Neighborhoods They Settled In:  Detroit, Tremont
First Immigrants - 1840
The Dutch began to arrive in Cleveland as early as 1840.  The early ones hailed from the Dutch religious settlements in Michigan.  For a while the early Dutch immigrants gathered in a west side settlement in the vicinity of W. 56, W. 57, W. 58th Streets and Lorain Avenue, popularly known as “Wooden Shoe Alley”.  The settlement disappeared early because of the characteristic individualism of the Hollander and his lack of clannishness.  A second colony formed along the hillside of Holmden Avenue on the west bank of the river.  Soon it was popularly known as “Dutch Hill”.  Wooden shoes were a common sight on Dutch Hill and many Hollanders wore complete national costumes.  A few residents of the hill also manufactured wooden shoes and sold them to the steel mill workers.  Every Dutchman built his own sidewalk.  Some walks were narrow and others were wide.  Some of small stone sand others of larger slabs.  Dutch Hill’s peculiar sidewalks still remain on this steep hillside but many nationalities now live in the sturdy houses built by the Dutch.  The Dutch attended various German churches.  Most of these families settled east of the Cuyahoga River in what is today downtown Cleveland.  In the 1960s these Dutch began holding Dutch Reformed services in their homes.  The West Side Dutch settlements in the meantime had been augmented by the arrival in 1870 of families from the province of Gelderland.  In the fall of 1871 a joint service attended by both the east and west side Dutch was held in a small German church on W. 32nd St.  In the spring of 1872 the west side Dutch built a church at what is now 2087 W. 58th Street.  The east siders purchased a small church building and moved it to a rented lot on Calvert Street (E. 35) in the spring of 1872.  In that same Spring the east and west side churches again merged and held services in the Calvert Street location calling themselves the True Holland Reformed Church of Cleveland.  Another separation occurred in 1880.  The east side group held services in a number of temporary locations.  In April of 1919 the congregation built their present church, the East Side Christian Reformed Church at E. 127th and Union.  Meanwhile, the west side Hollanders built two churches.  The West Side Christian Reformed Church at 2087 W. 58th Street and the Calvary Reformed Church at 1918 W. 65th Street.