Zeeland Historical Museum
37 E. Main Avenue
The museum was established in 1976.
It is filled with items the first settlers brought from the Netherlands, a replica of Zeeland’s first bank and grocery market to thousands of other items on display
Wilma Veldheer has been the volunteer curator of the museum for the last 30 years and during that time she has accumulated at vast knowledge of the residents and the city.
The very first item donated to the museum was an antique humbug washing machine made by a local company. It stands in the laundry room exhibit. Other part of the museum are the Pioneer Room, a 1920’s kitchen, bank and grocery store, doctor’s office, a Victorian Parlor, a church room, as well as fire, police and military displays. There is also a schoolroom exhibit which will be moved to the older New Gronigen schoolhouse, which is currently being restored on Paw Paw Avenue.
Wilma is retiring (2007) but will continue as a docent at the museum.
Sarah VandenBosch, a recent graduate of Calvin College with a degree in history, will be the new curator. VandenBosch is a resident of Zeeland. She remembers her grandmother, DeNella VandenBosch taking her to the museum. DeNella was a member of the Zeeland Historical Society and a docent at the museum. Sarah VandenBosch served as an intern at the Holland Museum.
A new role was recently created to help manage the growth of the museum – a part-time manager position. Anna DeVenter, a Zeeland resident, has begun serving in that position. She and her husband, moved to Zeeland ten years ago and bought the Baert Baron mansion on Church Street, which they have renovated. Anna and her husband, Victor, are both active in the Historical Society. She was responsible for starting the Zeeland Historical Home Tour which is the fund raiser for the historical society.