Postcard, featuring a color photograph of a girl in Dutch costume walking among the tulips at Nelis Tulip Farm in Holland, MI. She is carrying a basket, in which sits a small child. At the bottom of the postcard, in white lettering, are the following words "PHOTO BY C.H. GEERLINGS".
The photographer, C.H. Geerlings, was Clyde Henry Geerlings. He was born in Holland, MI on 12-12-1904. He lived in Holland, MI at 69 East 26th Street with his wife Ardean (1947, 1954 city directories).
The Nelis Tulip Farm was located at 1009 Lakewood Blvd in Park Township on 80 acres of land purchased by Frederick J. Nelis (1867-1964) ca. 1925. With the help of his son, Harry Nelis, Sr. (1893-1979), Nelis Tulip Farm soon became a major supplier of tulip bulbs. And, as interest in the annual Tulip Time festival grew (beginning in 1929) the Nelis Tulip farm became a tourist attraction. Before long the crowds outgrew available parking. Other family members soon joined the business. Fred Nelis, Jr. served as vice-president and Wilhelmina Nelis served as treasurer.
In 1957 Harry Nelis, Sr retired. His two sons, Harry, Jr. and Fred took over operation of Nelis Tulip Farm and the Nelis Nurseries. In 1958 Harry, Jr. and Fred opened a Dutch market on US-31 at James Street. The purpose of this location was to serve as a retail tulip bulb outlet.
More buildings were added to the US-31 location in the coming years, including a Frisian farmhouse, a restaurant and an organ. This site became more popular each year and, in 1962, became known as Dutch Village.
Gift ofHoedema, Ruth