Archives, the Grand Rapids Public Library and the Western Michigan Genealogical Society. 

Presenters will be exploring events prominent in Grand Rapids’ past. Topics range from the furniture strike of 1911 to the city’s role in the national suffrage movement. 

Presentations Led by Local Experts

Six 45-minute long presentations will be lead by experts who have dedicated their passion for the past to educating citizens about pivotal events and key players and groups that have shaped our city. 

Tim Gleisner, the head of collections at the Library of Michigan will be presenting on the furniture strike of 1911. During the strike, one-third of the city’s workforce walked off their jobs and engaged in a 19-week strike that laid the groundwork for lasting social, economic and historical change. Jo Ellyn Clarey and Julia Bouwkamp will introduce attendees to the critical and unheralded roll Grand Rapids suffragists played in the national movement. Both women are board members of the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, which is launching an unprecedented digital suffrage exhibition. Author, journalist, teacher and former magazine editor Marty Arnold will take the audience on a journey across the old wooden Kalamazoo highway that was a boon to Grand Rapids during the 1800s. 

The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., with a break from lunch from 12:15 to 1 pm. Reserve a boxed lunch for $10 by calling 616-234-3038 or emailing historydetectivesgr.@gmail.com

What: History Detectives
When: Saturday, Jan. 18, 9:30 a.m.-3:45 p.m.
Where: Grand Rapids Public Library
Cost: Free

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