m. 16 May 1836
Facts and Events
Jan Rabbers Jan Rabbers, the leader of a colony at Groningen and New Groningen, left Drenthe, the Netherlands, in 1846 with immigrants from Utrecht, Friesland and Overijsel. They planned to join Albertus Van Raalte in Holland, Michigan. After arriving in New York aboard the Isabella Bath, the group went to Albany to await instructions from Van Raalte. According to tradition, in 1847 Rabbers and fourteen others walked from Buffalo to Detroit. Believing the Black River to be a likely trade route, Rabbers established Groningen about one mile south of here where the river appeared to be navigable. When the bridge washed out in 1856, the settlers relocated here where they had better access to the new road between Holland and Zeeland. They called the settlement New Groningen.