Main Births etc
Holland, Michigan
—  City  —
Nickname(s): The Tulip City
Location of Holland within Ottawa County, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°47′N 86°6′W / 42.783, -86.1
Country United States
State Michigan
Counties Ottawa, Allegan
 • Mayor Kurt Dykstra (R)
 • City 17.35 sq mi (44.94 km2)
 • Land 16.59 sq mi (42.97 km2)
 • Water 0.76 sq mi (1.97 km2)
Elevation 662 ft (202 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 33,051
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 33,279
 • Density 1,992.2/sq mi (769.2/km2)
 • Urban 95,394
 • Metro 264,910
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 49422-49424
Area code(s) 616,269
FIPS code 26-38640[4]
GNIS feature ID 0628421[5]

Holland is a coastal city in the western region of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is situated near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan on Lake Macatawa, which is fed by the Macatawa River (formerly known locally as the Black River).

The city spans the Ottawa/Allegan county line, with 9.08 square miles (23.52 km2) in Ottawa and the remaining 8.13 square miles (21.06 km2) in Allegan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 33,051,[6] with an Urbanized Area population of 95,394.[7]

The city is the largest municipality of the Holland-Grand Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area and the seventh largest metro area in the state of Michigan, with a population of 264,910 as of the 2010 census.[8] Holland was founded by Dutch Americans, and is in an area that has a large percentage of citizens of Dutch American heritage.

It is home to Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, institutions of the Reformed Church in America.


Holland was settled in 1847 by Dutch Calvinist separatists, under the leadership of Dr. Albertus van Raalte.[9] Dire economic conditions in the Netherlands impelled them to emigrate, while their desire for religious freedom led them to unite and settle together as a group.[10]

Van Raalte and his colony settled on land in the midst of the Ottowa people's Old Wing Mission Colony near the Black River where it streamed to Black Lake (now Lake Macatawa) which, in turn, led to Lake Michigan. Joint occupation by the two communities was not a marriage made in heaven. Eventually, the Dutch settlers purchased the land from the natives, who moved north in an effort to preserve their way of life and culture.[11]

In Holland's early history, Van Raalte was a spiritual leader, as well as overseeing political, educational and financial matters. In 1847 Van Raalte established a congregation of the Reformed Church in America, which would later be called the First Reformed Church of Holland. On March 25, 1867,[12][13] Holland was incorporated as a city with Isaac Cappon being the city's first mayor. The city suffered a major fire on October 8–9, 1871, the same time as the Great Chicago Fire in Illinois and the very deadly Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin.[14] Because of the Great Michigan Fire (which included the Port Huron Fire of 1871), Manistee and Port Huron, Michigan also burned at the same time.

Dutch settlements in Michigan.

Holland was known as the "City of Churches."[15] There are 170 churches in Holland, many of which are with the Reformed Church in America and Christian Reformed Church in North America denominations. The city is the home to the church that started the trend of the "What Would Jesus Do?" bracelets in 1989.[16] In 1987, a 23-year-old City Council member Phil Tanis was elected mayor of Holland, becoming its youngest mayor while he was still a Hope College student.


Tulip beds in downtown

The city is perhaps best known for its Dutch heritage, which serves not only as a part of the city's cultural identity, but the local economy as well: the Tulip Time Festival in May and various Dutch-themed attractions augment the nearby Lake Michigan shoreline in attracting thousands of tourists annually.

The Holland Museum contains exhibits about the city's history. Another, the Cappon House Museum, was built in 1874 and is a historic museum that once housed the first mayor of Holland, Dutch immigrant Isaac Cappon. The Settlers House Museum, a building that survived the great fire, contains furnishings and relics from the 19th Century.

Holland Harbor Light near Holland, Michigan.

Holland's downtown is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The "Snowmelt Project" established pipes transporting warm water from the nearby power plant to travel underneath downtown with the purpose of clearing the streets and sidewalks in the downtown area of any snow. Nearby Holland State Park is a Michigan State Park.

