In 1845, John Pintler and his family blazed a trail through the wilderness, and were the first settlers in what would become the village of Lisbon. The next year, Samuel Free and John Brooks used the Pintler homestead as a starting point for a road connecting Newaygo in the north and Grand Rapids in the south. Mr. Pintler helped clear trees for the road, and ran an inn at the site for three years.
Originally called Pintler’s Corners, the village grew around the inn, both in Chester Township and in Sparta Township, Kent County. A post office was established in 1847, with John Pintler serving as postmaster. The Grand Rapids and Big Rapids Coach Lines established a relay station where people could switch to the Muskegon Line. The village was incorporated and renamed Lisbon in 1859.
At its peak, Lisbon had over 350 residents and 26 buildings, including a two-story school housing 150 students and three teachers. A Methodist church was build in 1864, and a Baptist church soon after. When the Toledo, Saginaw, and Milwaukee Railroad ran a line through Gooding, one mile north, in 1888, Lisbon began to decline. The post office closed in 1925, the businesses moved or closed, and the only historic building still standing is the Masonic Temple on the west side of Kenowa.