Dig Deeper

The following print resources might be of interest to those wanting to know more about Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Grandville, and other other cities and towns, over and above their relevance to this site. In addition, the US Government commissioned histories of a large number of towns and cities, large and small, for the Bicentennial in 1976. Printing runs were often very small, and they are therefore usually very hard to find. Libraries often have copies pertaining to their own area.

The unoffical Kentwood Hisorical Preservation Society web site is of interest in part because the shifting sands of land use and ownership in the Grand Rapids, Paris, Wyoming townships reflects the growth of the area, and in turn the growth of Godwin. One can see, for example, how early many Godwin families settled in the area. Bernard Smith, class of 1943, has a vista of five generations in the area, as does Forrest Keyes, class of 1932. These and other Godwin families can look back as far as the 1850s, to some of the earliest settlers in the area.

One can also see the story of railroads in the area. Somewhat in the shadows now, the railroads of 50 years ago and more were of pivotal importance to the growth of the area, and at one time there were as many as ten tracks entering and leaving Grand Rapids. Most of the tracks were very active during WWII. A few, such as the track from Grand Rapids to Jackson, are now abandoned - a mistake that an oil depleted world will one day probably want to reconsider.

The City of Wyoming, A History. Produced by the Wyoming Historical and Cultural Commission in 1984. Available from the Wyoming City Municipal Building on 28th Street and Michael as of 1989, in the Treasurer's office. Phone 530-7280.

The Story of Kentwood, Published by the city of Kentwood. ISBN 9662943-0-0. Contains a section about the Godwin school system. Information provided by June Scott Barber and Bob Barber, class of 1950.

Bend in the River, The Story of Grandville and Jenison, Michigan, 1832-1972. John W. McGee, Editor, produced by the Grandville Historical Commission in 1973. Published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Availability uncertain.

The Story of Grand Rapids, A Narrative of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Z. Z. Lydens, Editor. Kregel Publications, 1966. Lydens served in an editorial capacity with the Grand Rapids Press and the Grand Rapids News ( Anyone know what the Grand Rapids News operated? )for about 50 years before becoming editor for this book.

When Eastern Michigan Rode the Rails. A three volume set. Volume 3 contains a large amount of information about the Grand Rapids - Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids - Holland lines. J.E.Schramm, W.H.Henning, and R.R.Andrews. ISBN 0-916374-80-7.

The Kentwood Historic Preservation Commission unofficial web site can be accessed here.

The Kentwood Historic Preservation Commission has a room in the Kentwood libary. It is gathering material about Godwin and the surrounding area. It plans to have a good collection of photographs, documents. This is a good chance to preserve Godwin material while still making it available to the public. Several Godwin alumni take part in the commissions's activities.

Other Web Sites

The following sites all provide ways of contacting other Godwin alumni. Beware. Some have annual fees, and the providers are not very upfront about pointing this out. classmates.com, and highschoolalumni.com. Classmates.com will ask you for all kinds of information (and keep it), and only then informs you that to actually contact anyone you will need to pay $29.95 annually. That said, the site already contains over 1000 Godwin alumni. And by registering people that have paid can presumably contact you, although this is not certain.