Monday, August 26, 2013

Land of the Dutch

In our corner of the state, there is a town that was originally settled by the Dutch and in fact, many of the business names today still reflect their dutch heritage. It is a quaint town and a good place to stop on the way back from the airport to relax and enjoy a perfect summer day that wasn't scorching hot at they mostly are here. This town is know for their tulip festival and the millions of tulips on display earlier in the spring but they don't let summer go to waste as you can see from one of the many flower beds shown above.

The Dutch are known for the windmills and there are several around town. There are also signs of windmills everywhere along with their wooden clog shoes that they are also known for. I remember in high school when our band would travel up to play in their tulip festival parade. I was a drummer responsible for keeping the beat and our band was inevitably lined up with earshot of their local band which mandated that all participants marched in wooden clogs. About the only way I put on a decent show of keeping the beat was to sneak in a pair of ear plugs when it came time to play for the judges.

Above is one of the scenes that I just love about this town. This isn't in some busy center of the city. This is actually the alley behind the buildings that line main street. Instead of a shady dumpster lined alley that you might think twice about walking down after dark, they have this beautiful brick lined sidewalk on the sides of a nice moat. There are actually small business fronts in this alley that can only be reached on foot through the alley.

This is the view in the opposite direction just to show to you that it isn't too much wider than a typical alley.

Off one corner of main street is this gigantic windmill that I assume at one time was fully operational. It is now a museum and I have yet to arrive here when the museum was open. Someday I will time it better and let you know if my assumptions are correct.

With our legs stretched and a some local pastries consumed on a park bench in their central park, we felt much refreshed and got back to our drive back home. It was well worth the stop.


sage said...

For a second I thought you were visiting my end of Michigan... :)

Ed said...

Sage - This is the only Dutch colony that I know of so it is nice to know that there are others around. There are several towns with Dutch sounding names to them but for the most part, the culture has been consumed by the locals and you would never know they were here. This is the only one where everywhere you look, the culture is alive and strong.

Anonymous said...

In the US during the era of migration from Europe the term Dutch was a corruption of Deutsch as in German.
Here though you are definitely looking a Netherlanders.
Did you not have a post about this town a few years ago about a brewery.

Ed said...

Vince - I don't think so. This town has very strict alcohol and business limits. You can't buy alcohol late at night or on Sundays. Also, Walmart had to get an exception to their local law saying all businesses must remain closed on Sundays. The last Brewery post I did was about a different one that had the slowest service in the world earlier this spring. Perhaps that is the one you are thinking about.