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Lmichigan

Coldbrook Creek

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I was reading some local story a few days back concering -- I think -- building back rapids into the Grand for recreation. In the article in passing, they mentioned it'd be in the vicinity of Coldbrook Creek. I did a bit of research, but was only able to find that it was channelized or turned into a sewer.

What I'm wondering is if anyone has any historic maps of the area that show the original head and course of the creek, and if anyone knows exactly when it was put underground?

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I was reading some local story a few days back concering -- I think -- building back rapids into the Grand for recreation. In the article in passing, they mentioned it'd be in the vicinity of Coldbrook Creek. I did a bit of research, but was only able to find that it was channelized or turned into a sewer.

What I'm wondering is if anyone has any historic maps of the area that show the original head and course of the creek, and if anyone knows exactly when it was put underground?

Not an historic map but this will link you to natural maps of GR, two of which give a high level view of Coldbrook Creek. Caution - this is a nine page pdf:

http://grcity.us/design-and-development-services/Documents/9423_Natural%20systems%20atlas.pdf

Interestingly, this came up before in the Fulton Street Farmer's Market thread (starting around post # 41) since a branch of Coldbrook Creek passes through that property underground:

http://www.urbanplan...et/page__st__40

EDIT: fixed link to pdf, I hope

Edited by walker

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Coldbrook Creek used to meander through the NorthEast side of the city. Believe it or not it emptied into a lake that used to be between Clancy and Lafayette. The lake was fiiled in and the Creston Projects where born. You can still see that the Creston Houses are in a basin to this day.-

"This runs above ground in Wilcox Park then underground along the south side of Fulton across Fuller. Then down along the west side of Fuller where the Farmer's Market is. It then extends across Michigan Street to near the railroad tracks. It surfaces in Highland Park then goes underground as it crosses College Avenue where the first dip occurs. It goes underground near the railroad tracks until it begins turning northward near Clancy Avenue entering another pond in Creston Park from the south" Coldbrook.jpg

Tanner.jpgCourtesy of Barbara VanderArk mygrandrapids.info

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Coldbrook Creek used to meander through the NorthEast side of the city. Believe it or not it emptied into a lake that used to be between Clancy and Lafayette. The lake was fiiled in and the Creston Projects where born. You can still see that the Creston Houses are in a basin to this day.-

"This runs above ground in Wilcox Park then underground along the south side of Fulton across Fuller. Then down along the west side of Fuller where the Farmer's Market is. It then extends across Michigan Street to near the railroad tracks. It surfaces in Highland Park then goes underground as it crosses College Avenue where the first dip occurs. It goes underground near the railroad tracks until it begins turning northward near Clancy Avenue entering another pond in Creston Park from the south" . . .

Courtesy of Barbara VanderArk mygrandrapids.info

Interesting stuff Drew, welcome to urbanplanet. I think I can remember that pond before the apartments were built. My father used to take me sleding on the hill there when I was quite young. I took a look around your source, mygrandrapids.info, and found an old 1853 map that shows where Coldbrook Creek flows into the Grand River, which I believe was Lmichigan's original question. It is in the pink section at the top. Gotta click to expand it though.

http://www.mygrandrapids.info/1853%20City%20Map.jpg

Edited by walker

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Mary Waters Pond is what we called it when I was a kid. Used to go look for polywags, frogs, turtles and goldfish. Filled in / piped in the early 60's?, before I had a drivers' liscence, went there by bike :)

Edited by Raildudes dad
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Coldbrook Creek used to meander through the NorthEast side of the city. Believe it or not it emptied into a lake that used to be between Clancy and Lafayette. The lake was fiiled in and the Creston Projects where born. You can still see that the Creston Houses are in a basin to this day.-

"This runs above ground in Wilcox Park then underground along the south side of Fulton across Fuller. Then down along the west side of Fuller where the Farmer's Market is. It then extends across Michigan Street to near the railroad tracks. It surfaces in Highland Park then goes underground as it crosses College Avenue where the first dip occurs. It goes underground near the railroad tracks until it begins turning northward near Clancy Avenue entering another pond in Creston Park from the south"

Courtesy of Barbara VanderArk mygrandrapids.info

Were all the city planers taking hits of LSD in the 60s???

"Yeah, let's totally fill in a perfectly good lake, man. And then....then we will like put houses there! It will be like living in

Atlantis!"

Edited by GR_Urbanist

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... I took a look around your source, mygrandrapids.info, and found an old 1853 map that shows where Coldbrook Creek flows into the Grand River, which I believe was Lmichigan's original question. It is in the pink section at the top. Gotta click to expand it though.

http://www.mygrandrapids.info/1853%20City%20Map.jpg

This map is fascinating, and I would enjoy spending some time with the real thing.

