Zeeland is a small city in West Michigan, located eight miles east of Lake Michigan; it was established in 1847 on land formerly occupied by the Odawa people. It was named after the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands, the home country of the immigrants who founded the town.
Today the city is populated by over 5,000 residents and is home to several world-renowned companies, including Herman Miller, the Howard Miller Clock Company, and Gentex. Traveling downtown Zeeland allows for a quiet but beautiful shopping experience, with several one-of-a-kind stores and coffee shops. Out of the Box Games offers unique board games and puzzles along with a friendly atmosphere. Mainstreet Sweets fills the small-town need for a candy shop. Banners along Main Street proclaim the city’s wish for everyone to “Feel the Zeel!”
This website will give a brief overview of the history of Zeeland’s founding, its people, and the economy and society.
This site was created as a project for the History of Michigan course at Michigan State University. You can learn more about the project here.
Background image: Province of Zeeland, the Netherlands, 1580. Courtesy of the Howard Miller Public Library