Hof van Holland Inn

As early as 1792, the wooden dyke house next to the lock was an inn called ‘Het Hof van Holland’ (the court of Holland). It also served as the ferry house. Farmers from Waterland transferred their dairy products twice a day to larger boats that transported the loads to the market in Amsterdam.

 

Nieuwendammerdijk 297 café with lock, 1988

Family company

In 1904, 28 year old Gerrit de Ruijter from Nieuwendam bought the premises that housed the coffee shop called ‘Het Amsterdamse Veerhuis’ (the Amsterdam Ferry House) and started the Café ’t Sluisje (The Lock Café). Gerrit was a friendly, quiet man, who always wore a black skippers cap. After his death in 1938 of kidney problems, his wife Anna moved in with her daughter and the café was run by others for years. Only in 1977, Berry and Hein de Ruijter, whose family had always remained owner, took over the café again.

 

Nieuwendammerdijk 297 café with lock, 2008. Photo: E. van Eis, Stadsdeel Noord

Memorable guests

Apart from memorable barmen, such as the footballer Frans Reuser and the bearded joker Rob Borsje, the café also attracted famous guests such as writers and poets Nescio (1882-1961) and Johnny van Doorn (1944-1991). The funeral association ‘Gedenkt te sterven’, memento mori (remember your mortality), met there twice a year in 1828. The members followed good old tradition and smoked Gouda pipes.

 

The lock stands open, 2011

The Nieuwendam Boat

Between 1927 and 1961, the Nieuwendam Boat docked at the former ‘Overtuin’ (terrace). It brought labourers to and from their work and clients from the city. This old boat now sails on Sundays in summer. It departs from behind Amsterdam Central Station.