This post contains all of the information I could find about Holland, Michigans old siren system. Many of these resources are found from the Holland Sentinel.
May 1961 The Proposal:
"A letter from Mrs. Harold Ketchum of 1105 Ardmore was presented advocating the use of loud sirens placed in strategic spots for a tornado warning system." (Holland Sentinel).
Sep 1961 The Vote:
"A petition was presented requestioning that a tornado and atomic warfare signal system to be installed in Holland." (Holland Sentinel)
Oct 1961 The Results
"By a vote of 7 to 2, Council awarded a control for three sirens and two smaller type sirens for Civil Defense alerts to the Graybar electric Co. of Grand Rapids for its bid of $10,752, lowest of three bids submitted.
Mar 1962 Installation begins!:
"Work was set to begin next week on the installation of the first of five units to be placed at various point throughout the city. The First unit is to be installed atop the Warm Friend Hotel at Eighth St. and Central Ave. in downtown Holland."
(Holland Sentinel). Another source reports that the other 4 sirens would be mounted of 65-foot tall poles.
Apr 1962 All sirens installed/Siren Types:
The 5 new sirens have been installed! "Installations at 30th & Central and 23rd & Diekema
were the revolving trumpet type in which sound varied considerably." (Holland Sentinel) The trumpet kinds where most likely thunderbolts as the siren at 30th and central as of 2019 is a thunderbolt. "Installations at Myrtle Ave. and at Holland Heights at Eight St. and Cypress Ave.
were the stationary type of 24 fixed horns." (Holland Sentinel). The 24 horn type was an XT22. We were never told what model was on top of the Hotel Warm Friend Hotel, but I'm guessing it was an XT22 as well.
Jul 1962 First Test Successful:
"Tests of Holland's new Civil Defense alert system were generally successful Wednesday afternoon, although a good share of local residents. felt they were not very loud." (Holland Sentinel). BUT the paper also says the Hotel Warm Friend siren had not been ready for the test yet meaning only 4 sirens went off.
Aug 1962 Warning system will be used for tornadoes:
"Holland;s new CD warning system may be used in case tornadoes are actually spotted. City manager Herb Holt reported to City Council Wednesday night. According to an advisory bulletin from the Federal Defense Administration, the "take cover" signal may be sounded to indicate the imminent approach of a tornado. The "alert" signal should not be used to indicate severe weather forecasts. Council concurred in Holt's recommendation to use the "take cover" or the "up and down" siren only if a tornado is actually sighted and confirmed. In such a case, the "take cover" alarm will be given by the officer in charge at the Holland police headquarters.
Jun 1965 Zeeland's new siren:
I know this isn't Holland but Zeeland purchased a new tornado siren to be placed on top of their city hall, the whole project would be around $8,000. "The new siren will develop 10 horsepower and will be able to send our four signals. A disaster alert, take cover, all clear and fire call. The siren will replace a smaller unit located ontop of City hall which is currently used by Civil Defense." (Holland sentient).
Apr 1965 New siren!:
Council authorized the installation of another Civil Defense siren on the Holland Township fire hall on Chicago Dr. The other siren is located near city hall." (Holland Sentinel). Could not find any information about those two sirens.
May 1966 Old siren removed:
"Workers from the West Shore Construction Company removed the old fire siren from the roof of City Hall, last Friday. The siren no longer serves a purpose there since the addition of the new Civil Defense warning siren was put into operation. The wold siren will not be retired, however. But will be overhauled and painted and then placed on top of the water tank on Zeelands west side and will blow simultaneously with the new siren". (Holland Sentinel). I could not find any information about the siren after it was moved to its new home.
Feb 1967 New warning signals:
"A new "attack warning signal" for CD warnings only will be a three-to-five minute wavering tone on sirens or a short blast on horns or other devices repeated as deemed necessary. This should only be used for no other purpose than attacks on the nation. The other "attention or alert signal" will be a three-to-five minute steady tone, alerting people to such natural disasters as a tornado alert." (Holland Sentinel).
Nov 1968 Testing Signal:
"Holland will test their warning system at 11 am. Friday, for three minutes of sirens starting with the normal alert of a steady blast followed by the wailing (up and down) tone." (Holland Sentinel).
Dec 1972 New Controls:
"It was the first test of the sirens since controls were installed in the new police headquarters." (Holland Sentinel).
Not much happens after that. This is because no news-papers after 1972 ish were saved and archived on newspapers.com but as time progresses sirens got replaced with 2001's except the one standing on Central Ave. & 30th which has recently failed a couple of times. We are not sure if Ottawa county will fix it. Also, it seems that a thunderbolt was moved to a location on 40th and Brooks, unknown when that happened. All other sirens were replaced with 2001's. I remember talking with Jeff at the west shore about his team removing the siren on top of the warm front hotel. I will be adding more in the future. Here is a link
containing all of the newspaper archives that I could find.
July 2019 The Removal / Failure:
In the first week of July, my dad witnessed the thunderbolt on 40th and Brooks getting removed. Only the RCM remains as of July 5, 2019. Thank you FANDUDE for sending me some pictures of the remains. ALSO the thunderbolt on 30th and Central has failed its test. it’s unknown when the last it ran. It hasn’t rotated in like a year. Will not be surprised if that’s gets removed too, only leaving holland as a 2001 city.
Dec 2019 It has been a good run boys:
The bolt from 40th and brooks is now in WSS graveyard, the other bolt on 30th street still hasn't worked yet. Grand Havens bolt had a shot rotator. I also just found a doc from homeland security just proving our information. See the attached photo for that doc.
May 2020 Holland is 2001 ONLY:
Can't believe I am saying this, but it's official, holland is 2001 ONLY CITY NOW. WHAT A BUMMER. Last year the bolt on Brooks and 40th had been removed, with all the controls being the only parts left. I kind of love how those controls have been casually sitting there for a half year casually doing nothing, I mean they could be used to cover, you know dead zones that lack siren coverage; whatever. BUT in other news, the bolt-on central and 30th hasn't worked for a while, I had hopes they could fix it, I eventually emailed the EOC and got this back. quote, "The Outdoor Warning Siren located at the corner of Central and 30th is permanently out of service. A plan for its removal is still in development, however due to its proximity to power lines, will be difficult." awwww man, alexa play despacito. That is a big bummer, this means the closest bolt is now in Grand Haven, but who knows when that will go as it had some bad rotator issues. I attached a picture of the email. It's kind of wack to think about how we'll say, "wow, that town had a 2001, those are so rare!" in 50 years. That's just my shower thought. Anyways, this is probably the last time I'll update this form until that bolt is removed, or someone noteworthy happens. I am going to contact WSS to see if they have set up a date of the removal so I can go watch it!
July 2020 lol they still haven't grabbed the control boxes yet:
Remember that bolt on Brooks and 40th that was removed one year ago? Took a drive past there on the way to Allegan County's disappointing test. But all the control boxes were still on the pole, one year later! Did they forget about them?