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THE ORIGIN

Sawmill 'De Hoop' (The Hope) as focus of the industrial heritage park.

In 1911 a saw mill named 'De Hoop', located near the village of Uitgeest, was struck by lightning and destroyed completely.
Since 1987 the foundation 'Industrieel Erfgoedpark De Hoop'has committed itself to reconstruct a working sawmill, however in 1998, during the construction preparations of the first building, the executive committee of the foundation decided to change its name into Industrieel Erfgoedpark 'De Hoop' (Industrial Heritage Park 'The Hope') in order to reflect the wider interests of the project and special attention paid to the Dutch industrial heritage.

The foundation has set out to construct a heritage park, to honour Cornelis Corneliszoon van Uitgeest (CC), the inventor of a method utilizing wind power for sawing beams and boards from trunks, and aims to rescue the inventor of this extremely important invention from oblivion. CC is entitled to have his place in Dutch history books next to other important Dutchmen of that era like Cornelis Drebbel, Christiaan Huygens, Simon Stevin and Willem Beukelszoon van Biervliet

In 1593 CC applied a crankshaft in a small windmill which was built on a raft. The name of this mill was 'Juffertje' which means 'Young Lady'. Applying the crankshaft, in Old Dutch 'Creckwerck', he was able to transform the rotary movement of the hands of the mill into a linear movement of saw frames mounted inside. In 1593 CC received for this invention patent letters from the Staten van Holland for a period of 12 years. In 1597 he received patent letters for the application of various crankshafts in windmills and for the application of edge stones in oil mills.

The invention of the saw mill was made 'just in time'. By the establishment of the Dutch East India Company, the VOC in 1602 and the West India Company in 1621 (respectively trading in East Asia and the West Indies) there was an urgent need for ships and as a result an inconceivable demand for sawn timber. Until the moment of the invention of CC wood was sawn manually. Compared with the production by the hand sawyers guild the mechanical system resulted in an increase in volume with a factor of 30.
Thanks to the effect of CC's invention which, after the sale of 'Het Juffertje' (1596), was further developed into the Paltrok mill by entrepreneurs in the Zaan Region, both shipping companies could become rulers of the sea. This was the basis of the prosperity of the Dutch 'Golden Age'and without exaggeration it can be stated that this was the basis for our current economy. The VOC was the first multinational company in the world, and even today there are many large multinational companies which are either based in or originate from the Netherlands.

The foundation has the opinion that it is not astonishing that the pre-industrial revolution was born in Uitgeest over 400 years ago. Next to the earlier mentioned patents CC also received patent letters for a horse mill and for the precursor of the centrifugal pump. The development of industrial windmills, being the base for the Zaan Region as the world's first industrial area, clearly shows the importance of CC.

Since its establishment the foundation has planned to develop a complete park, next to the reconstructed of the saw mill, located on the south bank of the Alkmaarder- and Uitgeester Lake. After completion, a number of buildings will be present: a carpenter's shop, a wood drying shed, a small shipyard, a visitor's centre, a restaurant and a house for the park manager, all in the traditional Zaan Region wood construction style.

Since inhabitants of Uitgeest claim Willem Janszoon Blaeu, the founder of the VOC chartroom as their 'son', this cartographer and his world famous nautical charts and instruments will also be part of the project.

The invention of various industrial windmills, three types of which were invented by CC, was exceptionally important for the socio- economic development of the region and substantial parts of the country. As part of the development of the Industrial Heritage Park 'De Hoop' this factor is also of major interest and to reflect this the executive board has made agreements with third parties to train youngsters as professional artisans in various wood related disciplines.

The overall scheme has been realised with the co-operation of two, well known Dutch architects originating from different practices. The architects Piet Wierenga and J. Schipper have designed the heritage park based on earlier outlines by Cornelis de Jong.

Characteristics of the heritage park

  • Small-scale compared to similar projects, fitting in the landscape
  • Wide support due to the varied scope of the subject matter.
  • It is dynamic
  • Recreational, tourist and educational
  • Non weather dependent
  • Reached easily via highways, local road system and trains; it can even be reached by sailing and motor boats
  • The project is mainly managed by volunteers
  • It is supported by important authorities

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