Much of the best land was taken up. The new comers wanted to settle on clay soil, but a good
part of the land still available was thin and sandy, covered with pine and hemlock, signs that it would
be unproductive. The rest of the country was low and marshy, filled with impenetrable thickets and
stagnant pools which bred vast hordes of mosquitoes. Always searching for fertile land a number of
settlers proceeded along an Indian trail extending through dense woods and swamps in a north-easternly
direction from Holland. Van Raalte informed Jan Van Tongeren that the Indians had told him (Van Raalte)
of fertile land about 5 of 6 miles N.E. of Holland, and in the spring of 1848 Van Tongeren settled in
the woods 2½ miles N. of Holland. It was not until autumn, however, that he and his friend Jan J.Van Dijk
discovered the desirable clay lands some miles farther north. Van Tongerens' son Pieter explored the area
and found it had no hemlock trees. All agreed this was the country Van Raalte and the Indians had been
talking about. The spot became known as Noord Holland (North Holland) 4 miles north and 1 mile east of
Holland. In this fertile clay country, among maple, beech and ash trees, they came to settle. Before the end
of 1848 Jan Kramer and Jan Van Tongeren enected log houses. This began the settlement of Noord Holland
(North Holland). In April 28, 1852 the Chruch of North Holland separated from the Church in Zeeland,
because the people of this community found it too difficult to go through the woods and swamps to the Zeeland

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