The river IJssel runs behind 't Lennepserf. When you want to cross to the other side from Veessen, we recommend taking the 'Cossack Ferry'. This goes to the Fortmond Old Brick Factory. In this blog post, we will tell you more about this ferry service as well as the amazing hamlet of Fortmond.
The history of the Cossack Ferry
Even before the Middle Ages, the village of Veessen already had a ferry service people could use to cross the IJssel. The Cossack ferry got its name from the Cossack bridge: a bridge between Veessen and Fortmond built in 1813 by the Cossacks during their return trip from Europe to France. The dam from the western IJsseldijk through the floodplains to the river is popularly called the Cossack dam. That's why the current ferry also got the name 'Cossack'.
The Cossack ferry was originally a passenger ferry, which was later replaced by a rowboat which could also transport bicycles. In the time that Fortmond's Brick Factory was fully active, the boat would transport about 20 persons per trip from the Gelderland side of the river. The boat was motorized after the Second World War. Due to the stone factory being closed, the the passenger traffic was stopped during the late 1970s.
Since September 2015, the current boat (a former Belgian shrimp cutter) goes between Veessen and Fortmond, the ferry service of which is carried out by 40 to 45 volunteers. The crew consists of a skipper and someone who sells tickets and helps during departure and arrival.
The trip with The Cossack Ferry
The Cossack Ferry operates daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. between April 1st and October 1st. The trip costs €1 per person (with or without a bicycle) and children under 6 years of age can come along free of charge. It is also possible to buy a ticket for 12 trips for €10.
The trip starts at IJsseldijk 40 (behind hotel Garni and next to the Cossack Harbor) and takes about 10 minutes. Because there is a distance of a few hundred meters between the moorings on the river banks, the ferry has to go some distance along the river lengthwise, which offers many tourists an extra experience. The last trip is at 5:15 p.m. on the Fortmond side.
Fortmond is a hamlet in the municipality of Olst-Wijhe in Overijssel. It is situated in the heart of the Duursche Waarden nature development area. The area of Fortmond, with its river dunes surrounded by swamp-like floodplains, was uninhabited for a long time. This changed when a 'tileworks' was founded there around 1775. This gave rise to thte hamlet with about 20 simple homes for the workers. These days, Fortmond is mainly known for the Old Brick Factory which was located here between 1889 to 1976. The factory currently consists only of a tall chimney held up by two ovens. The two ovens are no more than ruins now. It is probably that the former brick factory will be repurposed as a nature cemetery. A plan to realize this won the provincial competition 'Ruimte voor Ruimdenkers' in 2015.
In addition to the Old Brick Factory, a visit to The Garden of Fortmond is a great activity as well. Among other features, this garden consists of an ornamental garden measuring 4000 m² and a flower meadow of 2000 m².
If you will spend the night at 't Lennepserf or if you will just visit Veessen, we definitely recommend taking the Cossack Ferry across the river. And don't forget to send us a Cossack selfie!