Friday, December 28, 2007

Beemster Population centres
Around 800 AD the area of the modern municipality of Beemster was covered in peat. The name "Beemster" has been derived from "Bamestra" (see Groenedijk, 2000), the name of a small river in the area. In the period 1150-1250 peat-digging by people, and storm floods, enlarged that small river into an inland sea, a lake in open connection with the Zuiderzee. Around 1605 private investors started to drain the Beemster lake. In 1610, this was almost complete, but the lake re-filled because of a break in the Zuiderzee dikes. It was decided to make the ring-dike a meter high above the surrounding country. In 1612 the polder was dry and the country was divided among the investors. In the earlier days of the polder, farmers occupied its lands for growing the crops necessary for long sea journeys by the VOC to the East Indies. It turned out that the farmland was so good that the project was considered then to be an economic success, in contrast to e.g. the Heerhugowaard. Since 1999 the entire Beemster polder has been on the UNESCO world heritage list.
The Beemster polder is home to the world famous CONO Kaasmakers, maker of the Beemster brand of cheeses. This co-op was formed in 1901 to create cheese made only from the unique milk that comes from the Beemster polder. Today [1] Beemster cheese is sold not only in Europe, but in the USA, Canada, Japan and China.

World Heritage Site
The municipal council of Beemster consists of 13 seats, which are divided as follows:
The Mayor is Harry Brinkman.

Beemster Polder Partij - 5 seats
PvdA - 3 seats
VVD - 3 seats
CDA - 2 seats

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