Sparta

Sparta is a village in Kent County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 4,140 at the 2010 census. The village resides in Sparta Township.

The Sparta area was first settled in 1844, with the township formally organized in 1846. The first settler in what is now the village was Jonathan Nash in 1846. Calling the place Nashville, he built a sawmill on Lick Creek. Subsequently, he changed the name of the creek to Nash Creek. Seeing as there was already a Nashville in Michigan, the state legislature suggested Sparta, meaning land of the fair women. The village was platted in 1867 and incorporated in 1883.

During World War II, Sparta was host to a German prisoner of war camp. The POWs were put to work as farmhands because many of the farmhands from the town had left to go fight in the war. The prisoners were treated relatively well, and later even wrote letters to the owner of the farm they worked on saying such things as, "I like to think back on the nice time we could spend on your farm."[6]

In recent years due to the growth of the Grand Rapids metropolitan area the town has developed a more suburban flair as subdivisions of tract homes have been built in large numbers over the last decade.