Welcome to The Grand River Times, Version 2.0

From Editor-in-Chief, Duncan J. Stuart III

GRT-News-thumbMore than forty years before the ‘Grand Haven Daily Tribune’ arrived in 1892, The Grand River Times became Grand Haven’s first newspaper on July 2, 1851, when Editor Henry Pennoyer began printing from a small, upstairs room above Henry Griffin’s Drug Store (at the N.E. corner of Washington and First Streets). Within a few years, The Times needed more space, and in early 1855 The Grand River Times moved to the nearby George Parks Building (16 Washington).

How and when the original Grand River Times ended is a subject I’d rather avoid in a message meant to be happy and forward-looking.  The paper’s demise, and all the sad, tragic and downright mysterious circumstances surrounding it, is still too fraught with disturbing emotions for me to talk about openly.  But if our incarnation of The Times is lucky enough to still be going in three years, like Henry Pennoyer’s was, then maybe…possibly…I’ll think about telling you the true story of what really happened to Grand Haven’s first newspaper.


The Grand River Times, Front Page, July 2, 1851

Today is a happy day, though, and I’m excited to bring back The Grand River Times, at least in name, even if we’re somewhat different in spirit.  But let’s face it; Henry Pennoyer wasn’t exactly overwhelmed by competitors, and social networking to him was running into Mary A. White or William Ferry at Griffin’s Drug Store.  The nearest city with their own newspaper was Holland.  No Twitter, no Huffington Post, no 24/7 News Channels to suit every political taste and hairstyle.  Now that I think about it, Henry Pennoyer had something close to a monopoly on ‘News’; what a lucky man.

We decided to revive The Grand River Times for a number of reasons, but our driving passion has been the desire to make you aware of stories and events you’re unlikely to see anywhere else, stories that, for whatever reason, the other West-Michigan media outlets simply miss, or choose to keep from you…before the return of The Times, you weren’t getting all the lakeshore news you NEED to know…

We have a lot of ideas and plans that will take time to implement, but we also wanted to get up and get going as soon as possible.  I think, as a website, we’re already better than ‘half-baked’, but please excuse any glitches that might crop up. Thanks for following us on Twitter or Facebook, and please, when you do see stories, and you WILL, that you know would be important to other local residents, please remember to Share them out to all the family and loved ones whose safety and well-being you care about – and no doubt they’ll thank you for it.  And we’ll thank you, too, for supporting us in our efforts to keep on finding those stories no one else digs deep enough to get…

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  43 comments for “Welcome to The Grand River Times, Version 2.0

  1. May 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    what started out as a normal grinding Monday, has now turned into a Wonderful amusing Morning. Thank you for a fabulous 1st edition.

  2. Jo
    May 19, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    This a a satirical news organization then you need to put thatCLEARLY on your info page. Too many people are thinking that you ridiculous stories are true reporting because of your untrue slogan :the truth wether you know it or not” Please, there are enough idiots in the world having trouble wading through the MUCK that is our media… Don’t confuse them by not CLEARLY stating that your a JOKE!! thank you

    • May 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you, but I think you mean to say, “by not CLEARLY stating that you’re a JOKE!!”

      • Crispien
        May 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm

        Nice retort

    • J Doe
      June 18, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      You’ve CLEARLY got to be the one kidding here. Remember “War Of the Worlds” ?
      This site is hysterical!! And you’d have to be…to not get it…well…never mind but I’m guessing you didn’t have the foresight to see a spoof when you encountered one, posted it as truth and were humbly corrected thus the brash response?

  3. Linda
    May 19, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    I think your articles are hysterical! I don’t know who is writing on this site, but, I am laughing out loud. I can’t believe the people who think these are true. I, for one, am totally entertained and hope you keep them coming!!

    • May 19, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. And don’t let us forget to say, thank you…

  4. Casey
    May 19, 2014 at 5:07 pm

    Someone had shared the Japanese soldier story online, and I’m so glad I read it or I would have missed this clever and entertaining site. I look forward to your next edition!

  5. Deb
    May 19, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    The best thing I read in over a week! And the best line:

    The first first-responder to respond was off-duty County Sheriff Deputy Bernard VanderFifen, who threw himself into the melee just as it was erupting into a full-fledged fracas.

