Archival Collection #041 - Rix Robinson Photograph Collection contains five photographs depicting a wide range of images from portraits to group shots, both indoor and outdoor, and a view of the Robinson homestead on the bank of the Grand River near Ada. The photographs remained in the family for the past 100 years or so and were donated reprints to the Public Museum by Thomas E. Robinson, grand-nephew of Rix Robinson. Thomas E. Robinson obtained these photos from distant relative in northern lower peninsula of Michigan and allowed the Museum to make prints for the collection. The collection dates about 1851-1900.
A full listing of the contents of this collection can be found in the finding aid that is attached to the media section of this catalog entry.
Rix Robinson Rix Robinson came to the mouth of the Thornapple River in 1821 as a representative of the American Fur Company. He purchased the stock and outfit of Madame Laframboise and established a very successful trading post. Renowned in the through the region throughout the region for his success in treating with the Indians, Robinson expanded his base to include a post at Grand Haven along the Lake Michigan shore. Part of his success could have been related to the fact that he married the sister of Ma-ob-binna-kiz-hick (Hazy Cloud), a Native American chief in the Ada region. She remained his companion until his death in1875, at age 86 years old.
Grand Rapids historian Albert Baxter described Robinson: “He was an educated man, the first permanent white settler in Kent County, and after abandoning the for trade, which she did and turned his attention to firming in the domestic matters, he served honorably in several public positions. He was a man of commanding presence; tall, dignified and independent in bearing and it was side of him that no white man in Michigan had more positive influence with the Native Americans; be not only love you respected but student off of him. He left a memory to be cherished and then arena by both races. Dallas is treating boats, between 1821 in 1833, past every year up-and-down this river. A monument to his memory was erected in June, 1887. (Source: Baxter, Albert. History of the City of Grand Rapids. New York in Grand Rapids: Munsell and Company, 1891.)