De history of  ‘De Moezeköttel’

Farmhouse ‘De Moezeköttel’

The farmhouse ‘De Moezeköttel’ was build in 1840 on the same spot as where the outhouse stands today. It was build with the living-area facing the grasslands and the stable. The barn with his backdoors stood close to ‘the Asbroek’, which was only a trail at the time. In front of the living area was a large vegetable garden and an orchard with several fruit trees. The rest of the property was land and meadow. In total the property was about 4,2 acre.  Still, the inhabitants were completely self-sufficient.

Two familynames recurred in the inhabitants archives of this little farm, namely Bosman and Roes. The last inhabitant and owner was Willem Roes (*1880 †1951) and his wife Gerarda (Grada) or Trui Kapelle (*1885 † 1952). Willem and Trui Roes probably came to live in the little farm after they got married in 1915.

Emergencyhousing ‘De Moezeköttel’

In march 1945, when Megchelen was liberated, al lot of houses and farms were destroyed. The living area of this farm had also been destroyed. The back of the farm, however, with its barn en stable remained intact. Living in this farm wasn’t possible anymore, but farmlive could be continued. Meanwhile the family Roes found shelter at their neighbour Jan Reintjes, who is a mason and restores the little farm and helps building the emergency house. During this periode of rebuilding, there were 3 types of emergency housing constructed with different sizes. Willem Roes and his wife got the smallest version, with one bedroom.

1945-1951  Roes -Kapelle family

In the fall of 1945 Willem en Grada move to the emergency housing. The frontdoor (there isn’t an outhouse at the time) leads to a ‘long’ hallway, which is used as a kitchen, with on the right the bathroom and bedroom. In the livingroom is a cupboard on the left, below the window. On the side of the road “De Nieuweweg”, below te window stands a table with chairs and on the right against the wall is a countertop. Water comes from a pomp in the back of the little farm. The stove in the farm is often heated in this cold emergencyhouse. Willem suffers from reuma and is in a lot of pain, especially when it is cold. Meanwhile, the back of the house with the stables, storage, wash-room and pomp are still in use. On the 16th of january 1951 Willem dies and a few months later Grada moves in with her brother Hent Kapelle in the village Megchelen.

1951-1955  Visser family

Hendrikus (Hent) Visser (*1904 †1977) and Marie Visser-Ter Beke (*1923 †2005) lived with the brother of Hent, Cornelis,  at Nieuweweg 13 after they got married.  Their two eldest sons, Wim (*1948) en Jan (*1950), were born there. The family had two rooms there. In October 1951 the family moved to the Moezeköttel, the small emergency house.
The pomp in the back of the farmhouse was moved outside, just outside the frontdoor of the emergency house. The rest of the farm was broken down afther the backwall collapsed in a storm (probably the storm of Februari 1953).
Hent Visser and his brother Cornelis build a wooden hall on a stone foundation next to the emergency house, the so called ‘kabuufke’. In this room the bicycles, the wash-tub, the coals for the stove, paraffin stove and many other things were put away. Through the next door you would enter the kitchen. Very small with only a sink from wich the used water would run outside on to the grass.
Cooking took place on the stove in the livingroom. Eating en dishwashing also took place here. An oillamp above the table was the lightsource. In the bedroom the parents and the two eldest boys slept together. The youngest, Theo (*1953) slept in a crib that was put in the livingroom every night.  Everything was very sober and scarce furnished. Outside was grass and a walnut tree, but there wasn’t a vegetable garden. For vegetables they went to brother Cornelis. The lot had a fence of barbed wire. Behind it were two cows that belonged to Hent Kapelle, which were milked daily.
The rent Hent and Marie had to pay each week to Gerarda Roes-Kapelle and Hent Kapelle was 2 guilders and 50 cents .
Hent and Marie had a hen house and 3 incubators. The chickens that were born, were sold. This is the reason why they were called ‘Tuten Hent en Tuten Marie’. Marie spent a lot of time knitting. At the time she already had a knitting machine, which had to be operated by hand. She got a lot of orders to knit clothes. Yet, the family was poor and they often had to rely on help from others.
In February 1955 the Visser family moved to the next emergency house in the village, at the Julianaweg, this house did have electricity. It was bigger and had two bedrooms.

1955-1966  Hugo Meeldijk and Mia Löevering

At first Hugo and Mia Meeldijk lived with the Pastoors family in the ‘red village’ Gendringen. This house has been demolished, it was located at where you can find the fire station today.
On February the 14th 1955 Hugo Meeldijk (*1915 Piershil, (Hoekse Waard) †1966 Megchelen) and Hendrika Maria (Mia) Löevering (*1926 Bergh †1992 Bergh) moved in to the Moezeköttel.
Hugo made a lot of changes: he painted the house white and installed an electric pump installation in the ‘kabuufke’. During the period of redistribution of land between 1958 and 1962 electricity and plumbing became available for the Moezeköttel.
On the side of the house at the “Asbroek”, he build a roof so he could repair motors and cars underneath it. At the east side of the entrance a vegetable garden was made, which they used very often. Hugo was a social and technical skilled man with health problems and for its time a bit exentric. He helped the farmers on their land and drove people to church. He invited the neigbourhood children to come and watch “Swiebertje” on the television. Hugo died in the Moezeköttel. After his death Mia went back to her family in ‘s Heerenberg.

1967 to present day Family Hettelaar

The Hettelaar family, the neighbours, bought the house, the farmyard and the farmland in 1967.  They were mostly interested in the extra farmland, the emergency housing became a stable for calves. A little owl becam a regular inhabitant of the upper floor and could oversee his surroundings from the ridge-tile.  The building decayed more and more until Vincent Weijermars and Ben Rouwhorst walked by it during their weekly walk. They became aware of the fact that the decayed shed was  a former emergency house. From there they started to make plans to preserve this piece of cultural heritage for the future. A group of volunteers started the restauration in 2013 and on the 1st of November 2014 the restaured emergeny housing, with complete authentic interior, was officially opened. A so called ‘karloods’ (wagon shed) was build near the emergeny housing, to welcome visitors and provide them with the necessary information.
The ‘Moezeköttel’ is part of various bicycle routes which are developped by “Stichting De Moezeköttel”. In the bicycle- and hiking route ‘Een dak boven je hoofd’ you will find the emergency housing as a characteristic of the rebuildingperiod right after the war!


This film tells you the history of the inhabitants of the Moezeköttel, completed with several photos that are related to the text. There are no photos of the original Moezeköttel farm, but Bennie Evers made a pen and ink drawing based on the stories told by Goes Roes, who visited the farm often as a little boy. The Visser brothers, who have lived in the emergency house, helped to reconstruct the interior of the house as realistic as possible.


Filmpje: History Moezeköttel: