Holland, Michigan


SEPTEMBER 2, 2010 – Holland, Michigan

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We loved spending the evening in Holland, Michigan!  It was a fun town with plenty to see.  Our favorite adventure was visiting the DeKlomp Wooden Shoe & Delft Factory in the little Dutch village.  It was so neat seeing all the wooden shoes, and we even caught the end of a wooden shoe making demonstration.  And Delft is so gorgeous, and there was endless trinkets and figurines and dishes.  We bought a sweet little salt and pepper shaker set.


For a little modern history of the wooden shoe found on Dutch Wooden Shoes:


Wooden shoes made today differ little from their ancestors 800 years ago. However, incongruent with some existing presuppositions stressing that wooden shoes are still widely used in Holland, they are being worn less and less through the decades. After 1890, the flourish of industrial shoe manufacturers incited a negative trend in the demand for wooden shoes. Merely the breakout of both World Wars derived short periods of revival. Leather shoes became scarce, thus wooden shoes emerged as substitutes. Until after World War II, almost every village bore its own wooden shoe maker, resulting in a variety of styles, colors, carvings and decorations. In general, one had plain wooden shoes for the working days and painted ones for Sundays. Men’s wooden shoes usually were black or yellow, whilst those of women were lacquered blank or had elaborate decorational motifs. But it wasn’t until 1920 that one started to paint the garment. Before, neat wooden shoes were smoothed and finished with carvings, also differing from region to region. Also it was not unusual that shapes altered for the different sexes.


Thus, not too long ago gross of the population possessed wooden shoes and had them on on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the wearer of wooden shoes is becoming an endangered species today. Wooden shoes are merely seen on the countryside, used by gardeners, farmers, blacksmiths. fishermen, masons and road workers. Luckily, wooden shoe manufacturers are still active at present, adopting contemporary techniques whereas respecting the artisan craft.


“I am a pretty little Dutch girl,
As pretty as I can be be be
and all the boys in the neighborhood
come chasing after me me me.
My boyfriend’s name is Tony,
he comes from the land of bologna,
with a pickle on his nose and 3 sore toes
and that’s the way the story goes!
One day he gave me peaches,
one day he gave me pears,
one day he gave me 50 cents
and took me to the fair!
After the fair was over,
I asked him to take me home,
he ran off with another girl
and left me all alone!
I gave him back his peaches.
I gave him back his pears.
I gave him back his 50 cents,
and kicked him down the stairs!


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Also in Holland, we visited the Holland State Park.  It has a gorgeous lighthouses, Holland Harbor Lighthouse.  We got there fairly late in the evening and watched the sunset over the lighthouse and it was a lovely end to the day.


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