Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc.

Search this site and our local communities. Wisconsin History Search Only

You may now join, or renew your SLAHS membership using your PayPal account, credit, or debit card.

Please use the following link to make a secure on-line payment.

About Us
Search this site
Monetary Donations

Artifact Donations

Buy A Brick Donation

Fundraiser Letter

Notable Links
Index to Wisconsin Brewery and Related Articles



August 18, 1999, version

October, 1997, visits to Wertheim and Miltenberg on the Main River, Germany

Copyright - John K. Notz, Jr. (1997)

Note: Hyperlinks added by Editor Mike Reilly

    The Genesis of Janis’ and my trip to Southern Germany of October 2-14, 1997, was, probably, in the late 1970’s, when Mother brought to light the memoirs (fragmentary) of one of my maternal great grandfathers, Edward Gustav Uihlein (baptized in his home town of Wertheim, Germany, as "Eduard"), written by him, alternating between German and English, starting in 1917, following the death of his wife, Augusta Manns Uihlein in 1913. I caused the substantial portions of those memoirs that were written in German to be translated and the entirety to be transcribed. The manuscript original and a copy of the translated transcription were given by me, with the consent of Mother, to The Chicago Historical Society. A second copy was of the translated transcription was given by me to The Chicago Park District, where it can be found in its archives.

    I have referred, many times, to this transcription - most notably, in connection with my writing in 1995-1996 of a "paper" for delivery at a meeting of The Chicago Literary Club in March, 1996. That paper focused on Edward Uihlein’s life after the mid-1890’s, especially the period of 1900-1905, after he has used the landscape design services of Jens Jensen, later to be the famed Midwest Prairie School landscape architect (or, as Jensen preferred, landscape gardener). After Jensen’s employment was terminated (for the first time) in September, 1899, by Chicago’s West Park Commissioners, Jensen was retained by Uihlein to design the landscaping of the grounds of Austin’s St. Ann’s Hospital (affiliated with St. Paul’s Evangelical and Reformed (Lutheran) Church on Fullerton Parkway and Orchard Street in Chicago, where, by then, the Uihlein Family attended services).

    In September, 1899, Uihlein had bought a substantial estate at the West End of Geneva Lake, WI, and renamed it "Forest Glen". Uihlein, then, retained Jensen to provide and execute a landscape design for that portion of "Forest Glen" that was across Lake Shore Drive from the extant large residence designed by Henry Lord Gay for George A. Weiss, from whose wife/widow Uihlein had purchased the property. After the completion of the execution of that landscape design, Uihlein opened those grounds to the general public; ready access was provided by virtue of the fact that an electric trolley line connecting to The Milwaukee Road in Walworth, WI, or to The North Western Railroad in Harvard, IL, came to the shore of Geneva Lake at Fontana, WI. Copyright - John K. Notz, Jr. (1997)

    Much of the memoirs was devoted to Uihlein’s boyhood in Wertheim, Germany, and to his apprenticeship in a general store in Miltenberg, Germany that ended with Uihlein’s move to the United States (St. Louis, first, and, then, Chicago) in 1864, at the age of nineteen, traveling with members of his mother’s family (the Krugs of Miltenberg). Both Miltenberg and Wertheim are on the Main River, a short distance from Würzburg, in Franconia in South Germany, not far from Frankfurt-am-Main. The Main River has, since 1992, with the completion of a new Main Canal connecting the upper reaches of the Main River with the upper reaches of the Danube (Donau) River, in the Eastern portion of Bavaria, become a far more active route for the bulk transport of commodities than has been the case for many years - the cause being the construction of vastly enlarged new locks and a substantial deepening of the channels of the rivers and a new route for the canal, creating the Rhine/Main/Danube Canal route by which barge traffic from the North Sea (Amsterdam, etc.) to the Black Sea is feasible. In turn, the tourist industry has caused the construction of "hotel boats" that take advantage of the attractiveness of slow travel through fine scenery and stunning Medieval towns, especially from Mainz, Germany, to Vienna, Austria.

