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The Lime kilns of Dedemsvaart

The creation of the bowling pin shaped lime kilns here in Dedemsvaart reveals a tale of perseverance and creativity. The area has no lime, but there is a vast supply of peat, a valuable source of fuel at the time. The ambitious Baron van Dedem wanted to transport this peat to Zwolle by water for further distribution. In 1809, he started digging a 40 kilometre long canal, the Dedemsvaart. Rather than have the peat transports return empty, he filled his ships with lime shells from the sea for processing in the newly built kilns. The endeavour brought jobs and a sustainable income to the area for decades. Today the kilns are a valued part of the local museum. Once the land around here was a pristine peat bog. Years of excavating peat for drainage and transportation has created fertile agricultural land.