History of the Galamadammen

Around 1100 the name Galama was already mentioned. In the Spanish era the family committed itself with heart and soul to the "Verbond der Edellieden" (Union of Noblemen), so they became opponents of Alva. In 1517 Hartman Galesz Galama was here the grietman (District chief). Sixtus Antonius Galama was the last from the family, he died in 1757.

Toll charge. The current owners are descendants from the noble family Galama originating from Koudam and have acquired their property by inheritance. In 1628 the Galamas were not just awarded with the rights of this rustic junction of roads and water. The States of Friesland also granted the Galamas and their descendants the right to charge toll as a reward for the reclamation of low-lying land. The toll charge was only a matter of cents. On a sign in the taproom it was mentioned what the price was for the passage for pedestrians, cattle, barges, ships and carriages.

Redemption of toll right. The former council of Hemeler-Oldeferd was not very happy about this right to charge toll, whereby the council itself also had to pay toll every time. After a battle of eight years with the grandfather of the current owner the toll right was redeemed in 1942. This meant the end of the four functions that the former operator had. He was a farmer, toll collector, restaurant-hotel owner and operated the bridge as civil servant.

The farm Galama Dammenstate. A farm called Galama Dammenstate was built, where the tired, cold traveller could rely on a nice fire and where a boat was always ready to cross over. Famous was the hotel-cafe at GalamaDammen. It was one of those taverns that was located rather isolated in the Frisian landscape. This attraction was situated at a crossroad of road and water ways. Already in the summer of 1785 the landlord organised a ring ride for fammen and feinten (lads and lasses) on horses here, with as top price a golden ring and a silver knife to attract people. Later the tavern was also visited by anglers and bathers and of course by the shippers from and to Stavoren who consumed a refreshment or something savoury. During ice winters this tavern was as "in plak op `e romte" a popular destination for skaters.

Walkers and Galamadammen.
 The GalamaDammen were a favourite resting place for walkers. In the old days the people form Koudum used to say “We just go around the Dammen”. The pronunciation of the name of the tourist place has always caused confusion. Mr. Jacob van Lennep already wrote about it in 1836 in his book "De Roos van Dekama". In this book the story is told about two students of the Leidsche Hoogeschool who wanted to get to know the districts of the North of the Netherlands with their own eyes.

Expansion of the tavern. When the tavern made way for a pavilion, the former operator bought the farm opposite to keep horses. In those days not everyone was welcome, the customers were screened so the better classes across the Netherlands stepped inside. Well-known defence lawyers, writers and doctors loved to spend a few days at the tavern. They considered swimming in the Morra as healthy, not even mentioning the milk that was fresh from the farm. Even in those days they started to focus more on water sports. Sailing competitions with barges were organised, whereby the award ceremony was always held in the bath pavilion. The bath pavilion also disappeared in time, whereby the jetties, bath cubicles and the swimming place the Morra also disappeared.