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East Grand Rapids is a small community with a grand history. Ramona Park and Reeds Lake figure prominently in the history of the Grand Rapids area. From 1897 to 1955, the Park was a vital part of the summertime entertainment and activities of the citizens of Grand Rapids and West Michigan. Reeds Lake provided space for recreational activities and the steamboats that circled the Lake created countless hours of entertainment and memories.

The East Grand Rapids History Room is the only organization whose primary purpose is to obtain, preserve and display artifacts related to the rich history of this area. Items of local importance are obtained via auctions, estate sales and antique dealers. Some items are donations that need preservation or need to be readied for display.

The History Room has a growing collection of historical artifacts, memorabilia, ephemera and audiovisual items unique to this area. These items are not circulated, as many are irreplaceable, primary sources of information.
Accessibility of History Room materials to area citizens is a top priority.

The History Room is not funded by the Kent District Library System or the branch library in which it is housed. It is supported by private donations and occasional contributions from the East Grand Rapids Friends of the Library, the City of East Grand Rapids and private citizens. The City of East Grand Rapids claims ownership and responsibility for the History Room facility and its contents. Mary Dersch, volunteer curator librarian, is responsible for maintenance of the collection. The Friends of the Library manage the funds for the History Room. Monies received by the Friends of the Library for use in the History Room make it possible for immediate purchases of unique historical items as they become available, books and preservation and display of existing holdings, storage of materials and presentations to the public through library programs and printed publications.

Needs:
The East Grand Rapids History Room receives limited funding from private organizations. There are no dedicated funds for this collection.
There are no special accounts that support this collection. Therefore, when unique historical items become available, funds may not be immediately available for collection development.

B. Target Population and Benefits:
The citizens of Kent County benefit from the history of this small community. The area is rich in history. The Village and City of East Grand Rapids once flourished as a summertime playground of those from Grand Rapids and surrounding counties. Ramona Park and Reeds Lake provided the backdrop for seventy-nine years of entertainment and memories. An appreciation of history is flourishing and growing in this area. Children with school projects, adult citizens with their memories and newcomers to this area need this collection.

C. The collection and display of Ramona Park and Reeds Lake artifacts is
a cultural activity that positively impacts the citizens of the entire Kent
County Area. Many residents remember their childhood days at
Ramona Park and the history room provides a chance to relive those
memories. For the newer and younger residents, it is a chance to go
back in time and imagine a turn of the century amusement park and
lake.

Besides the benefit to all of the metropolitan citizens who ever
visited Ramona Park, funding will benefit the forty percent of the
library patrons who are not residents of East Grand Rapids. The
majority of this group is made up of residents from Grand Rapids and
Grand Rapids Township. The appeal of the history room reaches
beyond the borders of East Grand Rapids into the entire Kent County
region.

D. Goals and Objectives: Acquire, preserve and display historical items.
The History Room has been in existence since 1987. Its collection needs the opportunity to grow, be maintained, be organized and be shared with area citizens.

Partners: The City of East Grand Rapids has a shared interest in the History Room Collection and cooperates in the support of this room with the Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library.

F. Similarities of Existing Projects:
The East Grand Rapids History Room, in cooperation with the Friends of the East Grand Rapids Library, is the only organization committed solely to preserving the history of this specific geographical area. The Room’s collection is meant to be readily used and viewed.

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Membre des deApr 5, 2010

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