    Edward Uihlein was born in Wertheim-am-Main in 1845, moved to Miltenberg (his mother’s home town) in 1862, for an apprenticeship, emigrated to the United States in 1864, crossing by rail from New York to Chicago during The American Civil War (of which he makes no mention, whatsoever, in his memoirs, settling, after a short visit with his mother’s family in Milwaukee, in St. Louis. Prior to The Great Chicago Fire of October, 1871, he opened and, personally, operated a branch of his St. successful Louis business in Chicago, where its location on the West Side of the Chicago River meant that it escaped damage from the Fire. As of January 1, 1872, he was persuaded by Mr. Joseph Schlitz, an uncle by marriage to become the "Agent" for the Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co., in which role he and his brothers prospered to the point that, by 1890, he was recognized to be a quite prominent civically active German-American Chicagoan.

    Mr. Uihlein returned, occasionally, to Wertheim; his last such trip appears to have been during 1913, during which his wife suffered a stroke; while she recovered sufficiently to return to Chicago, she died later in that year, following which her remains were interred in Chicago’s Forest Home Cemetery in a triangular plot with an attractive monument, the names upon which indicate that Mr. Uihlein made all of his interested Manns in-laws welcome.

    While Mr. Uihlein mentions his parents, little, in his memoirs, his brother, Wilhelm/William Uihlein appears, in the early 1930’s, before his death in 1932, to has caused to be published a little book titled, "Zur Krone", about the small hotel ("Gasthaus") in Wertheim that his parents operated for all of his mother’s married life. As to be expected, the memoirs were episodic, and several of the events covered must be dated by inference and deduction. As the years after the 1970’s went on, and I filled out portions of Mr. Uihlein’s life, I came to look back, more carefully, at his years in Wertheim and Miltenberg, including the possibility of a personal trip to Wertheim such as that taken some years ago by one of my Uihlein cousins and her husband. Then, in 1996, when we had our plans for our second trip to China in place, a brochure describing a boat trip on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, using the new Main/Donau Canal, came in our mail - one that included a stop at Wertheim and one at Miltenberg and contained a graphic illustration of the many steps of the locks of the Canal. We, because of our existing commitment to China, we could not go, receipt of this brochure was a trigger, for us to watch for alternatives. In due course, a brochure for a Main and Danube Rivers trip, for October 4-11, 1997, organized by "Special Expeditions" came in. We signed up, immediately (with the result that I was away for several fine programs on Prairie School architects that I would, certainly, have attended.) The start point was to be at Würzburg, Germany, near Frankfurt, and the end point was to be at Vienna, Austria. In return for a few days in Vienna, at the end, I persuaded Janis to commit to a few days in and about Würzburg, at the beginning, including a half-day in Miltenberg and a half-day in Wertheim. In the clarity of hindsight, we were fortunate, beyond belief, in the connections that we made, as a result of my election to write to our Würzburg Hotel (Rebstock) and ask that a guide be arranged for each town. The prompt affirmative response from Frau Brigitte Tophoven-Petersen indicated that, as she, herself, had been raised immediately cross the street from the Uihlein Family’s hotel/gasthaus, she was interested in my project. Her family had owned and operated, until only a few years ago, the cafe’ there located; she reported that the hotel/gasthaus had closed, many years before, and that it had been followed by a "seed shop" (Samenhaus"). I sent on to her and excerpt from the "Zur Krone" book and the attached excerpt from Mr. Uihlein’s memoirs. (When we arrived, the "seed shop" had ceased doing business, and the building was being renovated for still another use - a construction process that permitted us to wander about the open basement, at will. More on what was found during that wandering, later, herein.

    We made our flight arrangements to Germany through United/Lufthansa, direct from Chicago to Frankfurt, with prepurchased unreserved seats on the train from Frankfurt to Wertheim. To our great surprise, once we had cleared passport control and customs, we needed to do no more than go down to the train platform, where an express train to Würzburg arrived within five minutes. As a result, we were in our Würzburg hotel within an hour and a half, well rested and ready to explore.

