To be continued...
More and more emigrantsMore and more "Afgescheidenen" emigrated in 1847. They build simple houses in the neighborhood of Holland. Reverend C. van der Meulen left the province of Zeeland and founded the village Zeeland in Michigan. Also from the province of Overijssel came immigrants led by Reverend S. Bolks, who founded Hellendoorn, which later became Overisel. Many more immigrants came from the Netherlands, with the evidence still visible today in many of the names of their settlements (see Dutch place names). All these villages together made up what was called "the Colony". All villages in the Colony were founded within a period of 50 years.
Why all near each other?Why did the new Dutch immigrants go to the places where Dutchmen were all ready established, or why did they found a new village all together? Many times they were going to join friends or family. They felt more secure around people who were speaking the same language and had the same customs. Those two things, the language and the customs, were the things the Dutch wanted to maintain. If the village was settled, immigrants kept on coming until there wasn't any land left or it became too expensive.
Big cities with Dutch neighborhoodsThere also were Dutch immigrants who emigrated to all ready existing cities. In Grand Rapids there was a large Dutch neighborhood. There were also large sections of Dutch in other big cities. In Chicago, there went two Dutch settlements up: "Lage Prairie" ("Low Prairie") and "Hooge Prairie" ("High Prairie"). There's still a piece of Chicago with lots of people from the province of Groningen called "Groninger hoek" ("Gronings piece").
Map of the NetherlandsAt the end of the nineteenth century, the Dutch lived in big parts of different places of West and Middle Michigan. They were the largest part of the population, and their settlements were like a map of the Netherlands: Drenthe, Harlem, Zutphen, Groningen, etc. (For more information about these villages)
All these villages were, Holland not included, small settlements with churches, schools, a few shops, and farms. Most of them stayed small. A letter of Reverend A. Zwemer describes this, which he wrote in his home in Vriesland where he became reverend of the "Nederlands-Gereformeerde Kerk" ("Dutch-Reformed Church") in 1860:
"We don't live anymore in Holland (the capital of the colony), but in Vriesland 10 miles (3 hours walking) east of Holland.
The lands and homes were from the municipality and the language was different.