Situated in a monumental building dating from 1911 the Veenkoloniaal Museum exhibits the development of the Groninger Peatdistrict: peat and peat digging. The history of hundreds of inland barges and a similar number of skippers families. Canals running for tens of kilometres, the prosperous potato starch and strawboard industries . The many souvenirs sailors brought back such as Staffordshire dogs from England.

Believe us, the story is more than peat and peat digging. For the Groningen peat colonies the 19th century is a golden age. Agriculture, shipping and potato starch and strawboard  industries flourish.  Hundreds of captains sail from Veendam, Wildervank, Oude- and Nieuwe Pekela to Portugal, Great Britain and the Baltic Sea. Strawboard is exported to England, which explains the name Albion of one of the factories. Amazing when you consider that these enterprising villages are situated more than forty kilometres from the coast.    

The villages in the peat colonies are connected  by water. Along  the canals you will find  the former homes of enterprising captains, farmers and manufacturers. We  organize on request guided tours in Veendam, a place of unexpected gems of the past.