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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.

 

     Plainfield Charter Township Historical Preservation Committee
THE HYSER RIVERS MUSEUM


6440 WEST RIVER DRIVE
BELMONT, MI 49306

» Township Statistics and General Information

BE A PART OF PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP HISTORY

Participate in the history of Plainfield Township while simultaneously freeing up space in your own home. The Plainfield Charter Township Preservation Committee is always on the lookout for items of historic importance to enhance their existing collection of items relevent to our township's history. Many of these items are household treasures perhaps collecting dust in a basement or cabinet in your home in need of a home where they will be properly preserved and appreciated for their historic value. There are several other ways to contribute to the Plainfield Charter Township Historical Preservation Committee such as the following:

TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS:

In 1933, Plainfield Township was home to 11 schools: Belmont, Brownell, Colton, Comstock Park, Goff, Oakfield, Peach Grove, Plainfield District #1, Post, Sage, and Wilson. Since the 1930's, we've grown and now have several school districts: Comstock Park, Northview, Rockford, some of Kenowa Hills, and various Christian/Charter schools. in an effort to grow our existing database of records on these schools, we are always eager to accept scanned photos of the old school buildings and their students.

ORGANIZATIONS

Over the years, Plainfield Township has been home to a variety of organizations such as Kiwanis, Rotary, breakfast clubs, parent groups, Scouts and the like. Record of the happenings within these groups are always welcomed by the PCT Historical Preservation Committee.

CHURCHES

Plainfield Township is home to several churches; many of which have been active for several years and who have contributed greatly to the history of our township. Photos of these buildings in their earlier years and any other documents about their early activity would be greatly appreciated.

FAMILY HISTORY

If you have a House History or copy of your family tree, we would be honored to receive a copy from you to add to our records.

WHEN AND WHERE TO BRING YOUR UNWANTED HISTORIC ITEMS

Finally getting around to clearing out that old storage room? Bring items you believe may be of historic importance to the Hyser Rivers Museum located at 6440 West River Drive, NE. The museum is open for receiving contributions the 1st Sunday of every month May through December between 2:00 and 4:30pm. If you have any questions regarding the activities of the PCT Historical Preservation Committee, call the Buildings & Grounds office at (616) 363-9399 or feel free to attend one of our monthly meetings.



The PCT Historical Preservation Committee meets the 4th Wednesday of every month at 7:00pm at the Plainfield Charter Township Community/Senior Center located at 5255 Grand River Drive, Grand Rapids. Anyone from the township is welcome to attend these meetings and your ideas and suggestions are welcome!

 

2016 DATES

TIME

 July 10th

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 August 7th

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 September 11th

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 October 2nd

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 November 6th

   2:00 PM - 4:30 PM

 December 4th

   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.  For more information, contact the Township’s Buildings and Grounds/Parks and Recreation Department at (616) 363-9399.

 

DATES

TIME

July 27th

7:00 PM

August 24th 

7:00 PM

September 28th

7:00 PM

October 26th  

7:00 PM

November 30th

7:00 PM

All meetings start at 7:00pm and are held at the
Plainfield Senior & Community Center.

NO DECEMBER MEETING!

 

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