Exhibit Type



image preview

Exhibit Date



Map of Black Lake, Holland, Michigan, 1875

HHT 2002.46.2, Gift of Ann Hoeksema


Even before the founding of Holland in the 1840s, the city's location on Black Lake (now Lake Macatawa) was very important to its early success as a boatbuilding town. With the first ship built in 1836, to the newest model off the assembly line, the proximity to water has given our boat builders the opportunity to test their designs for seaworthiness, performance, and comfort. In the 1950s, the advent of smaller boats, road worthy trailers, and public access to the water allowed boat builders to move their plants farther away from the water into smaller industrial spaces and family garages. From these humble workshops grew giants of the industry that have since returned to the waterfront, this time to construct sales venues and private homes for their families.

From Craft to Industry: The Boat Builders of Holland was an exhibition at the Holland Museum on display from June 14, 2013 through December 30, 2013. Materials for the exhibit were used from both the Joint Archives of Holland and Holland Museum.


From Craft to Industry: The Boat Builders of Holland was underwritten in part by proceeds from an endowed gift to the Holland Historical Trust from The Louis and Helen Padnos Foundation. This exhibition and related programming were made possible by the generous gifts of time, goods and services of Geoffrey Reynolds, Guest Curator; Grand Rapids Public Museum; David Scholten, Firehouse Boat Works; Land and Sea Upholstery; Holland Area Historical Society; The Joint Archives of Holland; Our Brewing Company.


Boat Builders of Holland, Chris Craft, Boating Industry in Michigan, West Michigan Boats, Lake Michigan, Lake Macatawa, Faculty Exhibits, Hope College, Joint Archives of Holland