The Starry Sawmill

A few years ago I lived in Leidsche Rijn, a newly-developed area in Utrecht that I truly regret moving away from. (Although, at the time I had to leave because my landlord sold the house. He and I both wished he didn’t have to sell it, but that’s life for you.) I would always cycle past this sawmill on the way home from Utrecht Centraal, but never took the time to see what it was about.

Built in 1739, the De Ster sawmill (ster means ‘star’) was involved in the timber business. At the time it was located outside the city of Utrecht, where the winds were better. (Now that Utrecht has expanded, the sawmill is well within the city limits.) Construction was ordered by Jordan van der Ven and Arien van der Starren, the latter of whom gave the sawmill its name.

In 1991 the structure was demolished, but plans were already in place to reconstruct it, and this was completed in 1998 (you can also see that year in the photograph). I got my information from the Visit Utrecht website (in English) as well as the official website of Sawmill De Ster (in Dutch). Hopefully you got something out of this little history lesson – I sure did!

Silhouette of the last intact sawmill of its kind.

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