Across the channel is the Holland Harbor Light, known as "Big Red", a lighthouse in Michigan. De Zwaan, an original 250-year-old Dutch windmill, is situated on Windmill Island, a municipal park. Its height is 125 feet (38 m) with 40-foot (12 m) sails. Holland boasts an annual Fiesta, organized by Latin Americans United for Progress, usually on the Saturday closest to May 5 (Cinco de Mayo). Holland is also host to the annual Tulipanes Latino Art & Film Festival, which is held to celebrate the Latino contribution to the culture. Holland is home to the world's largest pickle factory. The H.J. Heinz Company has operated the factory at the same location since 1897 and currently processes over 1 million pounds of pickles per day during the green season. Holland was the birthplace of Slashdot, an influential early Internet weblog created by Hope College student Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda. CNN Money named Holland as one of the top five places to retire in 2006.[17]

In 2010, Holland was ranked the 2nd healthiest/happiest town in the United States by the Well-being Index.[18]


Tulips line the streets

Sign welcoming visitors

Lake Michigan beach at Holland State Park

Each May Holland hosts an annual Tulip Time Festival. Tulip planting and the festival began in 1930 when 250,000 tulips were planted for the event.[19] Currently six million tulips are used throughout the city. Tulips are planted along many city streets, in city parks and outside municipal buildings as well as at tourist attractions like Dutch Village, the city-owned Windmill Island Gardens, and at a large tulip farm named Veldheer Tulip Gardens. It is normally held the second week of May, right when the numerous tulips planted around the town are blooming. Cruise ships such as the Yorktown from the Great Lakes Cruising Company make Holland a port of call.[20][21]

About one million tourists visit Tulip Time each year, for which the community finds innovative ways to enhance self-funded projects. It has been ranked as America's third largest town festival and was named Reader's Digest's best small town festival.[22] The Tulip Time Festival has attracted big name acts in recent years such as: Christina Aguilera in 2000, O-Town in 2001, The Verve Pipe in 2004, and Jars of Clay in 2006. Ed McMahon visited Tulip Time in 2007 along with Bobby Vinton.

Holland is on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. Scattered along the shoreline are many public beach accesses. The best known are Holland State Park and Tunnel Park. Smaller beaches along Lake Michigan are present but not well marked. Public accesses are frequent along dead-end streets bordering the shoreline.

Riley Trails consists of approximately 10 acres (40,000 m2) of public land about 3 country blocks west of the Riley St. and Butternut Dr. intersection. Trail maps mark the entrance and features four routes (A, B, C, and V—V). The park also features a large pond.

The city's primary shopping district is centered along 8th Street, the city's main street downtown. Retailers include a diverse selection of locally owned small businesses and restaurants including Home & Company, The Outpost and JB & Me, as well as national brands, such as White House Black Market, Jos. A Bank and Talbots. Restaurants include JP's Coffee, New Holland Brewing Company, Curragh Irish Pub, 84 East and many others.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.35 square miles (44.94 km2), of which, 16.59 square miles (42.97 km2) is land and 0.76 square miles (1.97 km2) is water.[1]


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1870 2,319
1880 2,620 13.0%
1890 3,945 50.6%
1900 7,790 97.5%
1910 10,490 34.7%
1920 12,183 16.1%
1930 14,346 17.8%
1940 14,616 1.9%
1950 15,858 8.5%
1960 24,777 56.2%
1970 26,337 6.3%
1980 26,281 −0.2%
1990 30,745 17.0%
2000 35,048 14.0%
2010 33,051 −5.7%

A graph showing the age distribution of Holland, MI

2010 census[]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 33,051 people, 12,021 households, and 7,593 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,992.2 inhabitants per square mile (769.2 /km2). There were 13,212 housing units at an average density of 796.4 per square mile (307.5 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 80.0% White, 3.6% African American, 0.6% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 9.2% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.7% of the population.

There were 12,021 households of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 11.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.8% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.13.

The median age in the city was 31.7 years. 24% of residents were under the age of 18; 16.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.7% were from 25 to 44; 21% were from 45 to 64; and 13.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.


The City of Holland utilizes a council/manager form of government. The day-to-day operations of the city are under the supervision of the City Manager and his/her staff. The City Manager is responsible for selecting all department heads, preparation of the budget and supervision of all employees through his/her appointments. The city manager serves at the direction of the Mayor and city council which are elected positions. The current city manager is Ryan Cotton, former village manager of Spring Lake, Michigan, who was appointed on Feb. 9 2012 by the council to replace retiring Sorenn Wolff, who announced his plans in the spring of 2011 and stepped down in September. Wolff served as the city manager since 1988, and as assistant city manager in the mid 1970s. The current assistant city manager is Greg Robinson. When Wolff announced his intentions to retire, Robinson was named interim city manager until Cotton was appointed to replace him.

