DRENTHE (& Staphorst)  (Picture at bottom of page)



 Founded: In late summer of 1847

 Post Office: Started in 1876

 School District: organized in 1853

 Van Raalte's example attracted the most attention from the Province of Drenthe there was even
an advertisement published by the "DRENTSCHECOURANT" of Assen in the Spring of 1846.
Emigrants were getting ready to leave from many towns and villages - for example, - Assen -
Beilen- Havelte - Hoogeveen - Odoom - Rolde - Ruinerwolde - Witten - Sleen - Smilde -
Westerbork - Zuidlaren - Zweelo. Many people wanted to sail with Van Raalte but passenger
space was filled before many of their requests were received. Two different groups joined together
at Rotterdam on October 10, both from Drenthe. One group traveled by way of Assen to Meppel,
where at the dock they were abused and insulted by people who had no sympathy with their
intention to "leave the Provence." On October 10, they met with Jan Rabbers, Willem Kremers,
two Jekels' and Harm Wassink all from Emmen. A large company of 126 emigrants had gathered,
two of whom were members of the Reformed Church, the rest being Seceders. They took ship
together and shsared the hard trip to Michigan - leaving on October 14 sailing from HELLEVOETSLUIS
in the "ISABELLA BATH". After a stormy voyage of 61 days, during which 3 children died, the sorely
tried group reached New York on December 19, and left the ship 3 days later, on December 22,
(according to Henry Kremers-telling about his fathers' journey [Willem] the trip took 63 day's and arrived
in New York on December 7, 1846). Eager to join Van Raalte they left New York for Albany on
December 23. In Albany, Rabbers' wife died. They arrived in Albany by train because the Hudson River
was frozen. They were waiting work from Van Raalte who they thought would choose Wisconsin but
received letters informing them of his decision to settle on the banks of Black River and urging them to
send some of their men from Albany early in the spring to make preparations for the rest of the group, leaving
wives and children in Albany until the opening of navigation on the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes. Several
men responded - 9 men(no women). The group had the good fortune to travel in winter and so avoided the
wretched Canal Boats, for the Canal from Albany to Buffalo was covered with ice. They journeyed by Train
to Buffalo where they found work, earning 50 cents a day at hard labor - chopping wood. By train to
Niagara Falls and crossed the river in a skiff below the falls. They then traveled the 300 miles through Canada
on foot and caring their possessions on their backs, with very little money on a difficult journey through much
snow - ice - and severe frost. Finally they rented a sleigh and this shortened their journey. Arriving in
Windsor(Canada). The Detroit River was covered with ice and the Ferry Boat was not in operation, so they
crossed the river on ice that was breaking up. They proceeded by train to Kalamazoo - the trip lasted the
entire day - 12 hours. The following day they went by Sleigh to Allegan where they stayed in the house of
Judge John R. Kellogg and slept on the floor of his kitchen. From there they went on their way to "OLD
WING MISSION" on an old fashioned low - kneed sled, drawn by a yoke of oxen, through the woods,
on a newly cut-out unbroken road, through snow and slush, walking nearly all the way, and arriving at the
destination late in the evening.

 Later in the Spring of 1848 other immigrants arrived from DRENTHE and also from STAPHORST in
OVERIJSEL(a short distance south of Meppel in Drenthe). Those who settled in what was the become
Drenthe were all from Drenthe - on the "East Side of Drenthe". Those who settled on the "West Side of
Drenthe" were from the Province of Overijsel, town of Staphorst. Those from Staphorst on the west side
later left the Reformed Chruch and joined the United Presbyterian Church ("Scottish Congregation").

Church services were first held jointly with nearby Vriesland but in 1848 it became an independent
congregation and in 1851 invited Dominie Roelf Smit, from Rouveen, Overijsel.  Smit lead the split to
become the Presbyterian Church.

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