Marinus Crommelin
(1882 - 1958)

Marien, about 1900

Marien's Early Years
Marien was born in Amsterdam, Holland on February 5, 1882 to parents Jacob Willem Hendrik Crommelin and Clara Crommelin-Wilkens. There were 5 boys (as seen ca. 1885): Daniel, Aubin, Marinus, Walter and Henri. Marien was the third oldest. They held a last reunion together in 1952. The family lived in Amsterdam in the 1800's, and also had a stately 'country residence' called "Reehorst" in Driebergen in the early 1900's. At age 16, Marien already showed his skill as a photographer by documenting an official visit of 18-year-old Queen Wilhelmina to Amsterdam in 1898. He went on to win numerous awards for his photography.

Marien's Time in America (1901 - 1902)
A desire to learn advanced mechanized carpentry skills brought Marien to America in 1901. He sailed aboard the "SS Potsdam" from Rotterdam to New York, visited Niagara Falls and the Pan American Exposition of 1901 at Buffalo, N.Y. only a few days after the assassination of President McKinley there, and then journeyed by train to Spokane to begin work at the "Phoenix Mill". After a period of illness, Marien returned the following year to New York to sail home aboard the "SS Noordam". His photographs and letters home during this period have been compiled in a book, "Dear Mother", translated and edited by his grandson, Patrick Serne. Marien's critical eye and professional photographs give us a taste of life in America at the turn of the century.

Velsen ("Westerveld") (1907 - 1916)
In 1904 Marien lived in Gouda where he set up a brick factory. This venture failed several years later. After his marriage to Cecilia Louise Boissevain in 1907, the couple started a family at the lovely residence of "Westerveld" in Velsen, Holland. Tragedy struck in 1908 when their dear first-born daughter, Florence Henriette ("Donsje"), suddenly died because of an intestinal blockage. Three other children followed: Constance, Machteld and Edward.

Bloemendaal ("Willemshoeve" (1920 - 1924)
The family moved to the villa "Willemshoeve" in Bloemendaal where the family enjoyed spacious gardens and tranquility. Marien was a pioneer in color photography on a glass plate. This picture is of the rear garden where a small train would pass by.

The Hague ("Schapenlaan") (1940's)
The family was in an apartment on the Schapenlaan in The Hague throughout the difficult war years. Food and heating fuel were scarce, and these were of primary concern in numerous letters to Edward when his job took him to Zwolle. Marinus produced artistic window advertisements for shops, but business was slow during the war years. Cissey kept busy with her artwork and tried to make ends meet by selling a number of her paintings. It was here that Cissey died on her birthday in 1944 from breast cancer.

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This page was updated October 29, 2018 -- Milfred Crommelin