On February 9, 1847, the Rev. Albertus C. Van Raalte and a band of Hollanders founded the city of Holland. Within two years the other four original colonies -- Graafschap
, Zeeland, Vriesland
-- had also been established. Plagued by illness and not accustomed to the task of clearing a wilderness, the settlers found their first year a hard one, but their suffering was to be repaid in the bountiful days ahead.