It were the same monks that built Monnickendam, that built a dike around the island of Marken. After the monks had to leave the island in the fourteenth century, the dikeswere neglected.
The agriculture and cattle farming made way for fishing. In times, when the Marken population hunted whales, the island became very prosperous, due to the try-houses (whale-oil manufacturers).
At the end of the 19th century you could find 163 fishing boats, but when the Zuiderzee was dammed in, the people of Marken had to find an alternative source of income. The solutions was found in using the boats dor the transport of hay. The hay that came from Marken had the reputation of being the best for your cattle.
The lighthouse on Marken is called the White Horse. The light was generated by gas and the foghorn used compressed air. During long and severe winters, drift-ice would reach up to the lighthouse or even in through the windows.
Since 1957 Marken has beenconnected to the North Holland mainland by a dam, which has helped to make Marken less isolated. A few (18)women over sixty still wear their traditional costumes daily.