    I confirmed with Frau Tophoven-Petersen that we would need a car for our Miltenberg/Wertheim explorations and the availability of our guides. We were told that we would have a last minute substitute in Wertheim. We were asked not to be late for our two appointments, the next day. That day, we spent enough time in Würzburg to realize how Roman Catholic a city it has been, since well before 1850 (Mr. Uihlein’s childhood. In fact, the Evangelical Lutheran Church (where we took in a brief, free concert that evening) is much smaller and less pretentious than the prominent, renowned Baroque Roman Catholic structures, including the local "Dom" (Cathedral) in the Stadtmitte (Central City) and "on the other side of the tracks" - the Main River.

    The following morning, after a good (for me) "Dutch" breakfast, we left at 8:00 AM for a 10:00 date with our Miltenberg guide. She turned out to be a younger woman - a schoolteacher - who seemed to evade disclosing her name. She had, using a copy of the materials that I had sent, in advance, to Frau Tophoven-Petersen, made a significant research effort, by telephone and reading, and in 90 minutes, had filled me with more relevant information than I am able to recall and record.

    After providing us what was, probably, a shortened version of her basic tour of Miltenberg, our guide took us past the most prominent Roman Catholic church, saying that this was where my great grandparents (Benedikt Uihlein and Katharine Krug) had to have been married in 1841, as "the other Catholic church is Franciscan". Then, she described the number of breweries that, once, had operated in the town - the cluster at one end having been caused by the extensive caves in the red sandstone bluff behind the town - a prime place for storing beer, once made. "Town" is too strong a word, as it consists, principally, of about a mile-long strip of houses on both sides of a single prominent main street, with little more than passageways through one side, towards the Main River and, opposite the Roman Catholic church, one passageway, through a small doorway, into a valley in the woods behind the town. (Mr. Uihlein’s memoirs described the supplying of dynamite from the general store where he apprenticed for quarrying operations into that bluff, and the fame of that red sandstone, as a building material, throughout that area of Franconia.)

    Our guide said that those woods are said to have been where Hansel and Gretel were sent, when their parents were no longer able to feed them, and they were to fend for themselves. (A reading by me of a good translation of the original version of this one of the many "fairy" tales collected by the Brothers Grimm appears to be in order.) Certainly, notwithstanding the present obvious prosperity of this part of Southern Germany, there were times when there was total destitution, especially after crop failures and floods. The rock-lined streambed is capable of handling a great deal of water. I speculate that Mr. Uihlein had been motivated into purchasing his "Forest Glen" property on Geneva Lake, WI, by the presence, there, of just such a stream bed, with a rushing stream, cutting down from the high flat lands, above, down to the lake below.

    The town’s castle ("Schloss") was said by our guide to be up the narrow valley. (We did not have time to pursue it, and, in any event, it had no relevance to Mr. Uihlein’s apprenticeship experiences or to his mother’s family - the Krugs.)

    We walked down that main street and stopped at the site of a now disused town well, the access to which was some feet below the street level. Our guide told us that the general store of Mr. Knapp had been across the street from that well; it was obvious that the passageway next to the well had to have been the route by which Mr. Uihlein had unloaded goods from river boats, up to the Knapp store, which had been set up close to the bluff. (I have a photograph of Janis and our guide, next to that well, which is different from that next to the church and, clearly, subject to contamination, by floods or traffic.)

    Our guide explained to us that August Krug and a Dr. M____ (I missed the latter’s name, and she did not know to where in the United States he went.) had been quite outspoken in the Roman Catholic cause that was negatively resolved in 1848, by the assumption of control of Franconia by Protestant (Lutheran) Prussia. Thus, contrary to my expectations, in fact, the emigration to the United States of the 1848ers was a factor in the emigration of the six Uihlein brothers who lived to maturity to the United States. Our guide explained the architecture and permanent and temporary markings. Roman Catholicism, even more than Würzburg remains dominant; however, the main church, notwithstanding the fact that it was a holiday and a Holy Day (Michaelsmesse), seemed deserted, and we did not enter.

