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U.S. family pushes visitor's count over 100,000

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

KINDERDIJK The Berger family from Colorado, USA, went home with special memories of their visit to the Dutch Unesco heritage site of Kinderdijk, where they were touring the lineup of windmills with pedal power, the Dutch way. Checking in on the site's souvenir shop and tourism office, they were surprised by an official welcoming which was awaiting the 100,000th visitor for the year 2010, a threshold which occurred four weeks earlier than it did last year. Mayor Houtman of the Nieuw-Lekkerland municipality presented the Bergers with the pictorial book, Kinderdijk, land, wind en water, Hollands waterbeheer door de eeuwen heen. Although the title is in Dutch, the book was published in two languages, Dutch and English. The (legendary) story of Kinderdijk was popularized by U.S. author William Elliot Griffis in his book The Cat and the Cradle in Dutch Fairy Tales For Young Folks, which was published in 1918. The plot of the book, that takes place during the 1421 flood, tells of a black cat jumping back and forth on the cradle to keep it from taking in water. When the cradle became stranded against the dike, flood survivors discovered a baby in the cradle, contently asleep, hence the name of the dike and the village.