ILLUSIONS, DELUSIONSAND ENLIGHTENMENT
August 18, 1999, version
October, 1997, visits to Wertheim and Miltenberg on the Main River,Germany
Copyright – John K.Notz, Jr. (1997)
Note: Hyperlinks addedby Editor Mike Reilly
The Genesis of Janis and my trip to Southern Germany ofOctober 2-14, 1997, was, probably, in the late 1970s, when Mother brought to lightthe memoirs (fragmentary) of one of my maternal great grandfathers, Edward GustavUihlein (baptized in his home town of Wertheim, Germany, as “Eduard”),written by him, alternating between German and English, starting in 1917, following thedeath of his wife, Augusta Manns Uihlein in 1913. I caused the substantial portions ofthose memoirs that were written in German to be translated and the entirety to betranscribed. The manuscript original and a copy of the translated transcription were givenby me, with the consent of Mother, to The Chicago Historical Society. A second copy was ofthe translated transcription was given by me to The Chicago Park District, where it can befound 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 ameeting of The Chicago Literary Club in March, 1996. That paper focused on EdwardUihleins life after the mid-1890s, especially the period of 1900-1905, afterhe has used the landscape design services of Jens Jensen, later to be the famed MidwestPrairie School landscape architect (or, as Jensen preferred, landscape gardener). AfterJensens employment was terminated (for the first time) in September, 1899, byChicagos West Park Commissioners, Jensen was retained by Uihlein to design thelandscaping of the grounds of Austins St. Anns Hospital (affiliated with St.Pauls Evangelical and Reformed (Lutheran) Church on Fullerton Parkway and OrchardStreet in Chicago, where, by then, the Uihlein Family attended services).
In September, 1899, Uihlein had bought a substantial estate at theWest 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 “ForestGlen” that was across Lake Shore Drive from the extant large residence designed byHenry Lord Gay for George A. Weiss, from whose wife/widow Uihlein had purchased theproperty. After the completion of the execution of that landscape design, Uihlein openedthose grounds to the general public; ready access was provided by virtue of the fact thatan electric trolley line connecting to The Milwaukee Road in Walworth, WI, or to TheNorth 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 Uihleins boyhood inWertheim, Germany, and to his apprenticeship in a general store in Miltenberg, Germanythat ended with Uihleins move to the United States (St. Louis, first, and, then,Chicago) in 1864, at the age of nineteen, traveling with members of his mothersfamily (the Krugs of Miltenberg). Both Miltenberg and Wertheim areon the Main River, a short distance from Würzburg, in Franconia in South Germany, not farfrom Frankfurt-am-Main. The Main River has, since 1992, with the completion of a new MainCanal 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 thebulk transport of commodities than has been the case for many years – the cause being theconstruction of vastly enlarged new locks and a substantial deepening of the channels ofthe rivers and a new route for the canal, creating the Rhine/Main/Danube Canal route bywhich barge traffic from the North Sea (Amsterdam, etc.) to the Black Sea is feasible. Inturn, the tourist industry has caused the construction of “hotel boats” thattake advantage of the attractiveness of slow travel through fine scenery and stunningMedieval towns, especially from Mainz, Germany, to Vienna, Austria.
Edward Uihlein was born in Wertheim-am-Main in 1845, moved toMiltenberg (his mothers home town) in 1862, for an apprenticeship, emigrated to theUnited States in 1864, crossing by rail from New York to Chicago during The American CivilWar (of which he makes no mention, whatsoever, in his memoirs, settling, after a shortvisit with his mothers family in Milwaukee, in St. Louis. Prior to The Great ChicagoFire of October, 1871, he opened and, personally, operated a branch of his St. successfulLouis business in Chicago, where its location on the West Side of the Chicago River meantthat 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. SchlitzBrewing Co., in which role he and his brothers prospered to the point that, by 1890, hewas recognized to be a quite prominent civically active German-American Chicagoan.
