Last weekend (6 and 7 august) Sil land I went to Assen to find out more about our ancestors. Elly, Otto, Herman and Louise where here before. You can read their stories in our Guestbook. First to go was ‘Huize Boschlust’.This is the mansion where Harmen Westra have lived. But in the time of Harmen there was a lot of ground with it. It is still standing, but it has had a major makeover. They have made a very ugly enlargement. Nevertheless Sil made a couple of nice photo’s.
As far as our knowledge goes all of the children of Harmen where born here. As Sil mentioned; very strange feeling that our ancestors have lived here. There is a cemetery across the street. This cemetery is very large and quit new. We knew we would never find any graves of our family. But we took a couple of minutes of our time to walk through it anyway.
Onward to the city centre of Assen. There was a small market going on, and we have seen some nice old houses there. The nice thing of Assen is that the canal also ends / starts in the hart of the small city centre. And that was our destination. Because Heike Westra has build his house the ‘Huis met de Vazen’ on the canal next to his soap factory.
We rang the bell land the family gave us a warm welcome. They gave us a tour through the house. We even took a photo of the first brick. They even had a basement, which is quite special for such an old house next to a canal. The sealing ornaments in the hall were beautiful and completely original. The funny part was that the family thought that the decorations on the outside of the house where pineapples. But we said that it would make sense if it where pinecones because that’s one of the icons in our family crest.
Right next to the house is the old soap factory. The family there was also very polite and helpful. It was no problem to enter the roof of the building next to it so we could make some nice pictures of this very old factory. And of course the old text which is not in line of sight on street level. The text is “Stoomzeepfabriek de Nijverheid” meaning: “steam soap factory the Industry”
After a drink and a chitchat we got a very nice advice. There might be some pictures of Heike in the local Assen town hall. In the time of Heike it was very normal that every one who has a company or store in Assen would be registered. These registrations include pictures of the person. So i think we have to make another trip to Assen someday.
We were invited by a Family in Groningen. This was the house of Herlof Willem Hendriks who lived here around 1900’s. It was amazing. Entering this mansion is like stepping back in time. It was completely restored to the time when Herlof lived there. There is even a painting of Hendriks on the wall!. There was a display of old door panels of the doors that used to be on the first floor. To bad It’s not in the property of the people who live there now. Former inhabitants have removed the panels some time ago but the current owners managed to find them again. After more information we shared we went to the Café “de Sleutel” because there is also a painting of Hendriks. We continued our visit in the cafe with a nice cold beer.
Sil tried to take a Photo, but did not succeed. Its better to see it with your own eyes. We also heard that there are three more paintings of Hendriks in the Groninger archives.
The next day we took a tour through all the small towns of Schoterland; Katlijk, Oudeschoot, Oranjewoud and even Mildam. In the hope we would find more graves of our ancestors. We did not succeed. But we took some very nice pictures of the environment and churches.