    A bit further along are the sites of the former and present small breweries; that operating on the site of the Krug Brewery is said to be, by far, the most successful in town and in need of space for expansion - space which, simply, is not available. The owner is said to brew the best beer in town, and it is a favorite in the region. It continues to have its nearby beer garden, as it did, when it was controlled by the Krug Family. Both the brewery and the beer garden seem to be in excellent condition, and the latter has a fine ambiance.

    After an hour and a half, our guide and we went our separate ways, and Janis and I drove, as a farewell (illegally, it seems) the length of the main street, soaking up food for memories. All in all, this time, short as it was, had been an illuminating and instructive experience.

    Janis and I drove back to Wertheim, through which we had passed, on our way to Miltenberg. Because of the holiday, we had a dreadful time finding a place to park that would not subject us to towing, had a mediocre lunch in a restaurant under the tower next to the local "Tourist Information" office and, in due course, made our connection with our substitute guide, for the afternoon. Since he had not been given a copy of the materials, I had sent in advance, I, gently, started to explain that I was seeking traces of one of my great grandfathers, Edward Uihlein. Immediately, he recognized the name, saying that his mother had, often, told him of the annual distribution (on a day in January), to all the school children of Wertheim, of "Uihlein Pretzels". As his mother was born in 1920, these recalled distributions had to have been after Edward Uihlein’s 1921 death and the result of efforts of his youngest brother, Wilhelm/William. I showed a copy of the photograph of the Katharine Krug Uihlein/Benedikt Uihlein monument that I had obtained from one in Kim Trostel’s possession about a year ago, saying that, as the Uihlein Family had been Roman Catholics, I expected that monument, if, still, extant to be in a Roman Catholic Cemetery. Our guide said that there are so few Roman Catholics in Wertheim that there is no Roman Catholic Cemetery. As we were talking, we walked a few blocks to the Roman Catholic church, built as late as 1840, one year before the arrival in Wertheim of Benedikt and Kathe Uihlein, looking for a churchyard; there was none. However, to my astonishment, at the foot of the churchyard was a small gnome, smaller but identical in design to those I have come to believe had been, per Julie Bak and Charlotte Peterson, in the Jensen-designed portion of Edward Uihlein’s "Forest Glen" on Geneva Lake, WI.

    Our guide suggested that, as he lived in a nearby apartment (once a barrel-making shop), we return to his apartment, and he would make a few calls. The first was to the Pastor of the Roman Catholic church; he confirmed that, other than clergy, there were no burials around his church, saying that the nearby municipal cemetery, in use since about 1850, was the likely site of the monument. Then, our guide called his mother, and he asked for all traces of the Uihlein Family of which she was aware; she, too, picked up on the "Uihlein pretzels". After much conversation, we set out, for the cemetery, looking, first, at the vine covered medallion commemorating its inception. Then, early in a thorough search of a nice part of the cemetery, against the wall, was the monument, in good condition. It is somewhat smaller and less imposing than I expected; however, its proportions are attractive. It seemed unusual, in having a central white stone, with the names and dates of the two deceased persons memorialized, surrounding by red sandstone. It seemed as if the white stone had been the original gravestone of Katharine Krug Uihlein and that, after Benedict Uihlein died, his dates had been inscribed and, later, that stone had been framed in the red sandstone, quite tastefully. The two large urns in the photograph are missing; there are young maples growing from the base that should be removed, before they grow to topple the monument, the monuments in the background do not match the photograph; nor does the curbing; however, the monument is set against a low wall, just as in the photograph, and it is well-protected by a large old cedar that covers it, like an umbrella. As this is not a site for full body burials, I speculate that the original site for this monument was elsewhere (but, probably, within this cemetery). We found, to some distress of our guide, that his mother had insisted on coming to the cemetery, to meet us, and we had a long, friendly conversation translated by him.

