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Grand Rapids
Basic information Name: Grand Rapids
     This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name.
Abbreviation: There is no official abbreviation for this meteorite.
Observed fall: No
Year found: 1883
Country: United States
Mass:help 51.7 kg
NHM Catalogue:  5th Edition  (2000)  Iron-ung
MetBase:  v. 7.1  (2006)  Iron-ung
Recommended:  Iron, ungrouped    [explanation]

This is 1 of 152 approved meteorites (plus 1 unapproved name) classified as Iron, ungrouped.   [show all]
Search for other: Iron meteorites, Metal-rich meteorites, and Ungrouped irons
Comments: Revised 28 Aug 2020: corrected location
Writeup from MB 109:

Grand Rapids, corrected find location

History: The meteorite “Grand Rapids” was found in 1883 in Walker Township, Kent County, Michigan, west of the city of Grand Rapids. The reported site of the find differs among various publications; for example: 1) 42°59´ N, 85°42´ W [Farrington 1915, p. 18 listing of meteorites by State; personal communication from Grand Rapids Public Museum Collections Curator; Ward-Coonley Catalogue of Meteorites 1904 p. 11]; 2) 42°58'N, 85°41'W [Grand Rapids Public Library; Farrington 1915, p. 215 description of the meteorite]; 3) 42°58'N, 85°46'W (Grady, 2000). There are others not listed here. A recent search has determined the actual site of the find with greater precision than to the nearest minute of latitude and longitude.

The first published report of the find appeared on p. 3, Col. 5 Art. 4 of the DAILY MORNING DEMOCRAT newspaper, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 16 September 1883. That article states that the meteorite was “found on the lot on Butterworth avenue belonging to St. James’ church.” The find was described in greater detail by I.R. Eastman, Am. J. Sci 3rd Series, Vol. 28, 299-300 (1884), but without specifying the site of the find. At the present time, there is no property along Butterworth Ave belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, nor was there any such property listed on the 1876 map of Walker Township listing ownership of all property in the Township (Historic Maps, Portland, Maine).

A search of the records in the office of the Register of Deeds of Kent County uncovered a deed whereby ownership of a parcel of 18 acres along Butterworth Avenue was transferred from the owner listed on the 1876 map, Agnes and Michael Fitzpatrick, to the Roman Catholic Church, Detroit Diocese, on February 12, 1877. The description of the property is “the East half of the Southeast quarter of the Southwest quarter of Section 26, Township 7 North, Range 12 West, (Baseline 1815, Michigan Meridian, U.S. Government Land Survey System), excepting 2 acres lying south of Butterworth Avenue. (Kent County, Michigan, Register of Deeds, Liber 82, Page 490) That same property was transferred from the Detroit Diocese to the newly formed Grand Rapids Diocese by quit-claim deed on May 4, 1883 (Kent County, Michigan, Register of Deeds, Book 151, Page 83), shortly before the discovery of the meteorite. A portion of that parcel remained in the possession of the Grand Rapids Diocese at least until 1907, as listed on the 1907 map of that section of the city of Grand Rapids. Today the entire parcel has been developed for residential use.

Because of the convergence of those data, the meteorite was likely found on that parcel of land. The center of the parcel is at latitude 42.958950° (42°57´32ʺ) N, longitude 85.698640° (85°41´55ʺ) W. The precise site at which the meteorite was found within that parcel is not known at this time, and perhaps it never will be determined, but no point within this parcel is more than 0.0014° (5ʺ) from the center.

Submitted by Clarence Menninga, Professor of Geology, Emeritus, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

  • Grady, M. M. (2000) Catalogue of Meteorites, 5th Edition, Cambridge Univ. Press, Edinburgh, UK. (link)
Buchwald The following entries were found for Grand Rapids in Buchwald (1975)
[Buchwald, Vagn F. (1975) Handbook of Iron Meteorites. University of California Press, 1418 pp.]
Search for specimens in the Smithsonian Institution collection (U.S.):   
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Search for this meteorite in the Natural History Museum collection (U.K.):   
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References: Published in Gattacceca J., McCubbin F. M., Grossman J., Bouvier A., Bullock E., Chennaoui Aoudjehane H., Debaille V., D’Orazio M., Komatsu M., Miao B. and Schrader D. L. (2021) The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 109. Meteoritics & Planetary Science 56, 1626–1630.
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Photos from the Encyclopedia of Meteorites:
Don Edwards   
Mark Bostick   

United States
     Catalogue of Meteorites:   (42° 58'N, 85° 46'W)
     Recommended::   (42° 57' 32"N, 85° 41' 55"W)
Note: the NHM and recommended coordinates are 5.6 km apart

     This is 1 of 12 approved meteorites from Michigan, United States (plus 1 impact crater)
     This is 1 of 1930 approved meteorites from United States (plus 866 unapproved names) (plus 28 impact craters)
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Synonymshelp: False Kalamaroo (From MetBase)
False Kalamazoo (In NHM Cat)
Kalamazoo (In NHM Cat)
Walker Township (In NHM Cat)

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