In the early 1900's, fresh water mussels or clams from the Grand River were harvested to make buttons. Hooks were dragged from small boats to collect the clams which were then steamed open. The meat was discarded or fed to livestock and the clam shells were sorted and piled into huge mounds. Roving buyers would purchase the shells by the wagonload and then sell them to button factories. Two button factories were located in West Michigan, one here in Lamont and the other upriver in Lowell. The factories punched circular plugs out of the shells for finishing at other factories. Clamming ended in the 1940's when Grand River clams were over-harvested and the use of plastic buttons became common. Fresh water mussels still live in the Grand River. Watch for their pearly shells along the river banks. Source: Land Conservancy of West Michigan.