    Another call that our guide had attempted was to the retired town Archivist, but that connection was not made, and, in due course, I intend so to do.

    We were told by our guide that, as I had come to believe, while Wertheim had been a commercially prosperous town after the completion of the second Main River Canal in the early 1840’s, when Benedikt Uihlein bought the Zur Krone and refurbished it, the construction of a railroad from Würzburg to Frankfurt (in about 1846), by-passing Wertheim, reduced the passenger traffic on the Main River to virtually nil, creating an impossible circumstance in which the hotel was to survive. We were told that that state of local economic affairs continued until after The Second World War, when a glass manufacturer established operations on the outskirts of the town, which operations have been successful; thus, Wertheim has become less dependent on tourism than is Miltenberg. While, between the two towns, there is a substantial furniture manufacturer (Rauch), I sensed that its presence has had little impact on Miltenberg, which remains, because it has not had the publicity that Rothenberg ob der Tauber has had, a quite pristine Medieval town, well worth a detour, to visit.

    Then, our guide led to Uihleinstrasse, which turned out to be a quite substantial street that takes one from the Tauber River, away from the central market square ("Marktplatz"). As we crossed it, our guide pointed out the name of the substantial school facing us, saying that it had been built 1840 and was a Gymnasium. Clearly, that had been the Gymnasium described by Mr. Uihlein, in his memoir. Then, our guide led us, back, across the Tauber River, and, a few feet up Brückenstrasse ("Bridge Street"), he pointed to a brass plaque, high on the wall of a building in the process of significant renovation, thanking Edward and William Uihlein and their siblings for their generosity to the town, after The First World War. Our guide took us into the basement of the building, where, as is customary, there were several lines, with adjacent dates, indicating the levels reached by the many floods of past years. There was one for 1845 and one for 1995, proof that the old flooding problem, of which Mr. Uihlein had written in his memoirs, continues, to the present day. Our guide pulled aside some construction materials and pointed out, on the wall, well below high water level, a crown carved into a vertical supporting post, gilded, with a 1700’s date, the name of the hotel and the name of the family then owning it. [That evening, we were given by Frau Tophoven-Petersen a copy of "Hochwasser in Wertheim" by Hans Wehnert and Jorg Paczowski, published in 1885 by Verlag Hans Wehnert - Wertheim - a book on the floods in Wertheim, over the years; attached is a copy of a page thereof that reflects Samenhaus Grün; this is the building that, once, was the Gasthaus Zur Krone; also attached is a copy of the page thereof reflecting a cartoon of a 1732 flood, reflecting all the household goods of the towns on the Tauber River, flowing down, in a flood, into the Main River.) I asked our guide how he knew that gilded crown and inscription to be there, and he said, "When a boy, I was into everything and knew every nook and cranny; had you had the guide originally assigned to you - an Austrian woman - you could not have seen this, because, as she s an Austrian, she does not know the city, as I do."

    Then, our guide reverted to his standard tour, and we went through the attractive and well populated (a holiday) market place, nearby, and on to the Protestant church; it was elaborately decorated and contained the tombs of the local notable nobility. The contrast between that Protestant church to the only local Roman Catholic church well illustrates the low status of Roman Catholicism in Wertheim.

    We completed our tour with generous cups of coffee and tea in our guide’s apartment. As a result of this afternoon’s time in Wertheim, I began to understand why all of the Uihlein brothers had found it appropriate to emigrate to the United States after 1850. That evening’s learning taught me more, along the same line.

    I had asked Frau Tophoven-Petersen to join us for dinner in a restaurant of her selection in Wertheim, as, while her family had sold their cafe, she had brought her husband - an architect - from his home in Denmark to Wertheim. She asked if her husband could join us, to which I agreed, with alacrity. They, too, met us at the Tourist Information Office, and she led us on a tour in which she pointed out (a an hotel across the Tauber River from Zur Krone, on slightly higher ground and (b) a former hotel on the Main River; together, they had caused the Gasthaus Zur Krone to be, literally, the third-rate hotel in town, but one step above a "Zimmer frei". Thus, Benedikt Uihlein’s substantial investment in his hotel property in Wertheim was depreciated, not only by the wear and tear of times and frequent floods.

