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dodgeboy11

GR History

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The GR Historical Commission has a website with various photo essays: www.historygrandrapids.org Looks like it is fairly new, but it has some interesting pics including stuff on the Brookby estate that we chatted about last year. (Sorry if this was posted/discussed before.....couldn't find any references to it, though.)

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Speaking of GR history, I have heard a vicious rumor about DT. Apparently, when they built the retaining walls along the river, they had to raise the terrain surrounding it. So, they dumped anything they could find--trash, vehicles, etc. and covered it with dirt. This came from a buddy of mine who read it in a GR book. Does anybody know anything about this? Is this why every project DT seems to come with a Brownfield credit?

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Speaking of GR history, I have heard a vicious rumor about DT. Apparently, when they built the retaining walls along the river, they had to raise the terrain surrounding it. So, they dumped anything they could find--trash, vehicles, etc. and covered it with dirt. This came from a buddy of mine who read it in a GR book. Does anybody know anything about this? Is this why every project DT seems to come with a Brownfield credit?

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I have heard similar rumors... when doing work on a building in the heartside area, there was concern over what we would find if we opened up the floors to look at the foundations...

All we did find was a VERY high water table and some nasty soils...

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I have heard similar rumors... when doing work on a building in the heartside area, there was concern over what we would find if we opened up the floors to look at the foundations...

All we did find was a VERY high water table and some nasty soils...

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I am pretty sure that Grant Park in Chicago is on top of the wreckage from the Great Chicago Fire. As far as brown fields go I think that there is a lot of lead paint and asbestos in the old buildings that makes them qualify.

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I've heard that the Public Museum site was the dumping ground for all of the debris from old city hall. I'm sure when they filled in the canals they used whatever wasn't nailed down.

I guess that is why so many archeological finds are made at dump sites.

Joe

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I think it was common back-in-the-day to fill the void space in walls with trash. When the Fulton St. Cemetery wall came down, we found a lot of old items used to fill in the rubble wall.

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I have heard similar rumors... when doing work on a building in the heartside area, there was concern over what we would find if we opened up the floors to look at the foundations...

All we did find was a VERY high water table and some nasty soils...

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The "old dump" I have personal knowledge of is from Webster north to Turner /West River on the west side of the Grand River. When they built the new Road Commission building in 1987, the north portion of the site was old dump". The salt dome is built on piling due the "soils" underneath it. The building footings are on auger cast piles placed through the "soils". Lots of old bottles and misc trash were bought up by the augers.

The United Wholesale Grocery at the corner of Ann & Turner is a relatively unique "steel" building in that all the metal in it, exterior and interior walls, roof trusses, roof, etc are all aluminum to reduce the building dead load due to the "soils".

When I was a kid, my dad borrowed "Uncle Koopy's" Dodge pickup (he was a plaster man) and picked up the trash from our house, Uncle Koopy's, Aunt Cora's and my grandmothers. Off to the Turner dump (north of Ann, east of Turner to the river) we went. The City of GR operated it, the city garbage trucks dumped there as well as could citizens. They had a bulldozer that pushed and compacted the trash (I really looked forward to see the bulldozer, especially if it was working :D ) There were folks that showed up to pick the "good" stuff as well as the metals etc. The best part of the trip was riding home sitting in the empty bed of the pickup :yahoo: The bad part - the loose sand and lime in the back that the wind kicked up in my eyes :cry:

One other aside, we didn't really generate much trash in those days. My mother was unusual in that she didn't "can" many vegetables in glass reusable mason jars. Almost every house including ours had a fruit cellar with shelves for all the filled mason jars. The metal cans were flattened for the trip to the dump, glass bottles made the same trip. Milk was delivered in glass bottles and he took back the empties for refilling. Other wise, no plastic, no Styrofoam, meat was wrapped in butcher paper, fruits & vegetables were bagged in paper or reusable wood containers / baskets. Meat scraps were fed to the dog. Newspapers were taken to the school paper drives. Food waste went into the 10 gallon "garbage can" that the city picked up from the curb once a week.

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...Almost every house including ours had a fruit cellar with shelves for all the filled mason jars. ...

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The "old dump" I have personal knowledge of is ...

...When I was a kid, my dad borrowed "Uncle Koopy's" Dodge pickup (he was a plaster man) and picked up the trash from our house, Uncle Koopy's, Aunt Cora's and my grandmothers. Off to the Turner dump (north of Ann, east of Turner to the river) we went...

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I forgot about the burning. Our neighborhood didn't burn outside - most folks had incinerators in the basement. That's were the butcher paper and grocery bags (not needed for the paper drive) along with the junk mail were burned. My folks would get irritated when one of the neighbors would light his incinerator on those hot still humid summer nights and the stench of burning garbage would linger in the neighborhood. Normal practice - courtesy to your neighbors - was to light it on windy days.

Yep, things were different back in those days :P

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Raildudes Dad, you bring back memories! I recall very clearly driving to the old dump off Turner -- my Dad would load stuff into the back of the Plymouth (and later the VW -- that was harder) and off we would go. Our neighborhood did burn trash, and one of my first "adult" jobs was getting to burn the trash behind our house. Leaves, of course, were regularly burned until air pollution laws ended that practice.

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LADave: I forgot about the leaves :whistling:. My grandmother owned a corner lot with several big Dutch Elms (until the disease hit). I couldn't wait to get home from school to rake the leaves and fill the gutters from one lot line to the other. Rainy days or low leaf drop were bad days. Oh what fun to burn the leaves for hours after school :yahoo: . Today, burning leaves smell bad but in those days it was nectar to the nose :D

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A good friend over at Progressive told me once that they kept finding huge underground voids when they were building the Devos Center. I seem to recall that he said they pumped some astronomical amount of concrete (maybe even a couple hundred truck loads?) into the hole for weeks before it started to finally fill up. They were wondering if the concrete was simply flowing into some sort of black hole. Maybe someone with the construction company recalls this? It certainly makes a person wonder about the long term stability of some of our bldgs DT.

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Almost sounds like there's some sort of cave down there.. but can the geography of the area support caves?

What am I talking about, there's mines not far from there...

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