Between 1871 and 1872 a dam was built between Ameland and the mainland, an initiative of Pieter Teding van Berkhout (1825-1895), along the area where tidal currents meet ("wantij"), by a land reclamation company for the Frisian islands.
The proces of alluvial deposits resulted in people wishing to create farmland. The province of Friesland and the Dutch government each paid 200,000 guilders. It was not a success: the dam did not turn out to be able to weather storms and after heavy storms in the winter of 1881/1882 it was decided that further repairs would be halted . The dam is still partially visible during low tide. The ferry dock in Holwerd is the beginning of this dam.