Mr. Uihlein returned, occasionally, to Wertheim; his last such tripappears to have been during 1913, during which his wife suffered a stroke; while sherecovered sufficiently to return to Chicago, she died later in that year, following whichher remains were interred in Chicagos Forest Home Cemetery in a triangular plot withan attractive monument, the names upon which indicate that Mr. Uihlein made all of hisinterested Manns in-laws welcome.
While Mr. Uihlein mentions his parents, little, in his memoirs, hisbrother, Wilhelm/William Uihlein appears, in the early 1930s, before his death in1932, to has caused to be published a little book titled, “Zur Krone”, about thesmall hotel (“Gasthaus”) in Wertheim that his parents operated for all of hismothers married life. As to be expected, the memoirs were episodic, and several ofthe events covered must be dated by inference and deduction. As the years after the1970s went on, and I filled out portions of Mr. Uihleins life, I came to lookback, more carefully, at his years in Wertheim and Miltenberg, including the possibilityof a personal trip to Wertheim such as that taken some years ago by one of my Uihleincousins and her husband. Then, in 1996, when we had our plans for our second trip to Chinain place, a brochure describing a boat trip on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers, usingthe new Main/Donau Canal, came in our mail – one that included a stop at Wertheim and oneat Miltenberg and contained a graphic illustration of the many steps of the locks of theCanal. We, because of our existing commitment to China, we could not go, receipt of thisbrochure was a trigger, for us to watch for alternatives. In due course, a brochure for aMain and Danube Rivers trip, for October 4-11, 1997, organized by “SpecialExpeditions” came in. We signed up, immediately (with the result that I was away forseveral fine programs on Prairie School architects that I would, certainly, haveattended.) The start point was to be at Würzburg, Germany, near Frankfurt, and the endpoint was to be at Vienna, Austria. In return for a few days in Vienna, at the end, Ipersuaded 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 ofhindsight, we were fortunate, beyond belief, in the connections that we made, as a resultof my election to write to our Würzburg Hotel (Rebstock) and ask that a guide be arrangedfor each town. The prompt affirmative response from Frau Brigitte Tophoven-Petersenindicated that, as she, herself, had been raised immediately cross the street from theUihlein Familys hotel/gasthaus, she was interested in my project. Her family hadowned and operated, until only a few years ago, the cafe there located; she reportedthat 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 “ZurKrone” book and the attached excerpt from Mr. Uihleins memoirs. (When wearrived, the “seed shop” had ceased doing business, and the building was beingrenovated for still another use – a construction process that permitted us to wander aboutthe 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 fromFrankfurt to Wertheim. To our great surprise, once we had cleared passport control andcustoms, we needed to do no more than go down to the train platform, where an expresstrain to Würzburg arrived within five minutes. As a result, we were in our Würzburghotel within an hour and a half, well rested and ready to explore.
I confirmed with Frau Tophoven-Petersen that we would need a car forour Miltenberg/Wertheimexplorations and the availability of our guides. We were told that we would have a lastminute substitute in Wertheim. We were asked not to be late for our two appointments, thenext day. That day, we spent enough time in Würzburg to realize how Roman Catholic a cityit has been, since well before 1850 (Mr. Uihleins childhood. In fact, theEvangelical Lutheran Church (where we took in a brief, free concert that evening) is muchsmaller and less pretentious than the prominent, renowned Baroque Roman Catholicstructures, including the local “Dom” (Cathedral) in the Stadtmitte (CentralCity) 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 outto be a younger woman – a schoolteacher – who seemed to evade disclosing her name. Shehad, 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, hadfilled me with more relevant information than I am able to recall and record.
After providing us what was, probably, a shortened version of herbasic tour of Miltenberg, ourguide took us past the most prominent Roman Catholic church, saying that this was where mygreat 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 ofbreweries that, once, had operated in the town – the cluster at one end having been causedby the extensive caves in the red sandstone bluff behind the town – a prime place forstoring 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 mainstreet, 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 valleyin the woods behind the town. (Mr. Uihleins memoirs described the supplying ofdynamite from the general store where he apprenticed for quarrying operations into thatbluff, and the fame of that red sandstone, as a building material, throughout that area ofFranconia.)
