8mm Film, Grand Rapids Airport
This is an 8mm film of (possibly) the first commercial airline flight from the Grand Rapids Airport in 1937. It is nine minutes long and contains scenes from the airport, control rooms, aerial views of the city (including GM stamping plant and Ramona Park), view from inside the plane, passengers disembarking, a WOOD radio announcer, and the christening of the plane. Also includes a digitized version of the film on a DVD (see accession file).;Early films of Grand Rapids are extremely rare. The Museum is very pleased to acquire this film which documents an important event: an early (or possibly the first) commercial flight from the Grand Rapids airport. Although much of the film is difficult to make out, some important Grand Rapids landmarks are visible including Ramona Park and the GM Stamping Plant. This film is an excellent addition to the collection and has potential utility for researchers, future exhibits, placement on the web, etc.;Information about Thomas Walsh, Kent County Airport Director from 1930 - 1957 from Grand Rapids Public Library Archival Collection #75:
"The papers document the development of aviation and the airport in Kent County, Michigan. The largest part of the collection dates from 1930 to 1957 when Walsh was Kent County Airport Manager at the former airport site along Eastern Avenue, south of 32nd Street, in Southeast Grand Rapids. Walsh was quick to understand the commercial and military potential of aviation and has often been credited with being the driving force behind efforts in Kent County to advance aviation beyond the era of hobbyists, barnstormers, and poorly maintained airfields to the modern age of professionally managed and commercially successful operations. After his retirement, Walsh maintained his interest in aviation and occasionally worked as a consultant for the Kent County Airport. He continued to collect newspaper clippings, photographs and other papers for many years."
In Honor Of Emma J. Moore And Jurden 'jerry' Moore
Moore, JurdenMoore, T. MichaelRamona ParkRamona Park was an amusement park located on the western shore of Reeds Lake in East Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1903-1954. Thousands of families visited each year until the 1950s, when gasoline for cars became more available, and people began vacationing elsewhere. The park was owned and operated originally by the Grand Rapids Street Railway Company, and also after it became the Grand Rapids Motor Coach Company. It featured attractions such as the Jack Rabbit Derby Racer roller coaster, merry-go-round, fun house, mystic chutes, Ferris wheel, bumper cars, rocket swings and a miniature train. The park also included the Ramona Theatre which hosted vaudeville shows, musicals, silent film shorts, and favorite local and national entertainers. Ramona Gardens was initially a dance hall which, in the late 1930s, hosted the best of the big bands, and in 1942, became a roller skating rink.