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Muskegon City

Muskegon City Hall is located at 933 Terrace Street, Muskegon, MI 49440; phone: 231-724-6724.

The name "Muskegon" comes from an Ottawa Indian word Masquigon meaning a marshy river or swamp.

Early Settlers [1]

Until 1834 Indian traders had been accustomed to come to Muskegon Lake in the autumn and buy furs and traffic with the Indians during the winter, and go away in the spring, taking with them all their movable effects. At the latter date Lewis B. Baddeau having secured the interest of Mr. Daily in his log building, established a trading post and became a permanent settler of Muskegon. He was of French descent and was born in Three Rivers, near Montreal, Canada. Mr. Baddeau afterwards made a pre-emption claim on which his trading post stood, being that part of the city lying west and north of a line running from Chapin & Foss mill to the Bigelow & Brother's mill. On the 31st of July, 1839, after the land came into market, he made a regular entry of the lot. He continued to trade with the Indians until 1840, and in 1845, having become embarrassed in business, and having lost most of his property, he went to Newaygo to live and, afterwards, to the Dam on Muskegon River where he died soon after.

The second settler on Muskegon lake was Joseph Troutier who erected a building in 1835, of hewn timber, near the White, Swan & Smith mill, which he occupied as a trading post for several years. Mr. Troutier was born in Mackinac in 1812 where he resided until his settlement in Muskegon. He continued the Indian trade several years at this place, and then removed to the Dam, where he died. In 1836 Mr. Troutier went with the Indians to Washington and assisted in forming the treaty by which the Indian title to the land in the part of Michigan lying north of the Grand River was obtained. Mr. Troutier remembered many interesting incidents in the early history of Western Michigan, and often remarked that "me and my wife were the first white men in Muskegon."

Martin Ryerson started from New Jersey to Michigan in 1884. When he reached Detroit his funds were exhausted and he was obliged to stop and obtain employment for a time before he could proceed. After a few months he started again and reached Grand Rapids in September of the same year and soon went into Godfroy's employ, remaining at Grand Rapids until May, 1826, when he left and came to Muskegon. On his arrival as Muskegon he went into the employ of Joseph Troutier and engaged in the Indian trade which he continued for 3 years when he moved employment to T. Newell & Company which firm then carried on the same business.

  1. History of Muskegon County, Michigan,<.em> H. R. Page & Co., Chicago, 1882.
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