The newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series is Dutch Heritage of Kent and Ottawa Counties by local authors Norma Lewis and Jay de Vries. The book boasts more than 200 vintage images depicting the people and families who have played a major role in the history of the region.
On February 9, 1847, Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte chose a site on Michigan’s Black River and founded what became Holland. Motivated in part by a potato famine and crop failures, the settlers also sought religious freedom. Other countrymen followed, leaving an indelible mark on the character of southwest Michigan.
Jan Douma and Matteus Notier, Union soldiers from Graafschap, guarded the bier of slain president Abraham Lincoln. Newbery Medal–winning children’s author Meindert DeJong came from Grand Rapids, as did Caldecott Medalist Chris Van Allsburg. The legacy includes Hope, Calvin, and Kuyper Colleges, the world-class Fredrik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center at Spectrum Hospital, DeVos Performance Hall, Van Andel Arena, the DeGraaf Nature Center, Windmill Island, Dutch Village, and Veldheer’s Tulip Gardens. The Dutch forefathers passed their values on to their progeny to make the area what it is today.
The authors hope the book “will foster interest in the Dutch immigrants and their struggles and triumphs, while bringing happy memories to those who lived and continue living the southwest Michigan Dutch experience.”
Available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at www.arcadiapublishing.com or
Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States. Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places. Have we done a book on your town? Visit www.arcadiapublishing.com.