De Rijp used to have only wooden houses up to the 17th century. There were big fires in 1654, 1657, 1672 and therefore the fire brigade was well organised.
Unfortunately, De Rijp fell to deep poverty when the whaling stopped and wooden houses continued to exist because it was too expensive to rebuild them with stone.
Historie van mejuffrouw Sara Burgerhart
(Tale of Miss Sara Burgerhart)
The writing duo of the above book title (published in 1782) were Betje Wolff and Aagje Deken. It is compulsory reading for high school students.
Betje and Aagje (both women, for those who don't recognise Dutch first names) lived in De Rijp for a number of years but the stench of the whale industry drove them away.
The History of Miss Sara Burgerhart is about a young woman who 'threw away her napkin' and ran away. It is a descriptive book about daily life in the 18th century and pleads the virtues of a good upbringing, homeliness and family bliss. Sara searches for freedom but is ultimately saved by marriage.
The book can only be found through used books:
But the full text version can be found at the link below (in Dutch).
There is also an e-book version here
The Reformed church became the state church during the 80 Year War. Until 1581 any non-catholic group was persecuted. As were the Mennonites who distinguished themselves by adult baptism and a pacifist way of life.
The Mennonites retreated to quieter regions like the isolated Schermereiland (island Schermer, where De Rijp is). The unusual thing in De Rijp is, is that their church is simply situated on a street, whereas usually these churches were well hidden.
The Mennonites in De Rijp held most of the whale industry and became very rich. So their influence on the culture, society and architecture of the region was great.
As whales are a mammal, one does not speak of fishing but of hunting.
Dutch whaling industry started in 1612. De Rijp was active in the whalecatching between 1645 through 1798, after income from herring fishing made a downful in the age before.
In the beginning De Rijp was actually responsible for 10% of the Dutch whaling industry.
The main products of whales were the oil and the bones. The oil was cooked which stank enormously. In De Rijp, the saying went that not money stinks but the rich do.