Our guide said that those woods are said to have been where Hanseland Gretel were sent, when their parents were no longer able to feed them, and they wereto fend for themselves. (A reading by me of a good translation of the original version ofthis one of the many “fairy” tales collected by the Brothers Grimm appears to bein order.) Certainly, notwithstanding the present obvious prosperity of this part ofSouthern Germany, there were times when there was total destitution, especially after cropfailures and floods. The rock-lined streambed is capable of handling a great deal ofwater. I speculate that Mr. Uihlein had been motivated into purchasing his “ForestGlen” 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 lakebelow.
The towns castle (“Schloss”) was said by our guideto be up the narrow valley. (We did not have time to pursue it, and, in any event, it hadno relevance to Mr. Uihleins apprenticeship experiences or to his mothersfamily – the Krugs.)
We walked down that main street and stopped at the site of a nowdisused town well, the access to which was some feet below the street level. Our guidetold us that the general store of Mr. Knapp had been across the street from that well; itwas 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 upclose to the bluff. (I have a photograph of Janis and our guide, next to that well, whichis different from that next to the church and, clearly, subject to contamination, byfloods or traffic.)
Our guide explained to us that August Krug and a Dr. M____ (I missedthe latters name, and she did not know to where in the United States he went.) hadbeen quite outspoken in the Roman Catholic cause that was negatively resolved in 1848, bythe assumption of control of Franconia by Protestant (Lutheran) Prussia. Thus, contrary tomy expectations, in fact, the emigration to the United States of the 1848ers was a factorin 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. RomanCatholicism, even more than Würzburg remains dominant; however, the main church,notwithstanding the fact that it was a holiday and a Holy Day (Michaelsmesse), seemeddeserted, and we did not enter.
A bit further along are the sites of the former and present smallbreweries; 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 afavorite in the region. It continues to have its nearby beer garden, as it did, when itwas controlled by the Krug Family. Both the brewery and the beer garden seem to be inexcellent 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 anilluminating and instructive experience.
Janis and I drove back to Wertheim, through which we had passed, onour way to Miltenberg. Because of the holiday, we had a dreadful time finding a place topark that would not subject us to towing, had a mediocre lunch in a restaurant under thetower next to the local “Tourist Information” office and, in due course, madeour connection with our substitute guide, for the afternoon. Since he had not been given acopy of the materials, I had sent in advance, I, gently, started to explain that I wasseeking traces of one of my great grandfathers, Edward Uihlein. Immediately, he recognizedthe name, saying that his mother had, often, told him of the annual distribution (on a dayin 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 EdwardUihleins 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/BenediktUihlein monument that I had obtained from one in Kim Trostels possession about ayear ago, saying that, as the Uihlein Family had been Roman Catholics, I expected thatmonument, if, still, extant to be in a Roman Catholic Cemetery. Our guide said that thereare so few Roman Catholics in Wertheim that there is no Roman Catholic Cemetery. As wewere 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 achurchyard; there was none. However, to my astonishment, at the foot of the churchyard wasa 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 EdwardUihleins “Forest Glen” on Geneva Lake, WI.
Our guide suggested that, as he lived in a nearby apartment (once abarrel-making shop), we return to his apartment, and he would make a few calls. The firstwas 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 usesince 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, pickedup on the “Uihlein pretzels”. After much conversation, we set out, for thecemetery, 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 themonument, 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 whitestone, with the names and dates of the two deceased persons memorialized, surrounding byred sandstone. It seemed as if the white stone had been the original gravestone ofKatharine Krug Uihlein and that, after Benedict Uihlein died, his dates had been inscribedand, later, that stone had been framed in the red sandstone, quite tastefully. The twolarge urns in the photograph are missing; there are young maples growing from the basethat should be removed, before they grow to topple the monument, the monuments in thebackground do not match the photograph; nor does the curbing; however, the monument is setagainst a low wall, just as in the photograph, and it is well-protected by a large oldcedar that covers it, like an umbrella. As this is not a site for full body burials, Ispeculate that the original site for this monument was elsewhere (but, probably, withinthis cemetery). We found, to some distress of our guide, that his mother had insisted oncoming to the cemetery, to meet us, and we had a long, friendly conversation translated byhim.
