The 35 square mile medieval polder Mastenbroek, between Zwolle, Kampen and Genemuiden is an area which need good water management. After centuries of draining water in a natural way and using wind mills a steam-pump station was build near Kamperzeedijk in 1856.
In 1363 the town of Kampen traded her rights for Mastenbroek with Bishop of Utrecht Jan van Arkel for the area named Kampereiland. The bishop drained the area which until then was a swamp forest. The name Bisschopswetering still reminds to that. Until 1597 water was discharged through locks. But due to swallowing grounds fout wind mills were build to discharge the water. These wind mills were built near Hasselt, Genemuiden, the Venerietersluis and the Lutterzijl. But in 1650 the water was discharged again in a natural way using locks. After heavy rains in 1816 three new wind mills were built again to discharge water. These mills were located near Hasselt, Venerietersluis and Lutterzijl. A critical article in the newspaper Kamper Courant in 1842 mentioned that the mills were not working properly compared with the mills in the polder Kamperveen. Even the lock near Genemuiden discharged more water in a natural way then the three mills together. The mills were revisited and a fourth one was built near Genemuiden.
In 1845 the English mechanic Charles Penny, who lived in Kampen, drew plans for a steam-pump station. Since there also were plans to drain the area called Koekoek, the engineers Van Diggelen and Beijerinck advised to build a 75 hp steam-pump station at Venerieterzijl. Polder master Gerrit Kragt, thought that a 50 hp steam-pump station was enough to do the job together with the mills. So, in 1956 the steam-pump station at Kamperzeedijk was finished and started working. As a test the wind mills were not used during the winters of 1857 to 1859. The steam-pump station was able to manage the water on it’s own. The Hasseltermolen was demolished and the other mills were available for emergencies until 1862. In that year the other mills were demolished as well. The steam-pump station is used until 1961, then it was replaced by an electric driven mortar mill..
The engine was built by the company “De Atlas” in Amsterdam. It’s a one cylinder expansion engine with injection condenser. The engine can deliver 93 hp at 10 rpm. The flywheel has a diameter of 7.5 meters an weighs 16 tonnes. The current boiler is the thid one which has been installed. This Lancashire boiler is built in 1926 by Ten Horn Veendam. The wooden paddlewheels have diameter of six meters and are each 2.15 meters wide. One paddlewheel can be disconnected.
The steam-pump station is a monument and is completely restored in 1984. Genemuiden and the county of Overijssel provided financial aid. The engine and boiler are completely restored as well, and are in a running condition. A few days a year d’ Olde Mesiene (Ye ol’e engine) is started. For information take a look at the website.
Some of the photos below are also for sale as wall art.