A very strange combination can be found in the small garden in front of the Reformed church of Staphorst. In between the green bushes and small trees one immediately sees a large bell standing. It's the old bell from the tower, however damaged and therefor out of tune it finds it's restingplace between ... some old gravestones. The gravemarkers only are visible when you stand directly in front of the garden fence. On them dates of past centuries.
Across the street at the Reformed church of Staphorst there is a "Herenhuis" which differs completely from the farmhouses that make up the village and surrounding countryside. I didn't find the function of the building, but I guess it's either the manucipality hall or the "pastorie" (vickers house). In this relgious village you may state that as well the mayor as the vicker have equal powerful jobs.
One of the things that must have delayed "civilisation" in Staphorst is for sure the strict religious culture that has driven the people here in the last centuries. The Dutch Reformed church has gotten a firm foot in the soil in Staphorst and it's surroundings. An example of that can be witnessed in the weekend when on Saturday you will find many (dressed in local clothing / costume) women are very busy cleaning the house, while their husband is very busy maintaining the garden. On Sunday you will not see a soul doing any labour what-so-ever here. This is the day of the Lord and on it "thou shalt rest!"
One of the farmhouses is now a museum. A museum that tells about Staphorst, it's farmhouses, it's religious culture, the history and the local costume. You can find it by following the signs "Museumboerderij" on the other side of the street near the church. In a little street on the right hand it is open on Mondays until Saturdays from 10:00 until 17:00 hours from April until October.
When driving up and down the mainstreet of Staphorst (and the connected village Rouveen) you must see the farmhouses. Must see, as you are driving blindfolded if you miss them. On either side of the road these magnificent large and long farmhouses are laying. Amazing thing is that they always look neat. Perfect garden, clean windows and window-shutters, things orderly in a row. The straw roofs, the green, blue and white colours on the red brick houses. Staphorst shows itself from it's best side.
Just outside Staphorst, between Staphorst and Meppel (Halfweg) is a stork farm. I haven't visited it yet, but intend to do so in the summer.