Indeed the swamp flourished but success was not presented on a silver platter. Professor Day, whose vision for the area led to its development, initially did not receive the co-operation he sought for his far-reaching plans in 1923. And when those plans finally were being realized, the times were so tough he lost his personal fortune in the Marsh. By that time many Dutch immigrants had settled in the Marsh, ensuring Dutch settlers, life would be one with many bittersweet moments and episodes. And the centennial year of organized Dutch emigration to Canada as a tribute to all who pioneered on foreign soil to help build a future in a land with numerous opportunities.
And the Swamp Flourished is a skillful weaving of narrative and family recollections which engagingly reveals the history of the Marsh from the time when Samuel J. Holland surveyed the area in 1791 to the present. Albert Vandmey’s text is illuminated with over 200 appropriate illustrations. Holland Marsh’s development from a watery wasteland to Canada’s prime source of fresh vegetables clearly exhibits the dikes, canals, intensive agricultural specialization and even a disastrous flood in the 1950’s, the Marsh may well be the most Netherlandic of Dutch ethnic regions in North America.
After exploring the route which brought Holland Marsh success and prosperity, VanderMey discusses changes in soil management, crops and agricultural technologies which will challenge current and future generations of the Marsh.
Author: Albert VanderMey