Historic House Plaque Program

Historic House Plaque Awarded to Maple Street Residents

Adam and Beth Wurst’s home on Maple Street is a historic treasure, built over a century ago. After researching and compiling their home’s extensive history, the Wurst’s are being awarded a historic plaque from the Zeeland Historical Society as part of their historic plaque program.

The property the house now sits on was originally a larger plat of land owned by Peter J. and Eva Buwalda. It was dedicated to the City of Zeeland in 1892 as ‘Buwaldas Addition’ and was then parceled out and sold. Mrs. Wurst discovered that Jan Pyle had purchased lot 57 and 8 feet of lot 58 in 1896, creating the parcel on which the house stands. 

In 1904 the land was sold to Philip and Augusta Schulmeyer and by 1907 the house had been built. According to the 1910 census, the Schulmeyers lived here with their four children and daughter-in-law. Wurst also found that, “Philip Schulmeyer was employed as a cigar maker. He and his family would later move to Detroit where he continued his trade.” The Schulmeyers sold their Maple Street home in 1916 only to have it signed back over to them two years later when the new owner passed away. 

By 1921 the home was bought by Fred and Alice Timmer. After some financial issues and resulting legal trouble, the deed to the house was transferred to Mr. Timmer’s brother-in-law, William Louwsma. It was Louwsma who added on the existing garage in 1939, switched out the coal furnace for a forced air system and completed the addition at the back of the house which now includes the kitchen and back porch. He used the home as an income property rented out to tenants until he sold the home in 1951.

From 1951 to 1999 the property was bought and sold multiple times and was occupied by 8 different families. It was even briefly owned by the Heidema Box and Lumber Company which dealt in building materials and supplies. According to Wurst’s research, the company bought and sold several different homes in Zeeland mid-1950s. In 1999 the home was sold to the current owners, Adam and Beth Wurst. 

The couple have worked hard to maintain and preserve their historic home by replacing aluminum siding, installing new windows, replacing the roof, and many other improvements over the years. Their charming craftsman style home boasts several original features that add to its historic character. These original features include a round glass window, hardwood floors on the lower level, carriage door, wooden siding, chimney, and the 1938 garage. The research completed on their home is now part of the house history collection at the Zeeland Historical Society Archives located at the Dekker Huis Museum at 37 E. Main Avenue. The Zeeland Historical Society is pleased to add this research to their archives and to award this home with a historic plaque. 

The Historic House Plaque program is one way in which we at the Zeeland Historical Society exercise our mission to link past and present, and inspire future generations by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of Zeeland and other local communities. If you are interested in our house plaque program or would like to get started researching the history of your home, please contact Museum Manager Audrey Rojo at the Dekker Huis Museum, phone number 616-772-4079, email museum@zeelandhistory.org.