Monday, August 26, 2013

Zutphen

You may read the title of this post and wonder - What is a Zutphen?
Zutphen is a place!  It's a small rural community in West Michigan a few minutes from the farm I grew up on.  It may seem like a strange name, but the name comes from the Netherlands.  This area was home to many immigrants from the Netherlands (including my great, great grandpa who came to this area in 1867.  These immigrants named their communities after the areas they came from in the Netherlands. Therefore we have places named - Holland, Zeeland, Vriesland, Drenthe, Overisel and Zutphen which are all in close proximity.
Imagine my surprise when I started reading a blog that was written by someone in the Netherlands and she did a post about her city - which was Zutphen!    Susanna Redeker of Susi-Art is a talented artist who shares some wonderful drawings on her blog.  She asked some time back that I share pictures of my Zutphen and I'm finally getting around to doing that.   Her Zutphen is a bustling city, mine is more of a crossroads in the country!

 
Here we are approaching that crossroad.  As you see, it's a country road without much around.
 

 
There are lots of open fields.
 

 
And plenty of corn!
 

 
Even the cemetery is not very large.  My Mom is buried here, along with many other relatives.
 
 
 
When I was young, this house was next to our church and was used as the parsonage (where the minister lived).  When a new church building and parsonage was built, this house was moved and restored inside and out, to it's former glory.  It was opened to the public under the name 'The Dominie House'.  (Dominie means minister).  They accepted reservations for small groups, gave tours of the home and served a wonderful meal to the guests.  I was able to go through it and enjoy the visit several times.  It's now a private home.
 

 
This little building was a small store when I was young.  I remember stopping here with my parents to buy a few things from a lady named Fanny, and thinking that was a crazy name.  (Isn't it funny the things you remember?)  This store closed when I was very young and I don't know how the building is used now, but it's nicely kept up.
 

 
This is the only business in Zutphen.  It sells farm equipment, which is fitting since the area surrounding it is farmland.
 

 
The only other public building in Zutphen is this church.  This is the church I grew up in.  It was built when I was in Junior High, so I spent many hours here!  I was married in this church and it holds good memories for me.
 

 
This is the house I lived in until I was 12.  It's the house my dad and his siblings were born in.  It's been moved from the spot it was in for all those years, and I'm sad to see the condition it is now in.
 

 
This is the house my parents built when I was 12.  My Dad and stepmom still live here.  It's not truly in the little community of Zutphen but is very close and I thought I would include it as I shared about the other areas from my childhood.  I now live about 20 minutes from here.
 
Hope you enjoyed seeing this small community that means a lot to me!
 

20 comments:

Nancy said...

What beautiful countryside where you grew up. I really enjoyed the pictures. I think it's amazing that you found a blogger that lives in the town with the same name...I know she has really enjoyed exchanging information with you....

Jennifer said...

It's so pretty there! I love that you were able to see the houses where you grew up; the newer one is just gorgeous. They've maintained it beautifully.

Susan said...

I thoroughly enjoyed each and every picture and the story. My heritage on my father's side is Dutch so I found it especially interesting.

Blackberry Lane said...

Very interesting. I really enjoyed the tour and seeing where you grew up. As you know, my husband is from MI.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

What a pretty little spot in the country. I love the skies and the fields of corn. And the old house is beautiful. How fortunate that you were able to tour it before it became a private residence. I live in New England and we name places after their original indian names.

Kim said...

Gorgeous pictures of the countryside. The sky was incredibly blue and gorgeous the day you took the photos. Thanks for sharing.

Simply Linda said...

AWESOME!!! Thank you for sharing & making me smile. As kids, we use to vacation in Ludington, my family still has a farm in Kalamazoo. ANYWAYS-I so love reading and looking at everyones blogs. Blessings

HOOTIN ANNI said...

How wonderful you shared this family history and lore of where you grew up!!!

I hope your blogging friend appreciates it all as I did.

And PS....a belated Happy Anniversary to you and Bob.

Betsy Brock said...

what a nice little tour...beautiful area. Of course I noticed you had great sky and clouds the day you photographed! Nice! There was a lady in our church where I grew up named Fanny. I still make her recipe for cobbler! ha.

linda eller said...

What a beautiful area of this great country that you live and grew up in....to me, small towns are the best. Thanks for sharing with us.

Pat said...

I would love to live in Zutphen! What a pretty area and every thing is kept so well.
I went on a little local ride to look at my beginnings...most were torn down! The house I was born in, my elementary school and my high school...all gone! Even the church we were married in, only a memory, so I cherish these types of photos.
Lovely!

Anita said...

I had a great aunt names Fannie. I never related it to the slang usage of it - butt, but now that you mention it, I wouldn't want the name. By the way, do you know how it's used in the UK? :)

Anyway, I've enjoyed my tour of Zutphen. Your childhood seemed to have had a lot of stability. And moving houses? I've seen a house or two being moved, but for you to mention two houses being moved makes it seem like an ordinary thing. :)

Cherdecor said...

I always like looking at different communities and I especially liked this little tour because it was about you and the places you have lived. This was a great post!

Terri D. said...

I grew up in a very small town - a little bigger than Zutphen, I think, but I appreciate small farming communities. Lovely photos, and I hope your friend from Zutphen, across the ocean, enjoys seeing them!

Brooke said...

what gorgeous photos!! :)

Jenny Woolf said...

I used to go to Zutphen in Holland when I was a kid. We went quite often. Do you know I can't remember why! what was there? a mystery...

Your Zutphen looks like a charming small community.

ancient one said...

I loved this post!

Jean Stauffer said...

I LOVED reading all about this little village and seeing the pictures. How COOL that you would meet someone from the original town in the Netherlands!

Our town that we grew up near was Manheim, named for Mannheim, Germany, where many people in that area originated from .

Jenny the Pirate said...

Oh Mari, how completely charming. You are so lucky. I did not have ties to any community as a child, because we were always moving around. Your pictures are beautiful and so are your memories. Thanks for the cemetery picture!

Susanna Redeker said...

Mary!!! Thank you very much to show me Zutphen USA!! No I can imagen how it is to live in Zutphen at your place. You have some history too there with your family and your houses and church an all.

If people are curious to Zutphen in the Netherlands the way I see it:
http://susiart.blogspot.nl/search/label/zutphen

This is a warm welocome home from my holiday!

Warm regards Susanna from Zutphen ;-)