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The Ottawa Native American tribe inhabited this land from about 1700, and the area was settled by Europeans in the early 19th Century by missionaries and fur traders.
Today, Grand Rapids is known for its riverfront, its historic ties to boxing, as a major site of the office furniture industry, and business.
People Born in Grand Rapids
Grand Rapids in People's Lives
Jude Law: I traveled here in 2001 to film scenes of the movie Road to Perdition.
Taylor Lautner: I was born here in 1992, into a modest and quite ordinary family. My father worked as a pilot for Midwest Airlines, and my mother worked for a software company. I was the oldest child, with one sister born a few years later. I was raised Roman Catholic. From an early age, I took an interest in acting, a hobby that was often accompanied by being bullied at school - but I was determined to continue doing what I loved. In 1998, at the age of six, I became involved in karate, another passion of mine that I was very successful at as a child. My family moved to Los Angeles when I was about seven, in 1999.