Wow, I’m a Michigander but didn’t know this until now: Eaton Rapids is known as the Island City – it’s downtown is surrounded by water – the Grand River and the Grand’s Spring Brook tributary. The city has fourteen bridges and an island park, and holds an annual Dam Festival in June. Historically, it was known as “The Saratoga of the West.” See the Eaton Rapids Area Historical Society for lots more.
Some baseball trivia: The Davidson Mill was established around 1921 in Eaton Rapids by Philadelphia-born John B. Davidson, Sr. This mill supplied 95% of the wool yarn for major league baseball, as well as high-grade yarns for other purposes. (per Wikipedia).
Related Eaton Rapids posts at Laurel Cottage: G. Meachum Millinery and Dr. W. Derby’s Croup Mixture. There’s a millinery connection in this second link also. Hmmm, coincidence, or might it help to solve the Meachum mystery? (See EARHS’s Facebook page re G. Meachum.)
As to the age of this postcard on the dam, a semi-educated guess would be around 1910 – 1915 or so. The publisher E. C. Kropp went under the name of Kropp prior to 1907, but this fact doesn’t help us, as this is a Divided Back, so we already know this card was from at least 1907. The E.C. Kropp Co. sold it’s business to L.L. Cook in 1956.
Divided back, unused postcard. Publisher: E.C. Kropp Co., Milwaukee. Circa 1910 – 1915.
Sources: Eaton Rapids Area Historical Society. (accessed August 23, 2015.)
Ogg, Aaron. (2012, July 16). Eaton Rapids is ‘Island City’ surrounded by Grand River and Spring Brook tributary. The Grand Rapids Press. (www.mlive.com).
Eaton Rapids, Michigan. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eaton_Rapids,_Michigan. (accessed August 23, 2015).
E.C. Kropp Co. 1907 – 1956. Metropostcard.com. Accessed August 23 2015.