The name of the hamlet refers to an old pier to the north, "Ten Ballen", used by a ferry. When the village of Hontenisse disappeared in a flood in 1509, this pier and some of the remaining dykes formed a corner ("hoek"), named "Ballenhouck". The pier disappeared into the Westerschelde around 1600, but the name remained.
According to the 19th-century historian A.J. van der Aa, Baalhoek (or "Balhoek") was the only settlement in the Kruispolder, a polder that was reclaimed from the sea in 1616. In the middle of the 19th century, it consisted of 19 houses, and had a population of more than 70. All of the houses of the hamlet were located on or near the sea dyke. There was a little harbour here. Around the harbour, a new hamlet Kruispolderhaven arose.
Baalhoek is mostly associated with the "Baalhoekkanaal" (Baalhoek Canal), a plan for a shortcut to the harbour of Antwerp to bypass the narrows of Bath that was proposed in 1967, but finally rejected in 1998 due to the resistance of a coalition of environmentalists and farmers.
- VUGA's Alfabetische Plaatsnamengids van Nederland (13th edition), VUGA, 1997.
- ANWB Topografische Atlas Nederland, Topografische Dienst and ANWB, 2005.
- Municipality of Hulst, Gemeentelijk voorlichtingsblad 5 nr. 3, June 2007. http://www.gemhulst.nl/mdcms/showdetails.php?contentid=982
- Abraham Jacob van der Aa, "Aardrijkskundig woordenboek der Nederlanden", vol. 2 (B), 1840, p. 3. "Baalhoek".
- J. Kuyper, Gemeente Atlas van Nederland, 1865-1870, "Hontenisse". Map of the area around 1868, showing Baalhoek.
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