"Calder Street," no kidding. Imagine the confusion when they changed Ann to 8th and then brought her back somewhere in Richmond's Farm. I especially like seeing the schooners plying the river, and the interesting islands at the foot of Pearl.

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Were all the city planers taking hits of LSD in the 60s???

"Yeah, let's totally fill in a perfectly good lake, man. And then....then we will like put houses there! It will be like living in

Atlantis!"

Filling in bodies of water for urban development was common well before the 60s. Part of the Grand River was filled in for what is now Campau & Pearl; Manhattan was once littered with ponds and lakes which all (save for the ones in Central Park) were filled in between the 1800s and the 60s.

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Were all the city planers taking hits of LSD in the 60s???

"Yeah, let's totally fill in a perfectly good lake, man. And then....then we an like put houses there! It will be like living in

Atlantis!"

This was an attempt to "diversify" the racial makeup of the 2nd Ward. The city owned the property and the City Commission approved the subsidized housing project. Remember this was in the 60's around the time of the Detroit & GR riots. There was a 2nd ward commissioner that lived on our block, I went to school with his kids at Creston Christian School and our parents were friends (didn't go to the same church). I can remember the displeasure among many of the 2nd ward adults over the projects when he voted yes. Today this would never happen because the use of Federal funds would prohibit removing the park under 4f regs.

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Speaking of the islands in the river as was Veloise, and filling them in as was Tony, and also what Raildudes Dad said about Mary Waters Pond in his boyhood and what Joe said about what were they thinking: together they reminded me of what as an old man Charles Belknap wrote about the islands in the river;

. . . even then (when he was a boy) the three islands were almost without a blemish. Indians never built a fire at the foot of a tree and the high water flooded the islands each year washed them free of all refuse of their camps. The heavy covering of grass and plants prevented washing of the soil. The prevailing west wafted the odors of the trees and flowers over the village.

May not an old man today be forgiven for a longing that this beautiful playground of his boyhood might have been spared for his great-grandchildren? Only men of deep thinking can tell you how long nature was in creating and clothing these islands, but any school boy with a piece of chalk can figure how long man was in obliterating the last traces of them.

In the plat map that Drew Day posted, there is a signature of a John Belknap, wonder if he was related?

The quote is from Belknap’s book, “Yesterdays of Grand Rapids,” that is a collection of columns he wrote for the Press in the 1920’s. There is an internet version of the book but I notice it is actually in print again.

http://archive.org/s...ge/130/mode/2up

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I have a confession to make/some history, my grandpa's brother was largely responsible for the destruction of the Mary Waters pond/Coldwater Creek/Carrier Creek, and the construction of the Campau Projects.

The story I know is that in the early 60's, there apparently was very few places poor folks could go for housing. There was a nice park where the creeks flowed into the pond. My dad's uncle was a commissioner, or supervisor, planner, something like that back then. He had a heart for those people and was convinced that eliminating the park, and developing the Campau Projects was the right thing to do. I have no clue why they couldn't have just put it somewhere else. Instead, they decided to destroy yet another of the precious few untouched natural areas of our city. People were pissed off back then, too, and he got his butt kicked in the next election.

I think this is just a great example of terrible/non-existent urban planning.

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I have a confession to make/some history, my grandpa's brother was largely responsible for the destruction of the Mary Waters pond/Coldwater Creek/Carrier Creek, and the construction of the Campau Projects.

The story I know is that in the early 60's, there apparently was very few places poor folks could go for housing. There was a nice park where the creeks flowed into the pond. My dad's uncle was a commissioner, or supervisor, planner, something like that back then. He had a heart for those people and was convinced that eliminating the park, and developing the Campau Projects was the right thing to do. I have no clue why they couldn't have just put it somewhere else. Instead, they decided to destroy yet another of the precious few untouched natural areas of our city. People were pissed off back then, too, and he got his butt kicked in the next election.

I think this is just a great example of terrible/non-existent urban planning.

Meh, nobody's judging you.

Much of the environmental laws we have in place now wouldn't be there if it weren't for some mistakes made in the past.

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Check out campau park before they built the projects there (corner of frankin and division)

Campau%20Park.jpgAntoine%20Campau%20Park.jpg

Edited by Drew Day

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Well they did also build a school but still...

Edited by Drew Day

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This map is fascinating, and I would enjoy spending some time with the real thing.

"Calder Street," no kidding. Imagine the confusion when they changed Ann to 8th and then brought her back somewhere in Richmond's Farm. I especially like seeing the schooners plying the river, and the interesting islands at the foot of Pearl.

The lady that put that site together used to be the building inspector for the city of grand rapids. She is extremely knowledgable of the history of or city. I've had some interesting email exchanges with her and I love that site

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