Holland's city charter requires a mayor and eight city council members. The Mayor serves a two-year term, while two "at large" council members and six "ward" council members each serve four-year terms.

The current Mayor is Kurt D. Dykstra, recently elected in 2009 to replace long-serving mayor, Albert H. McGeehan. Prior to becoming Mayor, Dykstra was a five-year member of the Holland City Council, representing the city's fifth ward. He is a partner at Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based law firm. He earned his juris doctorate from Marquette University Law School and received his bachelor's degree from Northwestern College, in Orange City, Iowa, graduating magna cum laude.

  • City council members as of April 2012 are:
    • At-Large - Wayne Klomparens
    • At-Large - Nancy DeBoer
    • Ward 1 - Myron Trethewey
    • Ward 2 - Jay Peters
    • Ward 3 - Brian Burch
    • Ward 4 - Robert VandeVusse
    • Ward 5 - Todd Whiteman
    • Ward 6 - David Hoekstra


Higher level academic institutions
  • Hope College, a private four-year liberal arts college
  • Western Theological Seminary a graduate and professional school
  • Grand Valley State University has a campus in Holland. The land was donated to the GVSU by the Meijer family.
  • Davenport University has a Regional campus in Holland
Public schools
  • Holland Public Schools
  • West Ottawa Public Schools, which serve the townships that make up Holland's suburban and rural "north side".
  • Black River Public School, a charter school with kindergarten, elementary, secondary, and high school students.
  • Vanderbilt Charter Academy (K-8).
  • Thompson M-TEC (Adult Training) - a partnership between the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District and Grand Rapids Community College.
  • Eagle Crest Charter Academy.
Private schools
  • Holland Christian Schools
  • Corpus Christi Catholic School
  • Calvary Schools of Holland
  • Holland Seventh-day Adventist School


The city is serviced by two public airports, the recreational Park Township Airport (IATA: HLMICAO: KHLM), and the larger, corporate and charter jet West Michigan Regional Airport (IATA: BIVICAO: KBIV). Neither facility is served by regularly scheduled commercial carriers; the nearest airport with airline service is Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about 35 miles northeast. The city also is served by regularly scheduled Amtrak service (the Pere Marquette) east to Grand Rapids and west to Chicago with connections to all points east and west.

The city and surrounding area is served by the MAX (Macatawa Area Express) transportation system, which offers both on-demand and high-speed bus service, linking different parts of the city as well as commercial, medical and government locations outside the city. This service evolved from the former "Dial-A-Ride Transportation" (DART) system.

The city is served by the following highways:

  • I-196 (Gerald R. Ford Freeway)
  • BL I-196
  • US 31
  • M-40
  • A-2

The channel between Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan allows pleasure craft and commercial boats, even bulk freighters, to access Holland's docks to unload coal, salt and iron scrap.



  • Holland Sentinel - Holland's local daily newspaper
  • Grand Rapids Press - has maintained a Holland newsroom and circulation office since the 1980s.
  • The Flashes - Serves Ottawa and Allegan counties for the Holland area.
  • Senior Times - Senior Citizen Newspaper


  • WHTC - Holland's Hometown Station 1450 AM Station
  • WYVN - Holland's Home for Classic Hits 92.7FM
  • WTHS - Hope College Radio Station 89.9FM
  • - The Lakeshore's Music Station
  • WTNR - Thunder 94.5 New Country
  • WMAX - ESPN Radio 96.1FM
  • WOOD - News, weather, traffic 1300 AM and 106.9 FM


  • MACTV - Holland Local Television Station

Fine Arts[]



  • Holland Chorale - Holland's auditioned chorus, presenting a full concert season of fine choral music
  • Holland Symphony Orchestra - Professional symphony orchestra conducted by Maestro Johannes Müller-Stosch.


