Water was the primary means of transportation for the early pioneers during their first two summers in the Zeeland Colony. Provisions and household goods were shipped by flat boats from Holland and other surrounding towns. Teams of oxen were soon employed for distribution of these goods throughout the small colony and were considered to be of great importance by the colonists.
Ox Teams & Wagons
Ox teams and
wagons later traveled over the crude road which had been built along the
Indian trail, allowing a trip to and from Grand Rapids to be made in
approximately four days. The first horses were introduced into the
colony in the year 1855.
In 1897, with the steady advancement of transportation, the
construction of rails for the streetcar and the interurban became more
than just a dream. By October of 1901, the tracks had been laid through
Zeeland and the first regular service to Grand Rapids had begun.
Moving to Automobiles
With the growing number and improved quality of the roads, the
automobile quickly became the more desired means of transportation. John
Veneklasen, part owner of the Zeeland and Hamilton Brick Yards, was the
first Zeelander to own a private car - with many others to follow.
Retiring the Interurban
With the increasing popularity of the automobile, a new era was
introduced. After 25 years, the interurban had been rendered obsolete.
In November of 1926, the interurban bell was silenced and the rumble of
its wheels was stilled.