Holland, Michigan

Coordinates: 42°47′15″N 86°06′32″W / 42.78750°N 86.10889°W / 42.78750; -86.10889
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Holland, Michigan
Downtown Holland
Downtown Holland
The Tulip City
Location of Holland within Ottawa County, Michigan
Location of Holland within Ottawa County, Michigan
Coordinates: 42°47′15″N 86°06′32″W / 42.78750°N 86.10889°W / 42.78750; -86.10889
CountryUnited States
CountiesOttawa, Allegan
 • MayorNathan Bocks
 • City17.45 sq mi (45.19 km2)
 • Land16.68 sq mi (43.21 km2)
 • Water0.77 sq mi (1.99 km2)
662 ft (202 m)
 • City34,378
 • Density2,060.66/sq mi (795.62/km2)
 • Urban
[2] (2015)
 • Metro
1,433,288 (Grand Rapids-Holland-Muskegon metropolitan area)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code(s)616,269
FIPS code26-38640[3]
GNIS feature ID0628421[4]

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 (formerly known locally as the Black River). Holland is a thriving city with a diverse economy that includes manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, and higher education. It is home to a number of prominent companies, including Herman Miller, Haworth, and Adient, formerly known as Johnson Controls. The city also attracts thousands of visitors each year for its annual Tulip Time Festival, which celebrates the area's Dutch heritage and vibrant tulip fields.

The city spans the Ottawa/Allegan county line, with 9.08 sq mi (23.52 km2) in Ottawa and the remaining 8.13 sq mi (21.06 km2) in Allegan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 33,051,[5] with an urbanized area population of 113,164,[2] as of 2015.

Holland is the largest city in both Ottawa and Allegan counties. The Ottawa County portion is part of the Grand Rapids-Kentwood Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Allegan County portion is part of the Holland Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is coextensive with Allegan County. As of 2013, both areas are part of the Grand Rapids–Kentwood–Muskegon Combined Statistical Area. 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.


Ottawa County was originally populated by Ottawa Indians. In 1846, Reverend George Smith established the Old Wing Mission as an outreach to the native population. The Ottawa living here were primarily practicing Catholics, but Smith tried converting them to Protestantism. While generally unsuccessful in converting the Native population, the two groups worked together relatively closely for a short time. This attempt to work and live together was not valued by the next group who arrived.[6]

Holland was settled in 1847 by Dutch Calvinist separatists, under the leadership of Dr. Albertus van Raalte.[7] Dire economic conditions in the Netherlands compelled them to emigrate, while their desire for religious freedom led them to unite and settle together as a group.[8]

Van Raalte and his colony settled on land in the midst of the Ottawa (Odawa) 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. The Dutch settlers and the Ottawa people never got along. Dutch settlers began stealing sugar and venison from the Ottawa.[9] The Dutch were unwilling to accept the Ottawa people's mix of Catholic and Native culture. Soon, Dutch leaders tried to force the natives into wooded land in Allegan County.[10] Eventually, the natives moved north to preserve their way of life and culture.[11] Chief Peter Waukazoo and Reverend George Smith decided to move the community and the Ottawa Mission from Holland up to Northport (on the Leelanau Peninsula),[12] voyaging on boats and canoes.

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,[13][14] 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, at the same time as the Great Chicago Fire in Illinois and the very deadly Peshtigo Fire in Wisconsin.[15] Due to the Great Michigan Fire (which included the Port Huron Fire of 1871), Manistee and Port Huron, Michigan, also burned at the same time.[citation needed]

Dutch settlements in Michigan.


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. Over 28% of the population identified as being of Dutch descent.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

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.[citation needed]

De Zwaan, an original 250-year-old Dutch windmill, is situated on Windmill Island, a municipal park. Its height is 125 ft (38 m) with 40 ft (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.[citation needed]


Holland is known as the "City of Churches".[16] There are around 140 churches in the greater Holland area, 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.[17]


Sign welcoming visitors

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.[18] 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, during the tulip blooming season. Cruise ships such as the Yorktown from the Great Lakes Cruising Company make Holland a port of call.[19][20]

About one million tourists visit Tulip Time each year,[21] for which the community finds innovative ways to enhance self-funded projects. 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. Comedian Bill Cosby headlined the 2014 Tulip Time Festival.

Holland is located on Lake Macatawa, near the shores of Lake Michigan. Scattered along the shoreline are many public beach accesses including Tunnel Park and the widely popular Holland State Park. Across the channel from the State Park is the Holland Harbor Light, known as "Big Red". Smaller beaches along Lake Michigan are present but not well marked. Public accesses are frequent along dead-end streets bordering the shoreline.

