Overisel-(Hellendoorn)was founded by
Rev. Seine Bolks (born in Den Ham) in the summer of 1848.
It was first called Hellendoorn by a group (from the town of the same name) of Seceders in the
Province of Overijsel. Chief centers in this Province were DenHam - Hellendoorn - Ommen,
where Van Raalte had been living until 1844. One group from Ommen, where Van Raalte had
been living until 1844. One group from Ommen had already arrived in Michigan by the fall of
1847. Bolks also studied medicine and proved very useful in his ministry at Overisel, 22 families
of the Hellendoorn congregation began their long journey on August 18, 1847, traveling by way
of Zwolle, they arrived at Rotterdam on August 21, and went by steam boat to London, where
they took passage on the sailboat "OUDUBON" on September 3. The voyage came to an end
on October 10, when they landed in New York. Went from Albany to Syracuse, left Syracuse
on May 1, for Michigan traveling by way of the Great Lakes and Milwaukee, they at last reached
Grand Haven. About June 1 this group of immigrants arrived at Macatawa. They found quarters in
the town of Holland, but soon moved to the Indian Village. They visited Graafschap, whom had
invited Bolks to become their Domine, but he decided to settle in another part of Allegan County
about 9 miles South East of Holland. Some of this land was held by speculators, who were asking
$3.00 or more an acre, while state land was still priced at $1.25 an acre. The group decided to act
as a unit and purchased 2,000 acres at an average of $2.06 an acre. Bolks was not only the minister
- he served also as teacher, physician, surveyor, architect and agent for the settlement.
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