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On February 9, 1847, Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte chose a site on Michigan''s Black River and founded what became Holland. Motivated in part by a potato famine and crop failures, the settlers also sought religious freedom. Other countrymen followed, leaving an indelible mark on the character of southwest Michigan. Jan Douma and Matteus Notier, Union soldiers from Graafschap, guarded the bier of slain president Abraham Lincoln. Newbery Medal-winning children''s author Meindert DeJong came from Grand Rapids, as did Caldecott Medalist Chris Van Allsburg. The legacy includes Hope, Calvin, and Kuyper Colleges, the world-class Fredrik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center at Spectrum Hospital, DeVos Performance Hall, Van Andel Arena, the DeGraaf Nature Center, Windmill Island, Dutch Village, and Veldheer''s Tulip Gardens. The Dutch forefathers passed their values on to their progeny to make the area what it is today.