    Then, Frau Tophoven-Petersen led us most of the way up to the castle ruins above the town (a ruin from the 1700’s, not by virtue of the stagnation of Wertheim caused by the passing by of it by the railroads, referred to elsewhere herein, putting it to sleep until after The Second World War. We ended with a walk along the Tauber River, with a photograph of the wall corner on which, over the years, the high water marks of all of the floods had been commemorated. Then, we had a pleasant dinner in a good local restaurant, before going our separate ways. Frau Tophoven-Petersen assured me that she would put a copy of the materials that I had given her into the hands of our Wertheim guide. In time, I intend to be in touch with him, further, as he has interests in local history comparable to my own, and through him I can have access to the town’s Archivist.

    They next day, we started on our week’s trip (October 4-11, 1997) on the hotel boat, "Amadeus", including, on the first day, a stop in Bamberg, where we learned of the local shifts of popular religious affiliation, over the years, from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism, and back again, depending only upon who had political control of the governing town. Here, I learned some of the timing of the canal and railroad development on and about the Main River.

    On the second day, we stopped at Ochsenfurt on the Main River, for a side trip to Rothenberg on the Tauber River, a trip up the Tauber River from Wertheim not being feasible by anything other than small boats. As I had, in 1953, been in Rothenberg, and because it is, principally, a tourist haven, I returned to our boat at lunch and explored Ochsenfurt - a small town that warrants a short visit. I was amused to see a Gasthaus Zur Krone, down near the Main River, where boats must, over the years, have, always, made their landings. Ochsenfurt, too, had a wall corner on which the flood high water marks had been labeled, by years, just as had been the case in Miltenberg and Wertheim. (A day or two later in our trip, I saw a Zur Krone that was a small Chinese restaurant.)

    The next day, we were in Nuremberg/Nürnberg, now completely reconstructed, after the its devastation in The Second World War. The first railroad in Germany, using a locomotive named "Adler" ran from Nürnberg to nearby Furth, also on the Main River, in 1835. Had Benedikt Uihlein been capable of foreseeing the impact of railroad development on passenger traffic on the rivers and canals, he would not, in 1841, have bought and refurbished the only "hotel" in Wertheim. He had, correctly, foreseen the burst of passenger river traffic that followed the opening of Ludwig’s Main/Donau Canal in 1846 (in construction in 1836-1846). I have speculated that a conscious or unconscious reason for Mr. Uihlein’s move from St. Louis to Chicago in the late 1860’s was his quite correct perception that the resistance in St. Louis to the building of railroad bridges across the Mississippi River would, in time, permit Chicago to by-pass St. Louis, as a commercial center. Of course, Chicago did just that, to the great economic benefit of the Uihlein brothers, as Edward Uihlein became a highly skilled investor in commercial real estate in Chicago, especially during the expansion of the streetcar lines - horse-drawn and electric.