Another call that our guide had attempted was to the retired townArchivist, 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, whileWertheim had been a commercially prosperous town after the completion of the second MainRiver Canal in the early 1840s, when Benedikt Uihlein bought the Zur Krone andrefurbished it, the construction of a railroad from Würzburg to Frankfurt (in about1846), by-passing Wertheim, reduced the passenger traffic on the Main River to virtuallynil, creating an impossible circumstance in which the hotel was to survive. We were toldthat that state of local economic affairs continued until after The Second World War, whena glass manufacturer established operations on the outskirts of the town, which operationshave been successful; thus, Wertheim has become less dependent on tourism than isMiltenberg. 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, aquite pristine Medieval town, well worth a detour, to visit.
Then, our guide led to Uihleinstrasse, which turnedout to be a quite substantial street that takes one from the Tauber River, away from thecentral market square (“Marktplatz”). As we crossed it, our guide pointed outthe name of the substantial school facing us, saying that it had been built 1840 and was aGymnasium. 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 buildingin the process of significant renovation, thanking Edward and William Uihlein and theirsiblings for their generosity to the town, after The First World War. Our guide took usinto the basement of the building, where, as is customary, there were several lines, withadjacent dates, indicating the levels reached by the many floods of past years. There wasone for 1845 and one for 1995, proof that the old flooding problem, of which Mr. Uihleinhad written in his memoirs, continues, to the present day. Our guide pulled aside someconstruction materials and pointed out, on the wall, well below high water level, a crowncarved into a vertical supporting post, gilded, with a 1700s date, the name of thehotel and the name of the family then owning it. [That evening, we were given by FrauTophoven-Petersen a copy of “Hochwasser in Wertheim” by Hans Wehnertand Jorg Paczowski, published in 1885 by Verlag Hans Wehnert – Wertheim – a book on thefloods in Wertheim, over the years; attached is a copy of a page thereof that reflects SamenhausGrün; this is the building that, once, was the Gasthaus Zur Krone; also attachedis a copy of the page thereof reflecting a cartoon of a 1732 flood, reflecting all thehousehold goods of the towns on the Tauber River, flowing down, in a flood, into the MainRiver.) I asked our guide how he knew that gilded crown and inscription to be there, andhe said, “When a boy, I was into everything and knew every nook and cranny; had youhad the guide originally assigned to you – an Austrian woman – you could not have seenthis, 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 throughthe attractive and well populated (a holiday) market place, nearby, and on to theProtestant church; it was elaborately decorated and contained the tombs of the localnotable nobility. The contrast between that Protestant church to the only local RomanCatholic church well illustrates the low status of Roman Catholicism in Wertheim.
We completed our tour with generous cups of coffee and tea in ourguides apartment. As a result of this afternoons time in Wertheim, I began tounderstand why all of the Uihlein brothers had found it appropriate to emigrate to theUnited States after 1850. That evenings learning taught me more, along the sameline.
I had asked Frau Tophoven-Petersen to join us for dinner in arestaurant of her selection in Wertheim, as, while her family had sold their cafe, she hadbrought her husband – an architect – from his home in Denmark to Wertheim. She asked ifher husband could join us, to which I agreed, with alacrity. They, too, met us at theTourist Information Office, and she led us on a tour in which she pointed out (a an hotelacross the Tauber River from Zur Krone, on slightly higher ground and (b) a former hotelon the Main River; together, they had caused the Gasthaus Zur Krone to be, literally, thethird-rate hotel in town, but one step above a “Zimmer frei”. Thus, BenediktUihleins 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 castleruins above the town (a ruin from the 1700s, not by virtue of the stagnation ofWertheim 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 theTauber River, with a photograph of the wall corner on which, over the years, the highwater marks of all of the floods had been commemorated. Then, we had a pleasant dinner ina good local restaurant, before going our separate ways. Frau Tophoven-Petersen assured methat she would put a copy of the materials that I had given her into the hands of ourWertheim guide. In time, I intend to be in touch with him, further, as he has interests inlocal history comparable to my own, and through him I can have access to the townsArchivist.
