Holland, Michigan: Wikis


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Holland, Michigan
—  City  —
Nickname(s): The Tulip City
Location of Holland within Ottawa County, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°47′15″N 86°06′32″W / 42.7875°N 86.10889°W / 42.7875; -86.10889
Country United States
State Michigan
Counties Ottawa, Allegan
 - Mayor Kurt Dykstra (R)
 - City 17 sq mi (44.5 km2)
 - Land 16.6 sq mi (42.9 km2)
 - Water 0.6 sq mi (1.6 km2)
Elevation 662 ft (202 m)
Population (2008)
 - City 34,076
 Density 2,115.3/sq mi (816.7/km2)
 Urban 95,394
 Metro 260,364
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 49422-49424
Area code(s) 616,269
FIPS code 26-38640[1]
GNIS feature ID 0628421[2]
Website http://www.cityofholland.com

Holland is a 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 (also 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 2000 census, the population was 35,048[3], with the 2008 census estimate placing the population at 34,076[4] with an Urbanized Area population of 95,394.[5] The city is the largest municipality of the Holland-Grand Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area, which has an estimated population of 260,364 as of July 1, 2008.[6] Holland was founded by Dutch Americans, and is in an area that has a large percentage of citizens of Dutch American heritage who live in communities with such Dutch names as Harlem, Zeeland, Vriesland, Drenthe, Groningen and Graafschap. It is home to Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, institutions of the Reformed Church in America. In 2010, Holland was ranked the 2nd healthiest/happiest town in the United States by the Well-being Index.[7]



Holland was settled in 1847 by Dutch Calvinist separatists, under the leadership of Dr. Albertus van Raalte, who were escaping from persecution in the Netherlands.[citation needed] Van Raalte took the land due to its proximity to the Black River where it streamed to Black Lake (now Lake Macatawa) which, in turn, led to Lake Michigan.

The land was inhabited by the Ottawa who had been on the lake for hundreds of years and welcomed the new Dutch settlers with open arms and assistance. 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. In 1867, 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. Manistee and Port Huron, Michigan also burned.

Dutch settlements in Michigan.

Holland was known as the "City of Churches."[8] 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 kicked off the trend of the What Would Jesus Do? bracelets in 1989.[9] In 1987, 23-year-old recent Hope College graduate and City Council member Phil Tanis was elected mayor of Holland, becoming its youngest mayor.


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, 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 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.[10]

Holland named the second happiest place in America in 2010 by the Gallup Group [11]

Tulip Time Festival

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.[12] 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.

In the past, about one million tourists would visit Tulip Time each year to 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.[13] 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.

The Tulipanes Latino Art & Film Festival a 501(3) nonprofit organization which hosts a free, citywide annual festival celebrating Latino culture through music, art and film.



Holland is on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa. However, the shores of Holland are reserved as private property and tourists could be in violation of the trespassing law if found enjoying the beautiful beaches. Be sure to check where to walk while on the beach in Holland. Only two smaller beaches are allowed for public use, Holland State Park and Tunnel Park. There's also approximately 50m of public access beach space on the western reach of Riley St. This is a popular destination for young people who do not want to pay the access fees of Holland State Park or Tunnel Park. While the picturesque vistas of Tunnel Park vastly overshadow the availabilities of the Riley St. public access, it is nonetheless available for the general public.

Another popular destination, especially in wintertime, is Riley Park, which is approximately 10 acres (40,000 m2) of public land about 3 country blocks west of the Riley St. and Butternut Dr. intersection. This location contains several hiking trails (A, B, C, and V—V being curtailed by a recent subdivision development), and several hills that are suitable for amateur snowboarding during the winter.


A graph showing the age distribution of Holland, MI

As of the census[1] of 2005-2007, there were 32,030 people, 29,089 households, and 7,756 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,929.5 per square mile (746.6 per km2). There were 13,059 housing units at an average density of 786.7 per sq mi (304.4 per km2). The racial makeup of the city was 79.1% White, 1.3% African American, 0.7% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 13.6% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.7% of the population.

There were 11,401 households out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.0% were non-families. 26.6% of all households are made up of individuals, and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.08.

The age distribution of the city is as follows: 23.6% of the population was under the age of 18, 62.6% between the ages of 18 and 65, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. The distribution of males and females was 51.4% female and 48.6% male.

The median income for a household in the city was $44,620, and the median income for a family was $55,833. Males had a median income of $39,005 versus $29,967 for females. The per capita income for the city was $20,857. About 5.2% of families and 10.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.1% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.



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 position. The current city manager (since 1988) is Soren Wolff, who also served as assistant city manager in the mid 1970s. The current assistant city manager is Greg Robinson.

Holland's city charter requires a mayor and eight city council members. The Mayor serves a two-year term, while two "at large" councilmembers and four "ward" councilmembers 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 11/2009) are:
    • At-Large - Jerome Thomas-Kobes
    • 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



The city is serviced by two public airports, the recreational Park Township Airport (IATA: HLMICAO: KHLM), and the larger, corporate and charter jet Tulip City Airport (IATA: BIVICAO: KBIV). Neither facility is served by regularly scheduled commercial carriers. 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 fixed-route 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:



  • 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 Rock 92.7FM
  • WBBL-FM - West Michigan's Sports Leader 107.3FM Sports radio
  • WTHS - Hope College Radio Station 89.9FM
  • LakeshoreRadio.net - The Lakeshore's Music Station
  • WTNR - Thunder 94.5 New Country


  • MACTV - Holland Local Television Station


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 Holland Municipal Stadium

Sister cities

Notable residents

Feature films - filmed on location in Holland area


External links

Coordinates: 42°47′N 86°06′W / 42.783°N 86.1°W / 42.783; -86.1

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

HOLLAND, a city of Ottawa county, Michigan, U.S.A., on Macatawa Bay (formerly called Black Lake), near Lake Michigan, and 25 M. W.S.W. of Grand Rapids. Pop. (1890) 3945; (1900) 7790, of whom a large portion were of Dutch descent; (1904, state census) 8966. It is served by the Pere Marquette Railroad, by steamboat lines to Chicago and other lake ports, and by electric lines connecting with Grand Rapids, Saugatuck, and the neighbouring summer resorts. On Macatawa Bay are Ottawa Beach, Macatawa Park, Jenison Park, Central Park, Castle Park and Waukezoo. In the city itself are Hope College (co-educational; founded in 1851 and incorporated as a college in 1866), an institution of the (Dutch) Reformed Church in America; and the Western Theological Seminary (1869; suspended 1877-1884) of the same denomination. Holland is a grain and fruit shipping centre, and among its manufactures are furniture, leather, grist mill products, iron, beer, pickles, shoes, beet sugar, gelatine, biscuit (Holland rusk), electric and steam launches, and pianos. In 1908 seven weekly, one daily, and two monthly papers (four denominational) were published at Holland, five of them in Dutch. The municipality owns its water-works and electric-lighting plant. Holland was founded in 1847 by Dutch settlers, under the leadership of the Rev. A. C. Van Raalte, and was chartered as a city in 1867. In 1871 much of it was destroyed by a forest fire.

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