“The Only Eaton Rapids on Earth” is one of Mid-Michigan’s best-loved small towns. Before you take a look at some vintage photos below, here’s a brief timeline of Eaton Rapids history:

1770s: The Potawatomi tribe were the first to have a village in the area.

1837: Eaton Rapids was founded.

1837: The Old Red Mill was constructed, utilizing water from the Grand River to make flour and corn meal.

1864: Business district burns down.

1868: First railroad comes through.

1869: E.B. Frost discovered mineral / magnetic water. This discovery made Eaton Rapids famous throughout the world, bringing health-seekers from all over the world to take mineral baths. Eaton Rapids was nicknamed the “Saratoga of the West”, named after New York’s Saratoga Springs. At one time, the town had a total of 14 artesian wells.

1871: Incorporated as a village.

1881: Incorporated as a City.

1921: John B. Davidson, Sr. opened & operated the only textile mill in Michigan that spun its own wool yarn. Major League baseball teams used Eaton Rapids yarn for their uniforms.

1969: The Davidson Mill burned down.

EXTRA: Eaton Rapids was considered as the State Capitol, is called the “Island City” thanks to the Grand River surrounding the downtown district, and used to have up to 14 bridges in the city limits.

Now, after that brief history lesson, take a look below at some vintage photos of Eaton Rapids!

If you see a photo you like, there are links below where you can find them on worthpoint.com.

EATON RAPIDS, 1870-1940s

Vintage Okemos

Miscellaneous Lansing 4

Lansing Miscellaneous Part 3


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