They next day, we started on our weeks trip (October 4-11,1997) on the hotel boat, “Amadeus”, including, on the first day, a stop inBamberg, where we learned of the local shifts of popular religious affiliation, over theyears, from Roman Catholicism to Protestantism, and back again, depending only upon whohad political control of the governing town. Here, I learned some of the timing of thecanal and railroad development on and about the Main River.
On the second day, we stopped at Ochsenfurt on the Main River, for aside trip to Rothenberg on the Tauber River, a trip up the Tauber River from Wertheim notbeing 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 andexplored Ochsenfurt – a small town that warrants a short visit. I was amused to see aGasthaus 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 highwater marks had been labeled, by years, just as had been the case in Miltenberg andWertheim. (A day or two later in our trip, I saw a Zur Krone that was a small Chineserestaurant.)
The next day, we were in Nuremberg/Nürnberg, now completelyreconstructed, after the its devastation in The Second World War. The first railroad inGermany, 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 theimpact of railroad development on passenger traffic on the rivers and canals, he wouldnot, 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 ofLudwigs Main/Donau Canal in 1846 (in construction in 1836-1846). I have speculatedthat a conscious or unconscious reason for Mr. Uihleins move from St. Louis toChicago in the late 1860s was his quite correct perception that the resistance inSt. 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 justthat, to the great economic benefit of the Uihlein brothers, as Edward Uihlein became ahighly skilled investor in commercial real estate in Chicago, especially during theexpansion 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 religiousartifacts; among them were two 1770 “Messbücker” (books of Masses), both in thesame format as that of 1592 received by me in August from Everett Smith, having Mr.Uihleins bookplate on the inside of its front cover containing, in his ownhandwriting: “bought at St. Augustine, Florida – April 5th, 1893” and, facingthat bookplate this inked stamp: “HISTORISCHER VEREIN – n. 43 – Alt Wertheim”.(I translate this as “HISTORICAL SOCIETY – volume no. 43 – Old Wertheim”. Asthis is a set of Counter Reformation Roman Catholic sermons, it is possible that thisvolume was, once, in the Roman Catholic church in Wertheim attended by Mr. Uihlein, as aboy. It is, also, possible, because the local Protestant church had an unusually goodlibrary, that this volume was, once, there. Or there was an historical society in Wertheimthat deaccessioned at least a part of its library, and the local historical societyacquired it. Why it was found in 1893 in St. Augustine, FL, is a puzzle. In time, with thehelp of the towns Archivist, I may be able to put this puzzle together. The standardstreet tourist “train” in Regensberg is towed by an automotive vehicle that isbuilt to be a replica of “Adler” – the locomotive that made the first run inGermany. 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 elaborateHenry Lord Gay-designed 1892 Victorian residence “Villa Palatina”, for his homearea in Germany, which was not that of Mr. Uihlein, one can understand Mr. Uihleinsprompt renaming action, immediately after his 1899 purchase.
While Ludwigs Main/Donau Canal was abandoned, entirely, by theEnd of The First World War, its passenger traffic had ceased with the building of therailroad from Vienna to Frankfurt, via Nürnberg and Würzburg. It is, also, said that thefrequent floods, on one hand, and, on the other, the frequent low water of the Main Rivermade its use too unreliable for it to survive. While the present, redesigned route, to theEast of Würzburg, is more Southerly than was its predecessor, the old channel of the MainRiver, 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. Isuspect that there are too few boating tourists to wish overnight accommodations; hotelboats like our Amadeus appear to be becoming the norm.