The city's primary shopping district is centered along 8th Street, the city's main street downtown.

The 8th Street business district features a thermal snow-melting system which uses cooling water from the local electric plant. In 1988, the city rebuilt the entire street and sidewalk system, installing the thermal pipes underneath. The system will melt up to an inch an hour down to 15°.[22]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.35 sq mi (44.94 km2), of which 16.59 sq mi (42.97 km2) is land and 0.76 sq mi (1.97 km2) is water.[23]


  • Holland Heights


Climate data for Holland, Michigan (West Michigan Regional Airport) 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1905–present
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 67
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 31.8
Daily mean °F (°C) 25.9
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 19.9
Record low °F (°C) −21
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.87
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 14.0 12.9 10.5 12.7 12.8 11.0 9.9 10.9 11.1 14.1 12.6 13.8 146.3
Source: NOAA[24][25]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[26]
A graph showing the age distribution of Holland, MI

2020 census[edit]

As of the 2020 United States Census,[27] there were 34,378 people living in the city. 64.5% were non-Hispanic White, 5.6% Black or African American, 3.1% Asian, 0.9% Native American, and 9.7% of two or more races. 23.9% were Hispanic or Latino.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[28] 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/sq mi (769.2/km2). There were 13,212 housing units at an average density of 796.4/sq mi (307.5/km2).

Race and Hispanic or Latino Origin: The racial makeup of the city was 85.2% White alone, 4.0% Black or African American, 0.5% Native American, 3.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 5.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.7% of the population, and White not Hispanic or Latino were 70.0%.[29]

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 uses a council/manager form of government. The day-to-day operations of the city are under the supervision of the city manager and their staff. The city manager is responsible for selecting all department heads, preparation of the budget and supervision of all employees through their appointments.

The city manager serves at the direction of the mayor and city council which are elected positions. The current city manager is Keith Van Beek, former Ottawa County deputy county administrator, who was appointed in February 2018 by the city council. Soren Wolff served as the city manager from 1988 until his retirement in the Fall 2011. Soren previously served the city as assistant city manager in the mid-1970s and had a street named after him near Fairbanks Avenue and 13th Street, which is the main entrance to Smallenburg Park and many of Hope College's athletic facilities. The current assistant city manager is Matt VanDyken, the former IT director for the city.

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

The current mayor is Nathan Bocks, a local attorney elected in November 2019.

  • City council members as of December 2023 are:
    • Ward 1 - Tim Vreeman
    • Ward 2 - Lyn Raymond
    • Ward 3 - Bylnda Sól
    • Ward 4 - Kim Rowan
    • Ward 5 - Scott Corbin
    • Ward 6 - Devin Shea
    • At-Large - Michael Schultheis
    • At-Large - Quincy Byrd

The Holland Board of Public Works was created in 1883. It provides electricity, water and sewer services.[30]

In February 1996, the Holland City Council approved a sister city relationship between Santiago de Querétaro, Querétaro, Mexico, and the City of Holland.[31]


Higher level academic institutions[edit]

Public schools[edit]

Private schools[edit]


Holland is home to the world's largest pickle factory. The H.J. Heinz Company opened the factory at the same location in 1897, and processes over 1 million lbs. of pickles per day during the green season.


The city is serviced by West Michigan Regional Airport (IATA: BIV, ICAO: KBIV), the Park Township Airport (IATA: HLM, ICAO: KHLM) having closed on August 15, 2020. The airport is not served by regularly scheduled commercial carriers; the nearest airport with airline service is Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about 35 mi (56 km) 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:

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.




  • WHTC, 1450 WHTC and The New 99.7 FM
  • WYVN, classic Hits for Holland and the Lakeshore, 92.7 FM
  • WTHS - Hope College radio station, 89.9 FM


  • HCTV, Holland local television station

Fine arts[edit]


  • Holland Area Arts Council[33]


  • Holland Chorale,[34] Holland's auditioned chorus, presenting a full concert season of fine choral music
  • Holland Symphony Orchestra,[35] professional symphony orchestra conducted by Maestro Johannes Müller-Stosch


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

Notable people[edit]

