The cultivation of potatoes on the sandgrounds in the south and the fen colonies along the Stads-Canal invite general comparison with the industries of Drente (q.v.).
Hoogezand and Sappemeer, Veendam and Wildervank, New and Old Pekela, New and Old Stads-Canal are instances of villages which have extended until they overlap one another and are similar in this respect to the industrial villages of the Zaan Streek in North Holland.
The most interesting buildings are the town hall (Stadhuis), a fine example of, 6thcentury Dutch building; the Gemeenlandshuis van Rynland (1596, restored 1878); the weigh-house built by Pieter Post (1658); the former court-house, now a military storehouse; and the ancient gymnasium (1599) and the so-called city timberhouse (Stads Timmerhuis) (1612), both built by Lieven de Key (c. 1560-1627).
Besides the Reit Diep, there are the Ems Canal and the Damster Diep, connecting it with Delfzyl and the Dollart, the Kolonel's Diep with Leeuwarden, the Nord Willem's Canal with Assen and the south and the Stads-Canal south-east with the Ems. Hence steamers ply in all directions, and there is a regular service to Emden and the island of Borkum via Delfzyl, and via the Lauwers Zee to the island of Schiermonnikoog.
The Karl Gustaf Stads rifle factory was established in 1814.