    The next day, we were in Regensberg, with its fine Gothic cathedral. I found my way into a nearby good museum containing the best of the local religious artifacts; among them were two 1770 "Messbücker" (books of Masses), both in the same format as that of 1592 received by me in August from Everett Smith, having Mr. Uihlein’s bookplate on the inside of its front cover containing, in his own handwriting: "bought at St. Augustine, Florida - April 5th, 1893" and, facing that bookplate this inked stamp: "HISTORISCHER VEREIN - n. 43 - Alt Wertheim". (I translate this as "HISTORICAL SOCIETY - volume no. 43 - Old Wertheim". As this is a set of Counter Reformation Roman Catholic sermons, it is possible that this volume was, once, in the Roman Catholic church in Wertheim attended by Mr. Uihlein, as a boy. It is, also, possible, because the local Protestant church had an unusually good library, that this volume was, once, there. Or there was an historical society in Wertheim that deaccessioned at least a part of its library, and the local historical society acquired it. Why it was found in 1893 in St. Augustine, FL, is a puzzle. In time, with the help of the town’s Archivist, I may be able to put this puzzle together. The standard street tourist "train" in Regensberg is towed by an automotive vehicle that is built to be a replica of "Adler" - the locomotive that made the first run in Germany. Regensberg is the principal city of the "Upper Palatinate" of Bavaria. (There seems to be no Middle or Lower Palatinate.) As George Weiss (predecessor to Mr. Uihlein as owner of "Forest Glen" on Geneva Lake, WI) had named that elaborate Henry Lord Gay-designed 1892 Victorian residence "Villa Palatina", for his home area in Germany, which was not that of Mr. Uihlein, one can understand Mr. Uihlein’s prompt renaming action, immediately after his 1899 purchase.

    While Ludwig’s Main/Donau Canal was abandoned, entirely, by the End of The First World War, its passenger traffic had ceased with the building of the railroad from Vienna to Frankfurt, via Nürnberg and Würzburg. It is, also, said that the frequent floods, on one hand, and, on the other, the frequent low water of the Main River made its use too unreliable for it to survive. While the present, redesigned route, to the East of Würzburg, is more Southerly than was its predecessor, the old channel of the Main River, to the West of Würzburg, passing by both Wertheim and Miltenberg, is followed. Thus, tourist boats, frequently, make stops at both - to the benefits of the restaurants, etc.; however, the hotels must depend on the casual automobile tourist or bus tours. I suspect that there are too few boating tourists to wish overnight accommodations; hotel boats like our Amadeus appear to be becoming the norm.

    The greater part of my comments on the commercial traffic on the Main River is derived from the ongoing commentary of the professional forester who joined our boat in Kehlheim and was our boat’s guide through the balance of our time on the Main River through the Main Canal, as far as the Danube River. He provided well-informed and intelligent commentary on the Altmühltal Valley - the Altmuhl River having been straightened a bit and deepened into the Main Canal, with ongoing water pumped up from the Danube River, below, to avoid the law water problems of Ludwig’s Main River Canal.

    The next morning, we were in and about Passau; a short way outside is a noteworthy outdoor museum, on the order of "Old World Wisconsin" and the outdoor museum that, as a family, we had come across in Switzerland during a 1982 vacation trip. It gave me a good sense of the circumstances of living in Bavaria in the 1800’s, and before - arguably, for the time, comfortable but not all luxurious.

    At evening, our "kept" academic, Michael Lofaro of the English Department of The University of Tennessee, gave the first of his series of talks on the connections between German history and myth (as recorded by the Brothers Grimm). He passed too quickly, for my purposes, through the impact of the intellectual production of Goethe, Schiller and von Humboldt and its impact on the German-Americans of 1875-1915 - the period of my interest. At the end of his second talk, at his invitation, I gave a short talk covering conclusory bits of my own reading of the Prairie School, together with brief comments on the impact of German design on the product of Jens Jensen and Frank Lloyd Wright.

* * *

    [A separate report on Würzburg, itself, more detail of the towns visited on the Main and Danube Rivers and on our several successful days in Vienna will be prepared by me. The above report is intended to further the understanding of Edward Gustav Uihlein and his parents of those persons who may be as interested in his childhood and youth, his motives in leaving Germany for the United States and the reasons why he and his brother, Wilhelm/William, are memorialized in a small town in Franconia (South Germany) than he is in Chicago, Illinois, or in the area of Lake Geneva Wisconsin, in both of which he was astonishingly active, in a wide variety of civic/charitable organizations. Except, perhaps, in The Garfield Park Conservatory, I know of nothing within Chicago that bears a tangible mark of his actions. A short way North of Fontana, however, is the site of his "Forest Glen". The golf course to which he was prepared to give the necessary property was never built - the Supreme Court of Wisconsin deciding in 1908 that a golf club house was not a "first class residence" - an attempt to define that phrase that, still, reverberates in efforts to develop, further, the great part of the property on the shore line of Geneva Lake. More lasting, certainly, is the ongoing substantial presence on the South Shore of Geneva lake, immediately to the West of the Lake Geneva Country Club, of the landscape design by the renowned Danish-American landscape "gardener (his own term), Jens Jensen of "Allview" - one of the several estates on Geneva Lake of German-American immigrants for which Jensen provided designs during the first decade of the Twentieth Century, quite likely on the recommendation of Uihlein.]

