"First, in 1834, there was Kent Township--the original name for Grand Rapids Township. Then, four years later in 1838, a little village down by the river was carved out of the Township and named Grand Rapids. Although the Village of Grand Rapids was legally registered as such, the small settlement still had to pay property taxes to the Township--meaning it was still part of Kent/Grand Rapids Township. Not until 1850 when Grand Rapids incorporated as a city did the Township officially lose its western land along the Grand River. Thus are the beginnings of 'downtown' Grand Rapids. Any history of the once huge area that was Grand Rapids Township must necessarily include some history of the once little area inside the Township that became the city of Grand Rapids."
--Excerpt from Grand Rapids Township: The History (2000)