"On the rural, polder landscape of Schermer, along the banks of canals, stood marvelous, thatched-roofed windmills, their large, wooden blades turning slowly in the summer breeze. Ronald and I learned that in the seventeenth century some fifty-two windmills drained the low-lying regions to bring water up to the canal level. Three centuries passed until electric pumping engines took over the function of the windmills. Subsequently, many mills were taken down. Twelve windmills are safeguarded today as a national heritage of the Schermer polder.