Re-calling a bygone era

Shauna of Grand Haven asked, "That telephone company building at the corner of Washington and Fifth Street sure looks like a throwback to the days of the old switchboard operator. How long has it been there?"
Mark Brooky
Apr 5, 2013



It was built for the Michigan Bell Telephone Co. in 1930.

Dr. Dave Seibold, in his local history tome "Grand Haven in the Path of Destiny," said then-Grand Haven Mayor Bruno Peter made the first call when the move of switching more than 2,000 area phones was completed from out of a downtown office to 501 Washington Ave. Peter called William Hatton, according to Seibold.

Michigan Bell was later swallowed up by Ameritech, which became SBC Ameritech, and is now AT&T. The building at the corner of Washington and Fifth is still used by AT&T as a local hub and office.

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