The poet Carl Sandberg said “When a society or a civilization perishes, one condition can always be found. They forgot where they came from.”

The Heritage Center inside Graafschap CRC works to preserve the history of the pioneers who came to West Michigan from the Netherlands, and those who have lived in the area since. It also archives records of Graafschap Christian Reformed Church.

The Schuurman Library Fund

John H. Schuurman was born in Fillmore Township on July 26, 1908. He owned a store on Blue Star Highway, called Farm Market, where he sold fresh meats. In addition to his own business, John was also a U.S.D.A. meat inspector for many years.

He met and married Margaret Patricia Form (known as Pat). They made Confession of Faith in Graafschap CRC in 1946.

John served in the U.S. Army during WW II. During 1944 he served with the Military Police in Florida. In 1945, he was sent to San Francisco and was later sent to service in the South Pacific. He was discharged in November of 1945.

He had a love for history and did a great amount of reading. His community interest led him to fund the Historical Library in order to preserve the history and people of this area. When they died in 1997, a large part of John & Pat’s estate was spent to set up and furnish the rooms in our old building. He wanted the balance of the estate to be invested, with the proceeds used for the continuing support of both the Historic Library and the Church Library.

We thank God for the foresight the Schuurmans had, and we still enjoy the generosity of these former members.