The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners took action at its September 28 meeting to approve a purchase agreement with the estate of Joyce Carle to acquire 1.28 acres including a historic house located on 12th Avenue in the Bend Area, a county park property on the Grand River in Georgetown Township. The Bend Area Open Space is currently 258 acres and a grant project pending is expected to add up to 240 additional acres later this fall. The 1.28 acre house parcel is surrounded on all four sides by the pending grant acquisition property.
The Ottawa County Parks Foundation will be assisting the Parks Commission with the $160,000 purchase price with a $17,000 grant. The Parks Commission will explore adapting the house for weddings and other public gatherings, similar to the Weaver House located at Pine Bend..
The house was built in 1913 by Cornelius John “CJ” Moss, the father of Joyce Carle, who passed away in recent months. CJ Moss was a dairy farmer who also spent time as the “town sheriff” of Jenison before he was tragically killed along with his wife at age 45 in a car-train crash in Jenison.
The long-range vision for the Bend Area park property is to acquire 700 acres with park improvements to provide opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, biking and picnic facilities. The Parks Commission’s work on the project began in 2000 when it worked with gravel mine operators to develop a master plan for the area that doubled as both a mine reclamation plan and a long-range parks plan.