Jacobus Pieter Thijsse (1865-1945)

Jac. P. Thijsse was a pioneer of plant ecology in Holland and founder of many institutions like the Society of Preserving Nature Monuments in Holland, nowadays the biggest private landowner. He was the first man in Holland who talked and wrote about the nature in your surroundings with great enthousiasm and detail. In that period (around 1900) people fought against nature to make a living as farmer for instance. The dunes only used for hunting, not for recreation. 

 

Thijsse was a teacher. First on a secondary school in Amsterdam, then he became head of a school on the island Texel and returned to Amsterdam and became teacher on a high school in Overveen. He was famous for the way he tought the pupils biology. For instance not from only by reading books but by visting nature in the surroundings of the school (seacoast with sandy beach, different types of dunes with at this site the estates and polders with all types of peat or bog). He wanted you to observe very carefully plants or insects, birds or mammals. 

 

Thijsse was famous in Holland for writing daily columns in a newspaper, but most famous for his "Verkade-albums". The Verkade company was an industrial bakery. The director asked Thijsse to write a book about the different aspects of nature in our surroundings. Small illustrations about nature were wrapped in the package of biscuits which could be connected and sticked in the book. It was a great succes. More than 100.000 books were sold. And Verkade hired people to answer all the questions from the buyers. They had an exchange department of these little illustrations.

 

Thijsse got a piece of land from the local government when he turned 60 in 1925. With money from some friends he created this garden where he showed plants from this part of Holland: Thijsse' Hof.  And nowadays this garden still exists and more others (based on the filosophy of Thijsse) came in Holland.  

 

The grave of Jac. P. Thijsse can be found at the General Cemetery on Bergweg 64 in Bloemendaal in section A, No. 45.  You walk up the main path and after the small information house (on your right, where the name registry is) you go right and then the first paved path you go left. The grave is on your left . The cemetery is open from 10 am -  17 pm.