Located just 21 minutes south east of downtown Grand Rapids, Gaines Charter Township is a diverse, dynamic community which places a high value on family life, good moral standards, a sense of community and a desire to enrich the lives of all its residents.
The first settler in this Township was Alexander Clark, in the spring of 1837. The following fall he was joined by Alexander L. Bouck and his son Andrew, Renssalaer Mesnard, Foster Kelley, Charles Kelley, and Joseph Blain. At the time, Gaines was nothing more than 36 square miles of wilderness; hardly appealing to the civilized eye. Yet to the hardy, enterprising pioneers; the forests, abundant supply of fresh water and wild life possessed a charm that was irresistible.
As settlers arrived and the heavy forests began to disappear, the land was found to be one of the richest agricultural tracts in the area, and to this day it is still considered one of the best in the county. In 1846 the area was officially organized under the name of Gaines. Today we are situated near three major highways; and within two miles to the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Traveling our well maintained streets, you will find major chain retailers, four parks, two trail systems, two golf courses, restaurants, a multi screen movie theater, banks/credit unions, portions of three public school districts, charter schools and a diverse group of churches.
Even as we grow (the 2010 census showed a 4,000+ resident increase), we keep sight of our heritage. The Gaines Charter Township Historical Society works diligently to develop awareness of local history and to preserve it for future generations.
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Gaines Charter Township is not just another pretty place to live and play. Manufacturing, retail, health care, and food service companies abound in the Township. The Switch pyramid (pictured here) is an icon to the technology growth in the area. We are also home to the Steelcase Wood Plant. Facilities like the Pine Rest/Spectrum Health Pavilion, multiple shopping opportunities, an array of large and small eating establishments are all within minutes from any location in the Township. Area schools, colleges, and universities provide a well-educated regional labor force.
The residents of Gaines Charter Township are served and protected by two state of the art fire departments; one located in Dutton and the other in Cutlerville. The Dutton Fire Department covers the majority of Gaines Charter Township and the Cutlerville Fire Department covers a smaller, more populated area of the Township.
A Kent County Sheriff Sub-station is located in the Township office building, which is is located in the center of the Township. Gaines Charter Township contracts with the County Sheriff for two units to patrol our Township; one 24 hour, 365 days a year patrol and an additional 12 hour, 365 days a year patrol. In addition to the two patrol units, Gaines Charter Township contracts a 40 hour per week Community Outreach Officer.