History of the Dekker Huis Museum

The Family

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This family tree shows the link between Randall Dekker, who sold the Dekker Huis to the Zeeland Historical Society in 1974, and his immigrant ancestor, Cornelis Dekker. 


Cornelis and Jannetje (Nederhand) Dekker, parents of eight sons and five daughters, emigrated to America in 1881. Widowed shortly after their arrival, Cornelis moved to Zeeland at the request of his son, Dirk Hendrik Dekker. 


Dirk Hendrik and Leuntije (de Korne) Dekker built their home and store in 1876. In the family portrait above, seven of their twelve children are shown with little Hendrick "Henry" sitting in the first row between two sisters.


Henry opened the jewelry store at this location in 1915, a year after he married Agnes Vander Woude. Randall Dekker was the oldest of three sons born to Henry and Agnes.


Interestingly, eleven of the thirteen members in this family tree are buried in the Zeeland Cemetery. Dirk Hendrik Dekker's mother is buried in an unknown location and Leuntje (de Korne) Dekker's father is buried in the Netherlands. 

The timeline

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the transition

This series of pictures shows how the Dekker Huis Museum has changed over time.

1. 1917 - The store front as it stood in 1917. Notice the windows on the upper floor.

2. 1975 - The front of the store in 1975 shows a different facade and new windows on the upper floor. The Historical Society purchased the property from Randall Dekker in 1974.

3. 1987 - By 1987 the store front had been restored. Notice the empty space for the new addition.

4. 2004 - The new addition was completed in 1997.  Notice the upper floor windows on the store front. 

Dekker Huis Museum 

37 East Main, Zeeland, MI