Although the buildings on the land of present-day Rikkerda have carried the name "Rikkerda" for centuries, little is known of a Rikkerda family. Some sources say that the Abbot of Gerkesklooster sold land to Reynardus Ryquerda (a surveyor from Oldekerk); he would have founded two farms on it.
Berend Prott was a prominent military man, who gained particular fame through his role as a captain in the successful defence of the fortress Bourtange against the Duke of Munster in 1672. He bought "Heerd Rikkerda" and had the following year's construction of "Borg Rikkerda" started. A "Borg" is a Groninger term for a fortified mansion. For this purpose he had moats dug at a suitable place and the country house more or less acquired the status of a borg. Given his busy military career, he will not have lived much at Rikkerda. His second wife Frederika Tjarda van Starkenborgh died childless in 1687. However, Prott remarried in 1688 to Cecilia Elisabeth Tamminga, widow of Daniël de Hertoghe, lord of the Feringa estate in Grootegast. Prott died childless in 1703 and left all his possessions to his third wife.
On the well-known map of Groningen by Beckeringh, with the Groninger borgen on it, Rikkerda borg can still be seen (see photo). In 1799, Rikkerda possessed a dining hall, fourteen rooms, two treasure houses, a brew house, a coach house, an orange house and a carriage house. This means that the borg was a lot larger than Beckeringh's drawing suggests.
Borg becomes farm
In 1828 the borg with land (about 80 hectares) was sold to Berend Harkema, a timber buyer from Warfhuizen. He demolished the borg in the same year and sold the land. Eite Jans van der Veen, a teacher and peat farmer from Lutjegast, became the owner of the borg and its land. In 1848, Van der Veen built a farm next to the bail house and the road. Many building materials from the demolished borg were used in the construction of the farmhouse; for example, the window sills became the stairs to the front door, the kloostermoppen were reused for the walls, and the chimney was used to pave the barn floor. The farm, also adorned with the name Rikkerda, was occupied by Van der Veen until his death in 1877.
Farmhouse becomes residential property and heritage accommodation
In 1991, the Rikkerda farm ceased to be an agricultural business. With a view to the impending re-allotment of Lutjegast-Doezum, the farm was purchased by the Bureau Beheer Landbouwgronden (BBL). This purchase marks the end of more than 140 years of occupation of the Rikkerda farm by four generations of Van der Veen. The BBL's interest in the purchase mainly relates to the land. As a result of interim purchases and sales, the land no longer belongs to Van der Veen's farm and is therefore not included in the parcels of land purchased by the BBL. In 1992, the farmhouse with grounds and garden were put up for auction again. A new owner and a new purpose presented themselves, this time as a residential farm. The new owners are Jan Frederik Schuitemaker and his wife Caroline Baan; in 1993 they moved into the farmhouse permanently, and in 2007 luxury guest accommodation was realised in the large barn and the side barn.
The Current Owners
In 2021 Bart and Caroline Koolhaas-Johnson became the proud new owners of Rikkerda. Full of enthusiasm they continue on the path taken by the previous owners. Their passion for nature, history and being hosts and hostesses makes for an exciting new chapter in Rikkerda's rich history.