West Michigan

Enemy Aliens?  World War I and Dutch Americans

Enemy Aliens? World War I and Dutch Americans

World War I transformed life for Dutch Americans. Many Americans became hyper-patriotic when the U.S. declared war on Germany and its allies in 1917. Ordinary liberties came under assault. The government jailed some pacifists and socialists who criticized the war. Ordinary citizens sometimes became vigilantes, […]

A Digital Future for Old Postcards

A Digital Future for Old Postcards

In November 1918, young George Faber sent a postcard home to Michigan from Russia. He was part of the 339th Infantry Regiment and American Expeditionary Force, North Russia that intervened in the Russian civil war after the communist revolution of 1917. It was known as […]

The Dutch and Furniture City (Origins Vol. 37, No. 2)

The Dutch and Furniture City (Origins Vol. 37, No. 2)

The fall 2019 issue of Origins: Historical Magazine of The Archives (vol. 37, no. 2) is now available in print! It focuses on Dutch immigrants and the furniture industry in Grand Rapids. You can access one of the articles for free, below. As Janet Sjaarda […]

The Madison Campus, Then and Now

The Madison Campus, Then and Now

The current Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary campus–named after the “Knollcrest” farm, purchased in 1956–is the fourth for two institutions. Earlier Calvin campuses, going back to 1876, were on William Street, Madison and Fifth, and Franklin Street. This rephotography post focuses on the Madison […]

Growing up Jewish in Dutch Grand Rapids

Growing up Jewish in Dutch Grand Rapids

June Horowitz’ dad was a lot like the other fathers on Worden Street in the 1920s. He worked hard, invested in his children’s education, and was civically engaged. However, he mowed the lawn on Sundays, an outright anomaly in his predominantly Dutch immigrant neighborhood in […]

Garrett Heyns and the Calvin Prison Initiative

Garrett Heyns and the Calvin Prison Initiative

Garrett Heyns (1891-1969) died five decades before the Calvin Prison Initiative was born, but it is a part of his legacy. Heyns was a Christian educator whose vocation took an unexpected turn in 1937. Things started conventionally enough for the Calvin alum. He was born […]

Why Origins Online?

Why Origins Online?

Origins Online? Why? I am a digital person. I have a blog and several social media accounts. But I remember when life was analog. I learned to type on a manual typewriter in the early 1980s. In college I wrote papers and an undergraduate thesis […]