Old Dutch Harbor


Carbon graphite pencil on drawing paper 12″x18.” Original sketch rendered in 2005.  Dutch – Holland Harbor, circa 1500s.

This is a drawing of the early Dutch harbor with windmills (one of three images).  It is not a historically accurate image, but a contrived image of my own imagination. It is about how the Middle Ages formation of Holland (c.1400s-1500s) was challenged first by Spain, then France.  The early dikes were little more than mud piled up and re-enforced with wooden stakes and grass.
Rocks and boulders, as could be found, were used for more critical elements as gates and bridges.  A series of floodgates controlled the flow of ocean tides, allowing traffic into the town and shutting out the high tide as needed.  These mounds made the first sites for windmills to pump out the seawater and make dry land to farm.  The mounds were called “polders.”  There was a confluence of three main rivers draining out of Europe and access for shipping made this location a prime piece of mud. This did not go unnoticed by the major sea powers of France and Spain.  The quiet Dutch harbor would grow to become the greatest seaport in the world, now known as Amsterdam.  The windmills also gave rise to the industrial power that made Holland prosper as well.

The first image in this set shows the arrival of the French armada. (see “French Armada Arrives in Old Holland Harbor” below).

The second image (see “Ice Bound Ships,” this section) shows how the second attempt ended in almost the same strange occurrence of a flash freeze.


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