* * *

    When we took our trip, the Guide Michelin that we had at hand contained nothing on Wertheim or Miltenberg. That for Germany published in 1988 (Second Edition) does:


Baden- Württemberg

Population 21,700

Michelin maps 417 Q 12

    Wertheim lies at the foot of a mighty fortress. This beautiful location, together with the well-preserved architecture of the town, contribute to the attraction of this small town to painters. Pretty, half-timbered houses, mainly from the 16th Century, border its twisting and narrow streets.

    Marktplatz – Amongst the half-timbered houses around the marketplace, the 16th Century Zobelhaus is especially worth seeing. The "angels’ well" (Engelsbrunnen, which dates from the Renaissance period, stands at the end of the square, next to the collegiate church. The sandstone draw-well, which was built in 1574, is decorated with figures which depict the citizens of Wertheim and the planets of Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. It is crowned by two angels. The Grefschaftsmuseum is not far away, in the Rathausgasse. It is housed in the old town hall, a building dating from the 16th Century. The stair tower, with its double spiral staircase (1540) is especially noteworthy. Opposite the museum stands the House der Vier Gekronten (house of the four crowned heads), a particularly beautiful half-timbered structure from the second half of the 16th Century.

    Stiftskirke – The Gothic building erected between 1384 and 1445 has been kept unadorned, with the exception of the oriel-type "little chancel" (next to the North porch. This makes the sumptuous sculpture on the 40 or so tombs (**) inside all the more impressive. They were erected from 1407, when the church was selected as the burial place of the Counts of Wertheim. The tombs in the chancel, including the Isenburg gravestone (on the left), the Eberstein tomb (in the centre) and the Stohberg gravestone, are of particular importance. The freestanding tomb known as the "Bedstead" stands alone in the centre of the chancel and was created by Michael Kern for Count Ludwig III zu Lowenstein (who died in 1611) and Countess Anna zu Stolberg.

    Burg – A well-fortified castle was created over the centuries, from a fortress built in the 13th Century. It was, however, destroyed during The Thirty Years’ War by the Emperor’s troops. The outer fortress gate was extended into an archive library. From the castle ruins, the visitor looks down on the town, the confluence of the rivers and the wooded heights of Spessart (to the North) and the Odenwald (West).


Bayern and Hessen

Michelin map 417 R 10-11

    A popular excursion for the inhabitants of big cities nearby, this huge natural park lies between the Rhine, the Main and the Neckar [rivers], undulating and rural to the West, forested and with steeper hills East of the Momling River.

    * Miltenberg – A remarkable row of half-timbered houses lines the main street leading to the Marktplatz (*). This small town is overlooked by the wooded heights bordering the final curve of the Main [River].


Home / About Us  / Membership / Search this site

Copyright Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc., , 2002 - 2016, Except as noted: All documents placed on the website remain the property of the contributors, who retain publication rights in accordance with US Copyright Laws and Regulations. In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, these documents may be used by anyone for their personal research. They may be used by non-commercial entities, when written permission is obtained from the contributor, so long as all notices and submitter information are included. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit. Any other use, including copying files to other sites, requires permission from the contributors PRIOR to uploading to the other sites. The submitter has given permission to the website to store the file(s) for free access. Such permission may be revoked upon written notice to the website webmaster. Website's design, hosting, and maintenance are donated by Website Editor & Webmaster: Michael R. Reilly (Mike)