The greater part of my comments on the commercial traffic on theMain River is derived from the ongoing commentary of the professional forester who joinedour boat in Kehlheim and was our boats guide through the balance of our time on theMain River through the Main Canal, as far as the Danube River. He provided well-informedand intelligent commentary on the Altmühltal Valley – the Altmuhl River having beenstraightened a bit and deepened into the Main Canal, with ongoing water pumped up from theDanube River, below, to avoid the law water problems of Ludwigs Main River Canal.
The next morning, we were in and about Passau; a short way outsideis a noteworthy outdoor museum, on the order of “Old World Wisconsin” and theoutdoor museum that, as a family, we had come across in Switzerland during a 1982 vacationtrip. It gave me a good sense of the circumstances of living in Bavaria in the1800s, and before – arguably, for the time, comfortable but not all luxurious.
At evening, our “kept” academic, Michael Lofaro of theEnglish Department of The University of Tennessee, gave the first of his series of talkson the connections between German history and myth (as recorded by the Brothers Grimm). Hepassed too quickly, for my purposes, through the impact of the intellectual production ofGoethe, 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 ashort talk covering conclusory bits of my own reading of the Prairie School, together withbrief comments on the impact of German design on the product of Jens Jensen and FrankLloyd Wright.
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[A separate report on Würzburg, itself, more detail of the townsvisited on the Main and Danube Rivers and on our several successful days in Vienna will beprepared by me. The above report is intended to further the understanding ofEdward Gustav Uihlein and his parents of those persons who may be as interested in hischildhood and youth, his motives in leaving Germany for the United States and the reasonswhy 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/charitableorganizations. Except, perhaps, in The Garfield Park Conservatory, I know ofnothing within Chicago that bears a tangible mark of his actions. A short way North ofFontana, however, is the site of his “Forest Glen”. The golf course to which hewas prepared to give the necessary property was never built – the Supreme Court ofWisconsin deciding in 1908 that a golf club house was not a “first classresidence” – an attempt to define that phrase that, still, reverberates in efforts todevelop, further, the great part of the property on the shore line of Geneva Lake. Morelasting, 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 therenowned Danish-American landscape “gardener (his own term), Jens Jensen of”Allview” – one of the several estates on Geneva Lake of German-Americanimmigrants for which Jensen provided designs during the first decade of the TwentiethCentury, quite likely on the recommendation of Uihlein.]
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When we took our trip, the Guide Michelin that we had at handcontained nothing on Wertheim or Miltenberg. That for Germany published in 1988 (SecondEdition) does:
Michelin maps 417 Q 12
Wertheim lies at the foot of a mighty fortress. This beautifullocation, together with the well-preserved architecture of the town, contribute to theattraction of this small town to painters. Pretty, half-timbered houses, mainly from the16th Century, border its twisting and narrow streets.
Marktplatz Amongst the half-timbered houses around themarketplace, the 16th Century Zobelhaus is especially worth seeing. The “angelswell” (Engelsbrunnen, which dates from the Renaissance period, stands at the end ofthe square, next to the collegiate church. The sandstone draw-well, which was built in1574, is decorated with figures which depict the citizens of Wertheim and the planets ofMercury, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. It is crowned by two angels. TheGrefschaftsmuseum 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 fromthe second half of the 16th Century.
Stiftskirke The Gothic building erected between 1384 and 1445has 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 selectedas the burial place of the Counts of Wertheim. The tombs in the chancel, including theIsenburg gravestone (on the left), the Eberstein tomb (in the centre) and the Stohberggravestone, are of particular importance. The freestanding tomb known as the”Bedstead” stands alone in the centre of the chancel and was created by MichaelKern 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 ThirtyYears War by the Emperors troops. The outer fortress gate was extended into anarchive library. From the castle ruins, the visitor looks down on the town, the confluenceof 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, thishuge natural park lies between the Rhine, the Main and the Neckar [rivers], undulating andrural to the West, forested and with steeper hills East of the Momling River.
* Miltenberg A remarkable row of half-timbered houses linesthe main street leading to the Marktplatz (*). This small town is overlooked by the woodedheights bordering the final curve of the Main [River].