    I would like to meet the Deputy to see if there is a likeness between him and the Barney of old. Is there any truth to the rumor that they are related??

    🙂 Thanks for helping to make my day more enjoyable!

  6. Sue
    May 19, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Sorry I agree with Jo if you can not publish a true story than do not publish one you caused a lot of problems for 2 restaurants that you did a story on that were false Stories

  7. Larry
    May 20, 2014 at 1:37 am

    This is the most humorous material I have seen in a long time! Keep it coming.

    Sue, don’t be silly. Any local business will love the publicity generated by these crazy stories (no publicity is bad publicity). When the word gets out every business will secretly hope for a story.

    • May 20, 2014 at 2:07 am

      Thank you, Larry. And now that we think about it, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The Butch’s article has already been read more than 80,000 times…maybe we should be expecting a lovely gift basket or thank-you note from them…what would it cost them to BUY that much exposure, we wonder?

    • Sue
      May 20, 2014 at 2:28 am

      Larry no it did not bring buiness because of the stories the businesses got a lot of phone calls some good and some not good and the really busy times were slow

  8. Wal
    May 20, 2014 at 2:49 am

    This is the best stuff I have read in a long time! Thanks for the laughs! 😀 Keep on keeping on!

  9. steve
    May 20, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I shared the Japanese story with some people I deal with is South Texas. They were intrigued! Thanks for the in depth reporting. Will be checking back here often for all the REAL news! 🙂

    • May 20, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      You are clearly wise beyond your years…thank you…

  10. Amy
    May 20, 2014 at 3:51 pm

    I got duped by the Japanese soldier story. I was telling my mom about it when I first thought I may have been had and did some research to find your site.

    It was AWESOME!! Thanks for the laugh…and the intrigue!

  11. Ruth
    May 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Here’s a news flash for you: SOME people in West Michigan have no sense of humor. I love this new newspaper! Keep up the good work! We all need a good belly laugh now and then… 😀

    • May 20, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      Thank YOU. That makes two of us, and two is a start…and we suspect there’s actually more like eight or ten…encouraging…

  12. Kim
    May 21, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    I have to say the first time I saw the pronto pup article I laughed by butt off…and my common sense kicked in to realize it was just from someone with a good sense of humor!
    People you need to think…use the brain God gave you and laugh, laugh, laugh!
    I read your story and found your site and I’m so happy I did…lots of information I didn’t know. The “other” paper in town isn’t really in town anymore…isn’t it out of Ludington? The owners don’t know the town, the history or what’s going on…they don’t live here and experience the culture. Lets get our laughs back and shake things up, open your minds…life is to short!

    • May 21, 2014 at 2:47 pm

      WOW. Not sure a ‘thank you’ really covers it, but we’re not yet in a position to offer you valuable prizes! You may need to assure our readers we haven’t paid you to plant such effusive praise, though. Thank you.

  13. Captain Dykstra - Holland
    May 29, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Your story about the wheel chair theft in Holland is completely false and using the Holland Police image to “validate” it is also misleading. Please choose the ridiculous truth rather than something that is false. thanks for your attention to this matter.

  14. Bobby
    June 4, 2014 at 11:26 pm

    Is someone suggesting that locals who normally go to Butch’s suddenly stopped going there after reading the Times, because they thought there was a dangerous 96 year old Japanese Soldier living in their dumpster? I went there specifically for the bonzai burrito after reading that!

    • June 4, 2014 at 11:29 pm

      And we can confirm that Butch’s reported to us that they got dozens of customers coming in and saying it was their first time trying Butch’s because they’d read about that Japanese soldier…they like The Grand River Times at Butch’s…they get it…

  15. Amy
    June 5, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Seriously, this is some of the best reporting and writing I have read in a LONG time! Thank you so much for making my day, we all need some humor to keep things in perspective. I cannot wait to see what you report on next, keep up the good work.

    • June 5, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Thank YOU so much for taking the time to write that. If only there were 10,000 of you!

  16. Heather
    June 5, 2014 at 11:37 am

    I don’t suppose you’re looking for a bright-eyed and earnest cub reporter? Or even a jaded and sarcastic cub reporter? 😉

    That aside, reading the articles out loud to my husband in as dramatic a fashion as possible has become a favorite nightly pastime. Keep up the excellent work!

