Spaarndam has always been strongly connected to water. Now, besides the river and the fishing, it is now also famous because of a story within the 1865 American novel, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates. The fictional story within the book is about an unnamed Dutch boy, “The Hero of Haarlem,” who stuck his finger in a dike to prevent the town from flooding. The story became a popular legend in America, and in 1950 the local tourist bureau put a statue of this fictional character in Spaarndam
Enscripted on the statue:
“Opgedragen aan onze jeugd als een huldeblijk aan de knaap die het symbool werd van de eeuwigdurende strijd van Nederland tegen het water.”
Or, in English
“Dedicated to our youth, to honor the boy who symbolizes the perpetual struggle of Holland against the water.”
When we first entered the Holland Canal system, the Spaarndam was the first lock and bridge we entered, and first city on the canals we passed.