The Rapidian

Grand Rapids Press Reporter Garret Ellison honored with 2015 Baxter Award by the Grand Rapids Historical Society

Reporter Garret Ellison was praised for his well-researched and widely read news articles featuring historical accounts of the Grand River Valley.
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Garret Ellison (L) was presented with the 2015 Baxter Award by Grand Rapids Historical Society Trustee Tom Dilley.

Garret Ellison (L) was presented with the 2015 Baxter Award by Grand Rapids Historical Society Trustee Tom Dilley. /Gina Bivins

Grand Rapids Press Reporter Garret Ellison was honored with the 2015 Baxter Award Thursday, May 14, by the Grand Rapids Historical Society.   The award was presented in recognition of Garret's  numerous, highly researched and widely read news articles appearing in The Press and MLive that significantly contributed to the preservation and interpretation of the Grand River Valley history.

He was presented the award at the Society's highly popular annual meeting and banquet at the Women's City Club.

The Society was very praiseworthy of Garret's writing  and for his thorough research, analysis and thoughtful observations.  Among his most noteworthy news articles was a recent multi-part series exploring the complex urban renewal effort that swept through downtown Grand Rapids in the 1960s. 

Garret was lauded for his detailed analysis of the history and planning behind this  major project that forever changed the face of downtown.  He also was commended for his stories showcasing the popular local cemetery tours offered in recent years to the public for free by author and retired attorney Tom Dilley, a Grand Rapid Historical Society Trustee who presented Garret with the award.  

Tom Dilley noted that Garret's carefully researched articles truely reflect his  passionate interest in the history of his hometown. Born in Grand Rapids, Garret spent much of his childhood growing up in Traverse City but clearly has fond ties with our city where he now resides..

The Baxter Award was created in 1980 by the Society to honor persons who have made significant contributions to the preservation and interpretation of Grand River Valley history. It was named in honor of tthe revered Albert Baxter, one of Grand Rapids' early historians who published, History of the City of Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1891. To read more about the award, check out the Historical Society's website at www.grhistory.org.

By Sharon Hanks, Grand Rapids Historical Society Member

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