Our home is an old Dutch house in Zeist. The house was built in 1850. The street where the house stands is called Nooitgedacht. This means ‘never thought’.

I love to know my own history also I love to know the history of the house I live in. I want to know more about the people who lived, cooked and laughed here. When we redo a house we like to honor the old style of the house and give it back its flair instead of stripping it down and changing it completely. Therefor it’s important to know more about it.

To find out information about our house I dove into the Zeister archives. In the archives I found a ton of information about the old street ‘Nooitgedacht’ (it’s the first market street in Zeist), about the people who lived in the house and plans of how the house used to look and the changes made to it.

The archives of Zeist

Online there is a lot of information to be found about the history of your town or city. In Zeist old news papers are archived. It’s so much fun to look thru them and read how the world has changed (not always for the better). In old newspapers I for instance found advertisements for the old shops on Nooitgedacht.

Strange thing was; I couldn’t find anything about the big ‘barn’ style  building in the back of our garden. When I say big, I mean big! It’s 6m wide and 12m deep and it’s very old. The building was nearly collapsing when we bought it (I had so many nightmares about it collapsing when it would storm or rain). Trying to figure out the purpose of this building really became my project.  After a long search I found back some of it’s history, but I feel like some of the history is still hidden. But that’s ok, this building can stay a bit of a mystery..

What we found

The businesses in the back

The last owner of Nooitgedacht 32 had a little shop on the property where he had a liquor store. In the shop he also sold home made lemonade. The shop was called Slijterij ”Het centrum”. The lemonade that he sold in the shop, he made in the back building. His shop closed in 1985 and he retired. The buildings in the back didn’t have any purpose and were left abandoned.

Before the building in the back was a lemonade factory it was used by a milk man, as a milk factory.  This is all around 1900 and it passed on to the milk man’s son who went on with the family business. Now it starts to become vague.. The building didn’t belong to the main house. As far as I can tell it was built as a business on it’s own and stood facing an open field.

We found a few hints that lead us in the direction that the old building is the workshop of a blacksmith. On one side of the building stood a barn for horses. The hay was stored on the first floor and thrown out through the green door. We found an ancient trough, and a stone basin where the blacksmith would cool his work in. Where the heat place used to be the walls where very black.  To bad the big stone is missing from the front of the house.. that would have given us the best clue. Instead we will design our own stone because the building has a new destination! A B&B where you feel really at home 😊.


  1. Comment
    Hi Lydia. It’s fun to read your new blog. It means so much more to us since our visit this summer and saw all of the work you have done so far. I’m sure you are already enjoying your new garden room during the cooler weather. We’ll look forward to seeing your work as it progresses. You have a great eye for this type of challenge. The fact that you enjoy the history behind the building makes it even more intriguing. Have fun! Love Aunt Diane

    1. Author

      Thank you aunt Diane! I really appreciate your comment. And i’m really happy that you could visit us this summer and see are project. Next time there is a B&B to stay in :-)!

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