Holland, MI

Dutch Treat Campground

July 12-13, 2009

Back to the 2009 Summer-Fall Travel Directory

We requested information about vacationing in Michigan from the state. They sent us Michigan Travel Ideas, Official State Travel Guide. It turned out to be completely useless. While reading the guide we never knew where in the state they were talking about. We got tired of trying to correlate where things were on the state map with the guide. The internet was very helpful.

We found Holland on the internet and it sounded pretty good. We were not disappointed. Holland was settled by Dutch immigrants in 1847. We are not much for shopping so we only went to one of many Dutch tourist centers, Windmill Island. Since tulips are not in season, most of the many gardens around town have other flowers growing. But Iím sure this place really is colorful during the tulip season.

Windmill Island has a grain mill, "De Zwaan," which is over 240 years old. Its name is Dutch for "The Swan" or graceful bird. It was disassembled and brought here from the Netherlands in 1964. The mill was found to be in very good condition and despite its age, very few parts had to be replaced. The original mill sits on a brick tower which was not part of the original mill. The mill is 7 floors high. The first 3 floors are contained in the brick tower. The guided tour took us through the first 5 floors. The mill contains two grinding stones, only one of which is still operational.

Mom standing on an authentic foot bridge. It is missing the overhead balance beams which raised the bridge. Because of itís age, it has an I-beam which supporting it. De Zwaan is in the background.

Prior to touring the mill we watched a Dutch dance.

Our guide explaining how the windmill is turned into the wind.

Explaining how the grindstones are used and maintained. This is the nonoperational grindstone. It is uncovered to aid in the understanding the operation.

The gear on the right is directly connected to the blades of the windmill. To engage the grindstone, the blades must be stopped with the brake. Then the grindstone moved into position to engage the teeth of the right gear and locked in place. The brake released and the gears start turning.

Mom coming down from the fifth floor.

Our guide thanking us for touring the mill and saying goodbye.

When the cable pulls down on the lever, the brake is released.

We got to hear this organ play.

It is no longer taken on tours. It works like the old player piano but uses a book with folded thick pages instead of a paper roll. The operator has to unfold each page, making sure that the binding does not tear, and feed it into the reader.

Back to the 2009 Summer-Fall Travel Directory