Grand River

The longest river in Michigan, the Grand River winds some 260 miles from the Jackson area to Grand Haven.

Native Indians knew the head of the Grand River as Gabaguoache (GOB-uh-guh-watch-EEE) — the big mouth — which empties into Lake Michigan. French voyageurs called the Grand River La Grande Riviere.

More than 200 years ago, the Ottawa, Ojibwa and Potawatomi tribes lived along the Grand River. Fishing, hunting and navigation were the way of life for these caretakers during the 1700s.

In 1907, Webber Hydro began generating electricity on the Grand River and today is Consumers Energy’s oldest original operating hydroelectric plant.

How it Works

How a Hydroelectric Dam Generates Electricity


The tailwaters below Webber Hydro attract salmon, steelhead, bass, and walleye. The Webber pond also provides pike and pan fish. There is also a portage and boat launch.

Webber Hydro

With a capacity of 3,225 kilowatts, the hydro was completed in 1907. It is located on the Grand River near Ionia, about 35 miles northwest of downtown Lansing. It is named for a local banker. A new 40-year federal operating license issued in 2001 expires 2041.