Zeeland in Ottawa County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Veneklasen Brick Company / Veneklasen Brick
Registered Michigan Historic Site
Veneklasen Brick Company
In 1848 Jan Veneklasen and his family emigrated from the Netherlands to Zeeland, in Michigan’s Dutch Kolonie. A brickmaker by trade, Veneklasen founded a brickyard within a year of his arrival – one of several he would eventually operate in Michigan, including the one formerly at this site. The mainstay of the Veneklasen Brick Company was its architectural bricks. Used in houses, the color of these bricks – red, white, orange. and brown – reflected the local clay of the yard where they were made. Veneklasen's brickworks operated under several names over the years. It was a family business, with founder Jan Veneklasen's descendants involved with the company, until it ceased operations in the mid-1920s.
Michigan's historic Dutch Kolonie is home to a unique style of brickwork known informally as "Veneklasen," named after the Veneklasen Brick Company. Veneklasen buildings are remarkable for their decorative facades, which typically feature cream-colored brick patterns set against contrasting red brick backgrounds.
Erected 2010 by Michigan Historical Commission - Michigan Historical Center. (Marker Number 2217.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1848.
Location. 42° 48.67′ N, 86° 2.179′ W. Marker is in Zeeland, Michigan, in Ottawa County. Marker is on Paw Paw Drive, 0.3 miles east of 104th Avenue when traveling east. Marker is located near west end of Paw Paw Footbridge in the Macatawa River Greenway Park. Marker is adjacent to foot path which extends beyond the east end of Paw Paw Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Zeeland MI 49464, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. New Groningen / Jan Rabbers (approx. 0.3 miles away); New Groningen Cemetery / Groningen (approx. one mile away); First Reformed Church (approx. Michigan's "Chick Center" (approx. 1.1 miles away); Zeeland Cemetery (approx. 1.2 miles away); P. Henry De Pree / P. Henry De Pree House (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Van Raalte Farm (approx. 2.4 miles away); Noordeloos / Noordeloos Christian Reformed Church (approx. 2.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Zeeland.
Also see . . .
1. A Little Veneklasen Brick History.
In 1853 the Veneklasens moved their operation to Groningen, named after a northeastern province in the Netherlands, which they expected would become a thriving city between Holland and Zeeland. The first house made of Veneklasen brick was for Andries Steketee, located at 1811 112th Street. Hope College was also a customer, purchasing brick to build Van Vleck Hall in 1857. (Submitted on December 22, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Veneklasen Brick Company.
Founded in 1848, the Veneklasen Brick Company started with a small clay field in Holland owned by Jan Veneklasen and his sons. By the 1890s, the company, then incorporated as the Zeeland Brick Company, had produced millions of bricks which were shipped as far as Chicago and Traverse City. Though the company no longer exists today, the distinctive architecture crafted out of the many colors of Veneklasen brick have left a lasting impact on the appearance of Holland. (Submitted on December 22, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on December 22, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 685 times since then and 340 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on December 22, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.