1958 : Dutch Village Opens

July 23, 2018 all-day

On July 3, 1958, Dutch Village opened for the first time.  According to the Holland Sentinel, it only had two customers and made $12.73.

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The history of the business actually goes back further to Nelis’ grandfather, who started Nelis Tulis Farms nearly 100 years ago, growing daffodils first and shortly thereafter tulips as well to supply area markets.  After observing all of the visitors who would stop along the highway for a look, he decided to broaden the business to handle direct sales.  Then  they opened a cafe, to serve lunch so customers would stay longer.  That was how the Queens’ Inn restaurant was born.

Through the years, the business purchased an organ, added Dutch dancing and soon learned they could charge admission. It started at between 25-50 cents per car load and then went to a per person basis charging at the entrance into the park.

The original tulip farm remained in business through the years along with Dutch Village, but then, in the 1970s, Joe’s father closed the tulip farm, opting instead to focus full time on Dutch Village.

In December 2017, the Queens’ Inn and the windmill on top of it were taken down and today, the business now includes everything from a petting zoo and 90-foot zip line all the way to a Dutch chair swing ride and a rentable event space.

Special events scheduled for the 60th anniversary.

Source: Austin Metz, “Dutch Village Celebrates 60 Years“, Holland Sentinel via U.S. News and World Report, April 2, 2018.

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