This past Tuesday Holland, MI marked the 169th anniversary of its founding. “Michigan in Pictures” featured its story along with this marvelous aerial view of Holland harbor during this winter season.
Because Holland was founded by Dutch immigrants and still maintains its strong Dutch history and heritage, we point you to it today. “MIP” has a link to the history of Holland in its story, part of which I include here.
Join me in saying “happy birthday” to the historic city of Holland!
February 9th is the 169th anniversary of the founding of Holland, Michigan. The History of Holland has some background about one of the prime factors for the city’s success, the Holland Channel:
From its very beginnings, Holland provided a refuge for those seeking freedom of expression and a more vibrant economy. Persuaded by religious oppression and economic depression, a group of 60 men, women, and children, led by Albertus C. VanRaalte, prepared for their 47-day trip from Rotterdam to New York. VanRaalte intended to purchase land in Wisconsin, but travel delays and an early winter caused the group to layover in Detroit. After hearing about available lands in west Michigan, VanRaalte decided to scout the territory. They reached their destination on February 9, 1847 on the banks of Black Lake—today’s Lake Macatawa.
The hundreds of Dutch immigrants that followed expected to find their promised land, but instead found a swamp and insect-infested forest. Although food was scarce, and the log sheds they built were unable to hold everyone, the settlers persevered. VanRaalte realized the practical and economic potential of the dense forest: trees could be felled to build homes and businesses, while the excess lumber could be sold to purchase farming supplies.