  17. burkle
    June 5, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    the angrier people get [and the louder they insist IN ALL CAPS THAT THIS IS BOGUS NEWS] the louder i laugh and the more i love this site. keep up the great work!

  18. Hehe
    June 7, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Oh my GOD really this site blows and it is FAKE! The editors are even Fake!

  19. Deb
    June 10, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I should have immediately realized the Japanese solider story was satirical in nature. It was far too well-written to be an actual news story. 😉

  20. Deb
    June 10, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Er, make that, “soldier.” I really can spell, I swear.

  21. Brit
    June 14, 2014 at 12:58 am

    I’m appalled. I myself prefer to rely on news reports that I can believe to be 100% true without having to fact check. If I have to look up the source or read the fine print on the header of the newspaper’s website, that’s just plain wrong. This alarming trend of satirical news agencies is polluting the original and natural state of the Internet in which, if you can read it online, it’s real. This sickens me.

  22. brrph@chartermi.net
    June 22, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    is it true that as soon as the bridge is done in Nunica.that they will remove the bridge between GH and Spring Lake? could you do some article about any truth in this.

  23. John
    July 14, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    A friend posted the electric shopping cart on another site and he was able to “hook” six guys into believing it. He almost had me but then I caught your banner. I love this stuff. We all need a little levity in our lives today.

    And by the way Brit……….GET A LIFE.

    Thanks for website, will be looking for good stuff.

    • July 14, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      Thanks for sharing that story.

      • Brit
        July 25, 2014 at 5:18 am

        Do people recognize satire in comments? 🙂

  24. Mark
    July 23, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    that latest story on the Y changing its name was too funny. Thought I’d have a little fun myself.

    By Julian Sinclair

    GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (UPI) – Authorities were urging calm across this western Michigan city amid hope of easing tensions and avoiding an outbreak of civil unrest over a satirical news website that has aggravated some residents who mistakenly took it seriously.
    Officials went on moderate alert around noon today when a small but angry mob of residents descended upon City Hall, demanding that founders and employees of the Grand River Times be immediately and forcefully run out of town. A few of the protestors said they found the Grand River Times unfunny and were angry that they were somehow so thoroughly confused by its humor.
    “Who in this town actually thinks this satire stuff is funny?” said a man who led protestors down Washington Street and onto the lawn outside of City Hall, where protestors broke into an impromptu chant of “not funny, not funny, not funny….”
    “We just cannot have these kinds of people living and working among us in this town,” said another protestor, who added that the Times subject matter has been the topic of heated conversations this summer among the members of the local chapters of the Ignorant Tight Ass Club and Flat Earth Society.
    “They so far have debased and insulted our most sacred institutions in Grand Haven – the coal tipple, burritos, corn dogs and greasy pizza, the Y, and even our Musical Fountain. Where will it end?” he said. “We must act now. If this continues and we as a community don’t stand up to it and demand action, then it is just a matter of time before that do one of their little ‘satirical stories’ about our beloved draw bridge.”
    An onlooker later corrected the man, saying that the U.S. 31 span over the Grand River is technically known as a “bascule bridge” and not a draw bridge because it doesn’t “draw,” but instead “basculates.” A subsequent public protest over what to call the bridge is now planned for next week.
    Protest organizers said the final straw with the Grand River Times came this week when it published a story about the name change at the former Tri-Cities Family YMCA and the resulting public outrage. One leader did, however, say that he and his friends look forward to watching the picketing planned by the local organization of moms who have kept up their attractive physical appearance.
    Today’s protestors remained non-violent throughout the demonstration, although a few were visibly emotional and vowed to take matters in their own hands if the staff at Grand River Times didn’t cease what they called the “senseless and needless mocking of everything we hold dear to our hearts,” stated a communique from organizers.
    “This is what we’ll do to them,” one man said as he held up a printed image of the Grand River Times website, torn it in half and tossed it into the air.
    When told that he could be cited for littering, the man simply shouted, “these people have just made me so mad,” before regaining his composure.
    “I guess I should pick that up,” he added seconds later before shrugging his shoulders and deciding against it. “Maybe those prisoners the city hires will get to it.”

  25. Local Girl
    August 26, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Duncan … have you ever thought about changing your name to Duncan Woods? heh heh

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