Grass Lake is the oldest settlement in Jackson County. It's origins go back to the early 1800s, with squatters and settlers arriving until it finally was incorporated as a village in 1871. 2021 marked the 150th anniversary of that incorporation.

GRASS LAKE TIMELINE (Thanks to Grass Lake history):
1800s: David Sterling & family are recognized as the first squatters.
1829-1830: New York settlers named Pease, Keyes, and Walker arrive.
1832: Grass Lake Township set up.
1835: A log schoolhouse is constructed.
1838: The first Congregational Church is erected.
1839: Area Native Americans are moved to reservations in Iowa.
1839: A post office is established in December.
1842: The railroad comes through.
1843. The first hotel is built.
1844: Flour mill begins.
1864: A new schoolhouse is constructed.
1867: The business block is built.
1867: Resident number, 850.
1871: Incorporated as a village.
1887: Stone train depot is completed.
1896: A new post office begins operations.
1902: Home Telephone Company.
1950: Cedar Knoll opens.
1970: Goose Lake Rock Festival.

Grass Lake's growth kicked off in the 1860s with a boom of seventeen businesses, including:
Dry Goods Store
General Store
Furniture Factory
Lakeside Resort
Mineral Springs Spa

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As for the town's name? The legend says the lake was named “Grass” when a young girl traveled by, saw tall grass popping out of the water, and exclaimed, “gosh, what a grassy lake!”

Grass Lake remains a quiet village with a surprising history. There are a couple of other Grass Lake tales you should check out:

A treasure of $70,000, robbed from the downtown Grass Lake bank in 1920, still has not been found. Find out details on the 1920 Grass Lake bank robbery HERE.

The Railroad Conspiracy that involved the U.S Government, and local Grass Lake farmers. Read much more about the railroad conspiracy story HERE.

Now check out some vintage photos!



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