Cherry Creek is a prefix heard around Lowell. Today there is Cherry Creek Elementary and streets named Cherry Creek Ridge and Cherry Creek Valley. In the past there was Cherry Creek Care Center, now Laurels of Kent. How many people realize that there actually is a Cherry Creek?
Cherry Creek begins north of Bailey, in the area where the private road ‘Headwaters’ is and flows south and slightly east, meandering its way to the Grand River. The Creek played a large role in the area’s history.
It passed by Walker Tavern, located on Vergennes Street, near Alden Nash Ave. The Tavern was known in the mid 1800’s for its role as a stage coach stop, offering refreshment for those traveling between Ionia and Grand Rapids. The stage coach road crossed the Flat River at Fallasburg. The Walkers were known for the whisky made on the site, using the ice cold waters of Cherry Creek to cool the coils.
R.B. Boulanger, Civil War Veteran and retired Hardware Merchant, talked of gold panning in Cherry Creek ‘in earlier days.’ He told about a friend of his, who lived in the vicinity of what is now Pleasant Street, and how his family used to make $2.00 - $3.00 a day through their combined efforts, which was pretty fair wages for those days.
Cherry Creek supported businesses, including the Harvey Blough saw mill which was known to use the water to power their steam engines. The saw mill was located one block north and three blocks west of the Museum in 1924.
The creek has also provided a lot of fun and amusement. Opening day of the trout season in the spring of 1951 brought some 80 youngsters to the banks of the Cherry Creek, some as early as 4 am. The conservation department had planted legal sized trout and the sportsman’s club reserved the fishing for youngsters. During the fall of 1951 the Lowell Sportsman Club secured 2000 brook trout from the national wildlife service hatchery at North Isle Michigan and planted them in the headwaters of Cherry Creek for another round of fishing for youngsters under 12.
In 1958, before the King Pool and Pebble Beach, the newspaper reported that several boys from the west side of town built a swimming hole on Cherry Creek along the railroad tracks. The creek was dammed up by filling bags with sand and stones from the creek bottom and it formed a pool about three feet deep. The clear cool spring water kept the pool bubbling over the dam and created a “good safe place for the children to swim. Diving was limited to making short shallow plunges across the creek from a board that was given it’s spring by being placed across an old tire.” The reporter concluded that “this proves that the boys of today are capable of creating their own swimming hole, like their fathers and grandfathers before them. The ole swimming hole has long been a tradition in Lowell.”
Today, Cherry Creek can be enjoyed as it flows through the Wittenbach-Wege Center, near Cherry Creek Elementary school, at Creekside Park and along the east edge of Schneider Manor where is crosses Bowes Road before reaching the Grand River.
"My father told the story of the damn on Cherry Creek. He said that he along with Dick and Jerry Roth built the damn. Said they had to rebuild it several times."
Sally Myers Jenks
"Used to swim in that creek in the late fortys."
Ronald Laverne Merritt