DRENTHE  & (STAPHORST)


 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 Church 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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