Founded in: 1837
Eaton Rapids, located in the southeast corner of Eaton County, is proud to be “the only Eaton Rapids on earth.” The city’s main business district is actually located on an island in the middle of the Grand River, hence its nickname as the “Island City.” Due to its location in the middle of a river, there are numerous bridges in town, including six drivable bridges and three foot bridges.
Come and visit! Experience our small town charm.
The City of Eaton Rapids was founded in 1837. It officially became a city in 1881. The water power provided by the Grand River ran a variety of mills (woolen, lumber, etc.) The high mineral quality of underground water resulted in several “artesian” wells and, for awhile, Eaton Rapids became known as the “Saratoga of the West.” Trains brought people to town virtually every day for the “magnetic” mineral water and bath houses.
The current Eaton Rapids community offers ample small town charm. Small shops line the downtown business district, the island park is the site for family picnics and community gatherings and the Miller Farm (near downtown) is the site of numerous festivals and historical events. Two yearly festivals — the Fourth of July Celebration and the Hometown Family Christmas in December — draw large crowds from surrounding areas. Festivals at the Miller Farm are also very popular and take place several times a year.
For the past seven years, the city has hosted a unique event known as “Eaton Rapids Air.” In the third week of September, around a hundred Airstream trailers (and their owners) come to town and camp out along Main Street. At the time of inception, this was the only such event being held, anywhere.
Eaton Rapids-area residents are fiercely proud of their community’s unique charm. Home school sporting events always draw large, enthusiastic crowds. The community regularly reminds all those that can hear of its pride by shouts of “We Are ER!”