Sale of the heathlands 1835-1854

Waste lands

In the 1840s, the municipality of Arnhem sold several hundred acres of heath land located in the north of the municipality. The sale placed the burdens and costs of the desired reclamation on the shoulders of the new owners. Most of the heath land, due to its infertility, was wooded with Scots pines, only a small part was converted into arable land. The reclamation of the "wasteland" was somewhat stimulated by the government, as the reclaimed land was largely exempted from the land tax for a period of 20 years. In the years 1845-1854, about 900 acres of heathland were sold. The new buyers include city architect Hendrik Jan Heuvelink, C.J. Frohnhauser, G. Pitlo, G.J. van Orsoy Veeren, A.F. Burgers and E.L. Baron van Voorst tot Voorst. They all belong to the wealthy class.

However, there are also day laborers, shepherds and farmers who want to buy a few bundles from the municipality. The municipality rarely allows this. The reason is that the people in question had often already settled illegally on the requested land. The reclamation farms founded by the large landowners and a few small reclaimers are mainly found along the Koningsweg, which around 1850 - probably at the same time as the construction and paving of the Kemperbergerweg, which partially received a new alignment. There we find farms such as Heidepol, Grijsoord, Mariazorg, Rijzenburg (Burgers), the Kruishorst, Wildhoeve (Orsoy Veeren), 't Heiderijk (Pitlo), Nieuwenhuizen, Petersburg, Leipzig, Nomen Nescio (Van Voorst tot Voorst), all built in these years. Most of these farms are still there today.

Source: 'Clearance of the moors in the municipality of Arnhem in the 19th century' by J. Hofman.

Published in 'Bijdragen en Mededelingen Deel LXXIV' Vereniging "Gelre" Arnhem.

Estate period 1906

The Family Boden

In 1906 it is the Rotterdam merchant Ernst August Boden, made rich from plantations and mining in Indonesia, who buys Petersburg farm. In addition to the plots around the farm, he also buys the plots across Deelenseweg. He also takes over the adjacent plots of land, including the farm Nomen Nescio, from Baron van Voorts tot Voorst. Ernst Boden immediately starts building a fine hunting lodge. He gives his estate the name Zonheuvel. All photos show that Zonheuvel was mainly used to receive family members and guests and to relax. Ernst Boden does not sit idle and invests heavily in his acquired estate.






An extraordinary

The Zonheuvel mansion had all the amenities that were needed. For example, the manor had its own water supply using a water tower that had a machine room at the bottom. This room contained a pump that drew water from the ground and brought it into a reservoir at the top of the tower. Also belonging to the manor was a bakehouse that consisted of two floors. Flour was stored on the upper one while people baked bread on the first floor. Atop the 30-meter-high water tower was a very striking windmill. On old maps it is marked "windmill." This windmill is also said to have generated electrical energy that was stored in batteries that were set up at the bottom of the tower in the machine room. These batteries returned their energy to the pump in the well. This could be one of the first forms of electrical power generation using a windmill. The windmill served until about 1919 after which this part of Schaarsbergen was connected to the public electricity grid.

(source: Dick Veerman, 'Deelen airfield, from burden to lust', 2004)


The Estate

When in 1940 the Germans invaded the Netherlands, it appears that they had their eye on the Kemperheide to create an important airfield for their Luftwaffe. There had already been a primitive airfield on the Kemperheide for years. KLM regularly organized sightseeing flights from the Kemperheide. The Germans appear to have made inspections at the site well before the raid. Within a very short time, the so quiet Schaarsbergen (700 inhabitants) is flooded by a few thousand Germans and airfield (Fliegerhorst) Deelen is created. Everything north of the Koningsweg becomes forbidden territory with all its consequences for the adjacent estate Zonheuvel. The initial intention was to carry out attacks on England from here. When the English, in turn, intensified their air attacks on Germany, the air base was further expanded with a hypermodern interception system. For this purpose, a large new command bunker called Diogenes was commissioned in October 1943. Around the airfield, a ring road was built, called the "Roller Runway," and aircraft hangars camouflaged as farms were erected. On the south side of the Koningsweg, a complete village of these "farms" is built, called Klein- and Groot Heidekamp. The Zonheuvel country house is confiscated by the occupying forces.


Vacation resort Petersburg

In 1952, the grounds of the mansion were sold in part to the Municipality of Arnhem and in part to the Van de Kamp family who moved into the driver's house at the end of the war. The family turned the grounds into a campground called "Holiday Resort Petersburg. Given the housing shortage after the war and its convenient location, this was very interesting. Due to the scarcity of bowum materials, the existing gebowuen were converted into vacation homes. An old pigsty there still some on the foundations of the barns and kennels of hunting lodge Zonheuvel were used. The old bakery next to the water tower was also converted into a vacation home.

Our photo gallery

Pictures from Buitenplaats Petersburg

Watertower and hunting lodge
Top view

Top view

Farm-hostel Petersburg

Farm-hostel Petersburg

Ernst Boden, third from right
Family Boden

Family Boden

The Adelaerthoeve
Airplane hangar

Airplane hangar

Clément van Maasdijk
Aviation pioneer

Aviation pioneer

Renovation house family Van de Kamp
Vacation resort Petersburg

Vacation resort Petersburg

What our guests say

  • Outstanding!

    It was really fantastic!!! What a beautiful Lodges so beautiful in the woods. Right on the Veluwe and a stone's throw from Arnhem. Very friendly reception and everything was thought of. Breakfast was very well taken care of. We will definitely come back again : )

  • Fine place close to Arnhem

    Fine place to stay that we experienced very hospitable. The location is in a quiet and wooded area just outside Arnhem, even on a bike it is easy to do plusminus 30 min to the center. The lodges are minimalistic but stylish, the greenery outside attracts most of the attention which is nice and soothing. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for the tranquility or someone who still wants the possibility to be in Arnhem quickly.

    Matthijs de Vries
  • Highly recommended!

    Incredibly nice new accommodation, the cottages have been there since spring 2022. Very nice concept and very friendly and helpful staff. Beautiful location in the forest, it is quiet and you can hear the drops falling on the roof very atmospherically when it rains. Slept like a rose. Breakfast at home was tasteful. Absolutely recommended!

    Saskia Zwiers
  • Fantastic!

    The arrival, the cordiality, the beautiful surroundings, the incredibly beautiful and comfortable lodge overlooking the forest. The people who have created this place with so much love and taste and run my so much pleasure. We felt very much at home and would love to come back again!

  • Top location to relax

    Plus points: Ideal place to unwind. Very friendly and spontaneous reception. Breakfast very extensive and delicious. The room contains everything you need. Cars must be parked in front and not allowed to drive in the woods to the rooms. This makes it quiet all day. Transportation is provided to take your luggage from the car to the room. Minuses - Small tip is to provide an ashtray.