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Plainfield Charter Township
6161 Belmont Ave, NE
Belmont, MI  49306-9609

Phone: 616-364-8466
Fax: 616-364-6537

Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


     A Short
History of Plainfield Township


» Township Statistics and General Information

Take a trip back in time and share Plainfield Charter Township history touring the Historic Hyser Museum.

WE NEED YOUR HISTORICAL STUFF   The Plainfield Township Historical Preservation Committee wants your help in collecting old school photographs, articles, stories, and artifacts to increase our collected history of the township.  Click here for details, descriptions of desired items and exciting news from the Township Historical Committee.

Do you have a grade school group photo you would like to share? If so, we would like to copy it. If you have photos from any of the following old school districts (Belmont, Colton, Post, Goff, Sage, D.W. Richardson, Wilson, Peach Grove, Brownell, Atwater, Comstock Park, and Oakwood), please call the township Building & Grounds Dept. at (616) 363-9399. Please leave your name and phone number or email address so we can contact you, or bring it for scanning to the township's Building & Grounds building, 5205 Plainfield Ave, NE,  Grand Rapids, MI.  Our hours of operation are 8:00am to 4:30pm, Monday thru Friday.

Former Township trustee Chuck Weldon gives a presentation and tour of the Plainfield Township Cemetery in this YouTube video.  Learn some fascinating historical facts about your township as Chuck visits the graves of many of those that helped shape Plainfield history.


Hyser Rivers Museum

William Hyser (1826-1909), pioneer surgeon and Civil War captain, came to Plainfield Township in 1850, when it was a lumber center.

In 1852, he built this Greek Revival house as a home and an office for his medical and civic duties. He was at various times township clerk, school inspector and supervisor, and justice of the peace. The house has also served as a stagecoach station and a post office.

In 1976 it was moved to its present site. The only remaining structure from the original Plainfield Village, it is now restored as a museum.

The Hyser Rivers Museum is open April through December on the first Sunday of the month from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. Special tours can be arranged by contacting Township Hall at (616) 364-8466.





 May  2nd – 3rd

 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

 June 7th

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 July 12th

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 August 2nd

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 September 13th

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 October 4th

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 November 1st

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 December 6th

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

History Buffs Welcome: The Plainfield Township Historical Preservation Advisory Committee is tasked with protecting and preserving Township history. Meeting dates are posted on the Township Events Calendar. All meetings are open to the public and residents are encouraged to share anything regarding Township history with the Committee. The Hyser House Museum is open to the public the first Sunday of each month, May through December, from 2:00-4:30 p.m. For more information, please visit the Plainfield Charter Township's History Page at: or contact the Township’s Buildings and Grounds/Parks and Recreation Department at (616) 363-9399.




February 25th

7:00 PM

March 25th

7:00 PM

April 22nd

7:00 PM

May 27th

7:00 PM

June 24th

7:00 PM

July 22nd

7:00 PM

August 26th 

7:00 PM

September 23rd

7:00 PM

October 28th  

7:00 PM

November 25th

7:00 PM



Recorded history of the area called Plainfield Township began in 1763 when Rene' deLa Salle sailed up the Grand River attempting to find a shorter passage between the Detroit River and lower Lake Michigan.  By 1826, the United States Federal Government acquired all land north of Indiana and south of the Grand River (including Grand Rapids and Kent County) in the Treaty of Dearborn. The northern part of the Township was deeded to the US in the Treaty of Washington D.C. in 1836. The land was promptly settled and was organized as Plainfield Township in 1836. It also encompassed vast areas of Northern Kent County adjoining it, which were eventually set off and organized as separate townships.

The Hyser House Museum
One of the earliest settlements in the Township was Plainfield Village on the north side of the Grand River. It was founded in 1838 by Andrew Stout who established a ferry across the Grand River and eventually also operated a blacksmith shop and a hotel. Plainfield Village received its name from the Indian cornfields described as "plain fields". A log building became the Village's first public school during the winter of 1837-38. In April of 1838, settlers assembled and organized Plainfield Township. The area included all of what is now Cannon Township and the present area lying on the north side of the Grand River.

In 1840, the first sawmill and gristmill were erected on the Rogue River. A Post Office, called Austerlitz, was established on March 22, 1843. It was the first post office in Kent County north of Grand Rapids. Plainfield Village provided a landing place, a supply and service source to busy river traffic, as the Grand River above Grand Rapids was being readied for steamboat navigation. Steam boating on the upper Grand River continued from 1837 through 1857 and again by similar streamers in the late 1880's and early 1890's in passenger excursions and lifting logs of valuable hardwood lost in log drives passing through the Township.

By 1845, Plainfield Village had grown to around 800 inhabitants, 4 hotels, 5 stores and 6 saloons and continued to grow until the 1880's. Cannon Township organized and separated from Plainfield Township in mid-1845. The part of Plainfield Township lying south of the Grand River separated from Grand Rapids Township and became a part of the township in 1847. In 1848, the first regular steamboat service on the upper Grand was making regular stops at Plainfield Village.

1850 found Robert Konkle building a second sawmill on the Rogue River near the west end of the Village. In 1860, due to the villages lumbering industry, it was doing more business than any other town or village in the county outside of Grand Rapids. Although by 1862, the decline of Plainfield Village was predestined by contemporary events.

The Township had several other settlements at the time. Comstock Park was originally known as North's Mill, and later became known as Mill Creek and then Comstock Park. Belmont, earlier known as Whitney, was established on June 29, 1874 and was the center for the Grand Rapids and Indian Railroad, now the Penn Central. Belmont continued to grow with the increased traffic from the railroad and soon had a store, hotel and post office. In 1907, a Baptist church was constructed (now Belmont Baptist) and St. Adalberts Catholic Church (now Assumption BVM) was built in 1912.

Plainfield Township continued to grow throughout the early and mid 1900's. In 1945, Dexter Hamilton organized the Plainfield Township Volunteer Fire Department. Today, a combination full-time / part-time / paid-on-call department serves the residents of Plainfield Township, working out of two stations. In 1959, the township started its own water department and dedicated the water plant and water system in May 1964. At the time the water plant could treat 1.5 million gallons of water per day. Today that number has grown to 20 million gallons per day and serves more than 10,000 customers.

Township Statistics and General Information

  • Officer / Trustee / Manager Form of Government
  • Township of Plainfield Incorporated in 1838
  • Became A Charter Township In 1978
  • Township Encompasses 36 Square Miles
  • 10,000+ Water Customers Served
  • 59 Full-Time Township Employees
  • 9 Township Parks
  • 5 County / State Parks
  • 2 Libraries
  • Total State Equalized Value (SEV)- over $1,239,347,900 (2015)
  • Number of Property Parcels- 14,000+
  • 1980 Census - 20,611
  • 1990 Census - 24,946
  • 2000 Census - 30,175
  • 1981 Registered Voters - 13,087
  • 1991 Registered Voters - 17,663
  • 2005 Registered Voters - 21,853