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  • Writer's pictureHarriette Hesselmans

Do you know the history of "Het Zonnehuis"?

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

The place where the Zonnehuis is located was for a long time an 'uninhabited' forest. In the nineteenth century we first see regent/administrator Henricus de Wijs from Den Bosch, owner of the Halsche Heide. After him, Carolus van Rijckevorssel becomes the owner. He is a descendant of the well-known family of administrators that was raised to the nobility at the beginning of the nineteenth century. The foundation mother of this branch of Van Rijckevorssel comes from Hilvarenbeek. He sells the Halsche Heide to the Boxtel manufacturer Alphonsus Augustinus van der Eerden. Van Eerden, whose heirs hand over the forest to the influential Rotterdam industrialist Henri Ferdinand Kersten. He commissions an architect from Schiebroek to design a country house. Probably intended as a holiday villa. In about 1938 he built a house in the woods, called Villa Kerstens. In 1943 he sells the villa to Wilhelmus E. van Vonderen, a merchant from Rijswijk. He sells the house at the White-Yellow Cross. 't Zonneke was founded in 1951 and the R.K. Transit and Observation Center in this villa. It was a children's home for 45 normally gifted (initially Brabant) school-age boys and girls. They were temporarily housed here by child protection because of family problems and admitted for observation and crisis care. During their stay, the children visited the Boxtel schools. First was Miss. Lemmens was Head and later Mr. P. Scheerman became director of 't Zonneke. In 1970 three pavilions were built on the site for the children and the villa became the management building. In 1977 a merger took place with the children's home De Sprankel in Veldhoven. 't Zonneke was closed in the 1980s.

source:, Ton de Jong

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