The history of the Groningen Peat Colonies is surprisingly rich. Take the meter-thick peat layer that has been excavated since 1600 by refugees and jobseekers who came from far and wide. Take the shipbuilders, ship owners and the naval college that delivered hundreds of captains. Or the special role played by the captains’ wives. The woman literally stood her ground on board. Not to forget the retailers and manufacturers: cardboard, potato starch, sugar beets. Anthony Winkler Prins wrote the encyclopedia named after him in Veendam. In Sappemeer, the first female medical student Aletta Jacobs went to HBS. Everyone left their own mark in this special area; a colorful group of enterprising adventurers and pioneers.