ALMELO, a town in the province of Overysel, Holland, 12 m.
Of Hengelo, at the junction of the Overysel and Almelo canals.
The lordship of Almelo belonged to the lords of Heeckeren, who acquired the barony of Rechteren by marriage in 1350 and the countship of Limpourg in 1711.
The elder branch of the mediatized house of Rechteren-Limpourg is still established at Almelo; the younger, German branch, at Markt Einersheim in Bavaria.
After 1849 the canal programme was again taken up by the state, which alone or in conjunction with the provincial authorities constructed the Apeldoorn-Dieren canal (1859-1869), the drainage canals of the " Peel " marsh in North Brabant, and of the eastern provinces, namely, the Deurne canal (1876-1892) from the Maas to Helenaveen, the Almelo (1851-1858) and Overysel (1884-1888) canals from Zwolle, Deventer and Almelo to Koevorden, and the Stieltjes (1880-1884), and Orange (1853-1858 and 1881-1889) canals in Drente, the North Williams canal (1856-1862) between Assen and Groningen, the Ems (1866-1876) ship canal from Groningen to Delfzyl, and the New Merwede, and enlarged the canal from Harlingen by way of Leeuwarden to the Lauwars Zee.
In 1876 an agreement was arrived at with Germany for connecting the important drainage canals in Overysel, Drente and Groningen with the Ems canal system, as a result of which the Almelo-Noordhorn (1884-1888) and other canals came into existence.
These include various local lines such as the line AlkmaarHoorn (1898), Ede-Barneveld-Nykerk, Enschede-Ahaus in Germany (1902), Leeuwarden to Franeker, Harlingen and Dokkum, and the line Zwolle-Almelo (junction at Marienberg) Koevorden-StadskanalVeendam-Delfzyl, connecting all the fen countries on the eastern borders.
The four transverse lines belong to the State and Holland railways alternately and are, beginning with the State railway: (1) the line Flushing (1872) - Rozendaal (1860) - Tilburg (1863) - Bokstel (whence there is a branch line belonging to the North Brabant and Germany railway company via Vechel to Goch in Germany, opened in 1873) - Eindhoven - Venlo and across Prussian border (1866); (2) the line Hook of Holland - Rotterdam (1893) - Dordrecht (1872-1877) - Elst (1882-1885) - Nijmwegen (1879) - Cleves, Germany (1865); (3) the line Rotterdam - Utrecht (1866-1869) and Amsterdam - Utrecht - Arnhem (1843-1845) to Emmerich in Germany (1856): this line formerly belonged to the Netherlands-Rhine railway company, but was bought by the state in 1890; and finally (4) the line Amsterdam - Hilversum - Amersfoort - Apeldoorn (1875), whence it is continued (a) via Deventer, Almelo and Hengelo to Salzbergen, Germany (1865); (b) via Zutphen, Hengelo (1865), Enschede (1866) to Gronau, Germany; (c) via Zutphen (1876) and Ruurlo to Winterswyk (1878).
This industry is now most active on the eastern borders between Almelo and Hardenberg, Vriezenveen being the chief fen colony.
The chief town of the province is Zwolle, and other thriving industrial centres are Deventer, famous for its carpets and cake, and Almelo, Enschede, Hengelo and Oldenzaal in Twente.