Albertus Van Raalte (

Holland’s name obviously associates the city with the Netherlands and the city got it’s name due to the Dutch immigrants that first settled here. Reverend Albertus Van Raalte was living in the Netherlands when science and technology was gaining popularity and as he saw this as a threat to his religion and way of life, He and 47 other men and women set out to America in search of a place where they could continue their way of life. After originally hoping to get to Wisconsin to purchase land, a bad winter kept them in Michigan and they arrived on the banks of the black lake (now Lake Macatawa) on February 9, 1847. Though Holland at the time was mostly a swampy area not seemingly fit for growing crops, Van Raalte saw the value of the abundant lumber in the area saw the proximity to Lake Michigan as a profitable opportunity to establish his settlement with the ideals he believed in growing up in the Netherlands