DRENTHE IN MICHIGAN, H.J. Prakke (Translated by the Dutch-American Historical Commission); Wm. B. Eerdmans Publ. Co., Grand Rapids, MI; 84 pp., $8.95, paper. (Reviewed by Prof. H. C. Hoeksema)
This little book was originally written in Dutch and published in the Netherlands in 1948. Its occasion was the centennial of Holland, Michigan (and the surrounding settlements). Now we are remembering the sesquicentennial of the Secession of 1834. And the colonization of 1847 was, of course, accomplished by Secessionists who emigrated from various parts of the Netherlands.
Some of the colonists in 1847 were from the province of Drenthe, and they settled in the area of what became the little village of Drenthe, still in existence today, in the vicinity of Holland. The book traces the origin in the Dutch Province of Drenthe of the settlers in Drenthe, Michigan. It tells about their part in the Secession, about their reasons for immigrating to Michigan, about their part in the early work of settling in the Holland area, etc.
All in all, the book is very interesting and also informative, especially for one who is interested in this segment of church history and in the history of the Dutch colonization in this area.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the H.J. Lanning mentioned in the book as one of the colonists of 1847 was the great grandfather of a member of our Hudsonville congregation, Mr. Kenneth Lanning. The latter at one time lived on the original Lanning farm in the Drenthe area, and he still possesses the original deed of that farm. He is, therefore, a direct descendant of the Afscheiding (Secession) as it took place in Sleen, Province of Drenthe, The Netherlands. It always makes a book more interesting when one can connect it to people that he knows.