Logo Club Sport League Venue Championships
Holland Blast Basketball International Basketball League Holland Civic Center None
Hope College Flying Dutchmen football College football Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Ray and Sue Smith Stadium

Sister cities[]

Notable people[]

  • L. Frank Baum (d. 1919), author, wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, while summering in the resort community of Macatawa.
  • Brian D'Amato, American author (Beauty, In the Courts of the Sun and its sequel The Sacrifice Game) and sculptor
  • Kirk Cousins, Former Michigan State University starting quarterback, currently is an NFL quarterback for the Washington Redskins
  • Robert Danhof, jurist
  • Max DePree, writer; industrialist; former CEO of Herman Miller, Inc.
  • Gerrard Wendell Haworth (d. 2006), founded office furniture manufacturer Haworth Company.
  • Pete Hoekstra, U.S. Congressman from Michigan's 2nd Congressional District, 1993-2011; chairman of House Intelligence Committee, 2004-2007.
  • Alex Koroknay-Palicz, youth rights advocate
  • Paul de Kruif (d. 1971), science writer (Microbe Hunters, etc.) retired to Holland, where he died
  • Mike O'Brien, candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and former Great Lakes project director for Bluewater Wind.
  • Rob Malda, founder of Slashdot
  • Lisa McMann, young adult fiction writer
  • James Michael, lead singer (Sixx:A.M.) and producer; co-wrote "Rest in Pieces" by Saliva
  • A. J. Muste, a Dutch-born American clergyman and political activist who attended Hope College.
  • David Myers, psychologist, author
  • Milton J. Nieuwsma, author, Emmy-winning filmwriter-producer
  • Erik Prince, founded Blackwater USA
  • Ron Schipper (d. 2006), college football coach; member of College Football Hall of Fame
  • Herman Stegeman (d. 1939), varsity coach and athletics director at the University of Georgia at Athens (UGA)
  • Sufjan Stevens, singer-songwriter; attended Hope College, details the city in the song "Holland" on his 2003 concept album, Michigan
  • Charles Symmonds, U.S. Army general
  • Matt Urban (d. 1995), U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel, WWII - received 29 combat decorations and the Medal of Honor
  • Mary Jeanne van Appledorn, composer, pianist, and educator
  • Andy Van Hekken, professional baseball player
  • Brian Vander Ark, lead singer (The Verve Pipe)
  • Hopwood Depree, founder of Tic Tock Studios, which helped produce the film "Virginia" starring Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelley. He is also one of the founders of the Waterfront Film Festival.


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ USGS GNIS: Holland, Michigan
  6. ^ Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions, 2010 Census Estimates
  7. ^ American Factfinder, Holland, MI Urbanized Area, ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates: 2006
  8. ^ Population of Michigan Regions and Statistical Areas, 2000 and 2010, at
  9. ^ Moore, Charles (1915). History of Michigan, Vol. I, pp. 529-31. The Lewis Publishing Company.
  10. ^ Robert P. Swierenga (13 March 1997, Lecture of Dr. Robert P. Swierenga, Research Professor, A.C. Van Raalte Institute for Historical Studies, Hope College, Holland Museum Sesquicentennial Lecture Series, Holland). "By the Sweat of our Brow: Economic Aspects of the Dutch Immigration to Michigan". Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  11. ^ Robert P. Swierenga and William Van Appledorn (2007, A.C. Van Raalte Institute for Historical Studies, Hope College, Holland). "Old Wing Mission: The Chronicles of the Reverend George N. and Arvilla Powers Smith, Missionary Teachers of Chief Wakazoo's Ottawa Indian Band in Western Michigan, 1838-1849". Retrieved 2014-01-07. 
  12. ^ Town charter has 1867 as date
  13. ^ Holland: The Tulip Town, Images of America by Randall P. Vande Water
  14. ^ Wilkins, A. (2012-03-29). "October 8, 1871: The Night America Burned". Gawker Media. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ What Would Jesus Do WWJD Products Inspire Thousands, Christianity Today Library, November 7, 1997
  17. ^ "Best places to retire". CNN. 2006. 
  18. ^ Michigan Town One of the Happiest Places in America
  19. ^ . 
  20. ^ Runk, David, Associated Press (July 11, 2006).Great Lakes cruises offer majestic views USA Today.
  21. ^ Great Lakes Cruising Company. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  22. ^

External links[]

Coordinates: 42°47′N 86°6′W / 42.783, -86.1

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Holland, Michigan. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.