Past Programs


* Denotes programs that can be viewed on YouTube


2021 (Cancelled due to COVID-19)

2020

2019

2018

Welcome to the Madison Square | Don Bryant | Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Elective Detectives and Crowdsourcing Grand Rapids Women’s History | Julie Bouwkamp & Jo Ellyn Clarey | Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council

Making History, State Historical Markers in Grand Rapids | Jeff Neumann | Grand Rapids Historical Commission

African Americans in Early Grand Rapids | Ruth Van Stee | Grand Rapids Historical Society and Kutsche Office of Local History at GVSU

Dress Discoveries: Fashion and the Voigt Family | Andrea Melvin | Grand Rapids Public Museum

The North End Gets a Name | Michael Page | Grand Rapids Public Library

Present, but not Counted: Dutch Immigrant Midwives in Grand Rapids | Janet Sjaarda Sheeres | Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council

Selling Grand Rapids: Expositions in the Furniture City: 1878-1965 | Scott St. Louis | Grand Rapids Historical Society

Making Waves: Michigan’s Boat Building Industry, 1865-2000 | Scott M. Peters | Grand Rapids Historical Commission

Where have all the Flowers Gone? Rediscovering Emma Coles 19th Century Grand Rapids Flora | Julie Stivers, Garrett E. Crow, and David P. Warners | Grand Rapids Public Museum

A Modern Vision Realized: The Mid-Century Park School Development | Pam VanderPloeg | Grand Rapids City Archives

Reflections on the Gi-Gikinomaage-Min Project | Belinda Bardwell | Western Michigan Genealogical Society and Kutsche Office of Local History at GVSU

2016

Kindergarten and “Radical” Women in 1890s Grand Rapids | Scott Bultman | Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council

When “Everyone Knew Everyone”: forming a Latino Community in Mid-Century West Michigan | Delia Fernandez | Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Retail Icons: Shopping Downtown in 1950s Grand Rapids | Michael Hauser | Grand Rapids Historical Commission

Nostalgia and the Story of Grand Rapids Car Dealerships | Thomas R. Wilson | Grand Rapids Public Library

Modern Design Leader: The Story Behind Herman Miller | Amy Auscherman | Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Intoxicating History of River City Brewing | Pat Evans | Grand Rapids Historical Society

2015

Why Grand Rapids Rapids chose to Bulldoze Downtown in the Name of Urban Renewal | Garret Ellison | Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Architecture of Production: Grand Rapids’ Furniture Factories | Matthew Daley | Grand Rapids Historical Society

Pharaohs on the Grand: Egyptian Revival in Grand Rapids | Thomas Dilley | Grand Rapids Historical Commission

Stories from Maple Grove: A History of the Kent County Poor Farm | Adam Oster | Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Fannie Boylon: The Legacy of Grand Rapids’ First Female Home Designer | Marcella Beck | Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council

Modern as Tomorrow: Mid-Century Modern Architecture Along the Michigan Roadside | Christine Byron & Thomas Wilson | Grand Rapids Public Library

2014

Women and WWII: New Roles and Old Stereotypes | Richard Harms | Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council

When the Automobile came to the Furniture City | Chuck Snow | Grand Rapids Public Museum

Mr. Rover Visits Grand Rapids | Melissa Fox | Grand Rapids Public Library 

The Mystery of West Michigan’s Sunken Canoes | Kevin Finney | Grand Rapids Historical Society

Remembering Grandville Avenue | Mary Angelo | Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Still Standing: 40 Years of Historic Preservation | Rebecca Smith-Hoffman | Grand Rapids Historical Commission 

2013

Michigan’s Great Time Confusion | Dave Smith | Western Michigan Genealogical Society and the Grand Rapids Civil War Roundtable

How Did Michigan Become the Tourist Empire of the Inland Seas | Christine Byron and Tom Wilson | Grand Rapids Historical Society and Grand Rapids Public Library

Saving John Ball Park’s Historic Legacy | Jack Hoffman | Grand Rapids Historical Commission

Under the Dome: An Early History of Women in the Michigan State Capitol | Kerry Chartkoff | Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council

Inside a 1950s Black Barbershop | Dan Groce | Kutsche Office of Local History at GVSU

Powers & Ball: The Family, Furniture, and Factories | Jim Winslow | Grand Rapids Public Museum

2012

Rescued from the Attic: A 1918 Grand Rapids Treasure Trove | Diana Barrett | Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council

Merze Tate Declassified | Sonya Bernard Hollins | Kutsche Office of Local History at GVSU

Uncovering Ray: From House History to the  Discovery of a Legendary Cartoonist | Benjamin Boss | Grand Rapids Public Library and Grand Rapids Historical Society

Collective Biography: The Rewards of Prosopography | Don Bryant | Western Michigan Genealogical Society

The Klu Klux Klan in 1920s Grand Rapids? | Matthew Daley | Grand Rapids Historical Commission and Grand Rapids Public Museum

Invaluable Services: Special Scouts in the Civil War | Gordon Olson | Grand Rapids Civil War Round Table

2011

The Rest of the Story: Ramona Park from the Inside Out | Gail Snow | Grand Rapids Historical Society

Uncovering the Unexpected: Curiosities of Heritage Hill History | Tom Logan | Grand Rapids Historical Commission

In Their Own Words: How Transportation Shaped Early Grand Rapids | Don Bryant | Western Michigan Genealogical Society

Imagining Michigan Experiences in the Civil War | Gina Bivins, Chris Carron, Alex Forist, and Veronica Kandl | Grand Rapids Public Museum

Lost and Found: Local Civil War Treasures  Rediscovered | John Gelderloos and Dave Broene | Grand Rapids Public Library and Kutsche Office of Local History at GVSU

Building a Case: Grand Rapids as an Important Suffrage Center | Jo Ellyn Clarey | Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council and Grand Rapids Public Library

Grand Rapids Public Library sponsored:

2010

The Peck Block: Searching for the Story of a Landmark | Rebecca Smith-Hoffman

Adventure, Romance, and Mystery: Cookbooks at Mid-Twentieth Century | Laurie Catherine Perkins

Talking Tombstones: Exploring the Mysteries of Oakhill Cemetery | Jennifer Morrison 

2009

Discovering Daily Life in Ancient Michigan | Kevin Finney 

Decoding Postcard Puzzles | Doug Aikenhead 

Investigating the Lives of Local Business Women | Ruth Van Stee

2008

Sleuthing in the Stacks | Larry Massie

The Private Collector as Investigator | Tom Dilley

Visual Clues to Michigan’s Past | Marcella Beck and Christine Byron