The Wezenputten (orphanage wells) money chest

PronA metal money chest 72 x 38,5 x 42 cm. It is the chest in which the proceeds from selling ferrous (containing lots of iron) water were kept.  That water was sold to sailing vessels anchored on the Roads of Texel. 

The money chest is not just a lovely object, it also symbolizes several stories. The income from selling the water was of vital importance for the orphanage. On the other hand, sailors didn’t spend good money on water from the wells for nothing. The ferrous water as drinkingwater kept a long time, an essential quality for long sea voyages. The wells were used from the early 17th century till around 1800. They earned the orphanage several hundred guilders a year. The water trade was also a source of income for other Texelaars. Transportation of the barrels to the vessels also had to be paid for. And there were a lot of trips back and forth between the wells, over the Skilsloot (ditch), and the Roads of Texel: a ship sailing to the east loaded at least 8000 liters of water in order to have a sufficient supply of drinking water to reach the Cape of Good Hope.

The water transportation itself can be seen on the model in the basement of Kaap Skil’s main building: small boats with barrels of water travel along the ‘Skilsloot’ in the direction of the sailing vessels anchored on the Roads.