About This Place
Zeeland ( /ziːlɨnd/ zee-lənd) is a city in Ottawa County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,805 at the 2000 census. The city is located at the western edge of Zeeland Charter Township which is politically independent. Its name is derived from the Dutch province of Zeeland. As of the 2009 census estimates, the population was 5,465.
In 1847, a group of immigrants in search of religious freedom made plans to fulfill their dream. An alternative explanation for the group's motivation to emigrate is their opposition to scientific and social advances (e.g., contraception, vaccination, insurance, chemical fertilizers) and their resulting failure to thrive under the economic and agricultural conditions of the time in their homeland (Zeeland, Netherlands).
The group was led by a wealthy landowner, Jannes van de Luyster, who decided to sell all his holdings in the Netherlands in order to advance money to group members to settle their debts and pay for passage to America. The site of the original village, some 16,000 acres (65 km²) of land originally occupied by the Odawa people, was named after the province of Zeeland, their former home in the Netherlands.