Do you know the area where you live well? I thought I did until I began to write a column in our local news paper about "Exploring Holland." Funny how much I am finding in my research. I began with all the local special places and after six months I have progressed to a bit of history and a lot of those little places that truly make the area special.
I've lived in Holland, Michigan since 1974 and my kids were involved all over the area, and I thought I knew this area. I've discovered how steeped this town is in its little pockets of fascinating events, people, or sometimes the little thigs I never had a clue existed! My best find was the picture and small caption that went with that simply said, "Tower Park; An observation platform for viewing Lake Michigan." I'm a history buff and consider myself a lover of local history and never heard about this way to view the beach and cottage area surrounding it. It disappeared in a storm in 1933 so all there is about it is this photo, caption and the memories of those who remember it.
Or how about that the Getz Farm (Local farm/zoo) when it closed sold 250 animals to the Brookfield Zoo of Chicago? They are still finding elephant or large python bones there when they build a new house or cottage! This has been such an interesting journey for me...and I've only begun! The best part is I've really enjoyed my transformation into "the researcher!" I am really beginning to love the distinctive smell that is the archive of our museum. Who knew there would be so many mysteries to be discovered in old pictures, written stories, and memories?