Holland is the hometown of four Medal of Honor recipients [36] (tied with Pueblo, Colorado which has four,[37] both more than any other municipality in the United States) – John Essebagger Jr., Paul Ronald Lambers, Matt Urban, and Gordon Douglas Yntema.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Greater Holland Area Population" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 5, 2017. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ "Holland". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  5. ^ Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions, 2010 Census Estimates [dead link]
  6. ^ Thomson, S. Harrison (March 1952). "The Brethren of the Common Life. By Albert Hyma. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1950. Pp. 222. $3.50". Church History. 21 (1): 80–81. doi:10.2307/3162077. ISSN 0009-6407. JSTOR 3162077. S2CID 161497248.
  7. ^ Moore, Charles (1915). History of Michigan, Vol. I, pp. 529-31. The Lewis Publishing Company.
  8. ^ Robert P. Swierenga (March 13, 1997). "By the Sweat of our Brow: Economic Aspects of the Dutch Immigration to Michigan". swierenga.com. Museum Sesquicentennial Lecture Series. Holland, MI: A.C. Van Raalte Institute for Historical Studies, Hope College. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  9. ^ Vercruijsse, E. V. W.; Lucas, Henry S. (April 1958). "Dutch Immigrant Memoirs and Related Writings". American Sociological Review. 23 (2): 237. doi:10.2307/2089038. ISSN 0003-1224. JSTOR 2089038.
  10. ^ Novak, Steven J. (February 2000). Palmer, Joel (1810-1881), Oregon territory superintendent of Indian affairs. American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.0400762.
  11. ^ Robert P. Swierenga and William Van Appledorn (2007). "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". swierenga.com. Holland, MI: A.C. Van Raalte Institute for Historical Studies, Hope College. Retrieved January 7, 2014.
  12. ^ Grand Rapids Community Media Center. "Ottawa Band Seasonal Travel Map". History Grand Rapids.
  13. ^ Town charter has 1867 as date Archived June 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Holland: The Tulip Town, Images of America by Randall P. Vande Water
  15. ^ Wilkins, A. (March 29, 2012). "October 8, 1871: The Night America Burned". io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  16. ^ "Holland, Michigan". citytowninfo.com. Retrieved November 5, 2022.
  17. ^ What Would Jesus Do WWJD Products Inspire Thousands, Christianity Today Library, November 7, 1997
  18. ^ Festival History Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Runk, David. (July 11, 2006).Great Lakes cruises offer majestic views USA Today. Associated Press.
  20. ^ Great Lakes Cruising Company. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  21. ^ Frost Research Center (Summer 2018). "Tulip Time Festival Attendance and Economic Impact Report" (PDF). IMPLAM. 1: 40.
  22. ^ Grimes, Ryan (March 22, 2016). "Holland's heated sidewalks, streets were a gamble that seems to have paid off". Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  23. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 20, 2011. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  24. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  25. ^ "Station: Holland Tulip City AP, MI". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991-2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 4, 2021.
  26. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  27. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 9, 2024.
  28. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 25, 2012.
  29. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Holland city, Michigan". www.census.gov. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  30. ^ "Holland BPW History". Archived from the original on August 1, 2016. Retrieved June 28, 2015.
  31. ^ "City of Holland International Relations Commission".
  32. ^ McGuire, Justine. "Johnson Controls to leave automotive business in October, affecting one Holland plant".
  33. ^ "Holland Area Arts Council". Holland Area Arts Council.
  34. ^ "Holland Chorale". Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  35. ^ "Holland Symphony Orchestra of Holland Michigan". Holland Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  36. ^ "HOLLAND'S CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS" (PDF). Holland Museum. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  37. ^ "PUEBLO HOME OF HEROES ASSOCIATION". Retrieved March 30, 2022.
  38. ^ Ermak, Lisa. "L. Frank Baum and the Macatawa Goose Man: Celebrating the origins of".
  39. ^ "Conrad Biography". Lake Michigan Carferry. 2014. Retrieved September 1, 2014.
  40. ^ "Luke Witkowski Stats and News". NHL.com. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  41. ^ "Ex-Lieutenant Governor Dies". The Holland Evening Sentinel. June 10, 1971. p. 1. Retrieved December 27, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.

Further reading[edit]

  • Kirk, Gordon W. Jr. The promise of American life : social mobility in a nineteenth-century immigrant community, Holland, Michigan, 1847-1894 (1978) online
  • Michael Douma (2010). "Memory and the Myth of Albertus C. Van Raalte: How Holland, Michigan, Remembers Its Founding Father". Michigan Historical Review. 36 (2): 37–61. doi:10.1353/mhr.2010.0039. ISSN 2327-9672.
  • Swierenga, Robert. Holland Michigan: From Dutch Colony to Dynamic City (3 vol. Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. and Van Raalte Press, 2014)

External links[edit]