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

 

ANSWER:

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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