Seeking religious liberty and better economic opportunity in a new land, the Reverend Seine Bolks and a congregation of about two dozen families left Hellendoorn, Province of Overisel, The Netherlands, on August 18, 1847. The group wintered in Syracuse, New York before continuing its journey to "Black Lake Country" (present-day Lake Macatawa) in Michigan. The Overisel settlers joined Dutch immigrants in the Holland settlement in June, 1848. They selected land and pooled the gold they had brought with them to purchase 2,000 of thousand acres of land from the government and speculators. Prices ranged from $1.25 to $3.00 per acre and land assignments were determined by lot. The settlers then established the village of Overisel.