In the 17th and 18th century there was a period of enormous prosperity because of whaling.
Around 1719 the people from Ameland started to meddle in whaling. The catching of whales was a very rough business in those days. Not all whale catches ended well. In the year 1777 many Ameland whalers got stuck in the pole ice.
Soon it seemed that the boats weren't built for these circumstances and they sunk fast. Only a few people from Ameland survived this disaster. Shortly after that the glory days of whaling on Ameland where over.
On the cemeteries the special tombstones remind visitors of the commanders, the great captains of whaling. Also the whale jaws you see as fences at various commander homes are a memory of days long gone.