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Historical Sites of Grand Rapids



Joel Guild
(Lot 5, Block 4)

Joel Guild was born in 1788 in New York and came to Grand Rapids in 1834. He was part of the Dexter Colony (63 people) who intended to settle in Ionia. Guild brought his wife & 7 children ranging in age from 3-20. It was a long tedious expedition. When they reached "the rapids" there were only a few traders, missionaries and Indians. Guild was known for building the first frame house in the village of Grand Rapids (McKay Tower now stands in its place). The house took ten weeks to complete. It was 1Ĺ stories and measured 16 feet by 26 feet.

Joel Guild is the only Guild buried in this plot. The remaining members of the Guild Family are buried in Oak Grove Cemetery (across the street from the 28th St. & Kalamazoo Meijerís store.