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Schmolau

A Village History

Originally written by Franz Giptner and H.

Herzog.Translated by Bob Liebl and Karen Hobbs

 

Schmolau lies in a lovely hollow between the 12th and 13th degree longitude more western and the 49th and 50th parallel degree north, 3 km west of Weißensulz and where the Baderbächlein splits in two, one the Hradschin andthe other the Dorf.

The origin of the town name, Schmolau, is defined by Dr. Ernst Richter: Schmolau can be interpreted as the place in a narrow valley. The town name comes from the Czech Smolov. Smolov, from the Czech smula, smola, = Pitch, also Pitchtown. It could also be a derivation of a person’s name, Smola. It's start was under the Counts Lamingern at the beginning of the 17th century and was probably first developed as a customs point. Schmolau was first mentioned in 1678. It was part of the Herrschaft (domination) of Heiligenkreuz from the year 1789 to 1839. Today only a Meierhof (large farm) and a Teerschwellerei tar distiller stands there (hence Pitchtown).

According to statements of 1930, the community of Schmolau consisted of, the places Bärentanz which had 2 houses, Neuhof with 16 houses, Karlbach with 11 houses, Rosendorf with 15 houses and Schmolau with 52 houses.

Quite a few businesses, like the Erlbachsäge, a saws works with a Wagnerei (wagon maker), the Oberhammer with a Glasschleife (mirror factory) a Hegerhaus (clinic), the Schwarzweiler, belonged to Schmolau until World War I and a glass grinding business. There were two mills the Kunstmühle, and the Pallamühle along the Radbussa near a lock. The census of May 17, 1939 indicated that Schmolau had 192 houses with 650 inhabitants. The area amounted to 1491,20 ha (hectar - 1 hectare = 2.471 acres), of which 1063,88 ha was forests, 198,07 ha was fields,

155,41 ha was meadows, 37,73 ha pasture and 5,98 ha Garden. The animals listed were:

Cattle altogether - 319 head

Cows - 161 head

Pigs - 180 head

Horses - 23 head

Goats - 17 head

Beekeepers - 52

Located in Schmolau-Oberhammer was the largest Wasserrad (waterwheel) in the county of Bischofteinitz. It was 7,50 m high and 2,20 m wide. Schmolau belonged to Weißensulz parish, but after 1629 it belonged to the Pfarrei (Parish) of Heligenkreuz. Until the school district split up, Rosendorf, Karlbach,Neuhof, Bärentanz, Hochwald and Annathal belonged to the political community of Pössigkau. It then became a substantially shorter to walk to school. There were manygood teachers in Schmolau. Around 1914 Wenzel Guldan, Lehrer (teacher) Wokurka and Lehrer Giebisch, he brought the first Grammophon (Old time phonograph), with large sound funnel. Lehrerin Anna Wiesner, Lehrer Franz Käßmann, Lehrer Kraus, Lehrerin Anna Bergmann,

Lehrer Rautschka, Lehrer Berger that the Schifahren introduced and Lehrer Rudl Sankowitsch. The school was dreiklassig (third level) and had 174 students in 1945. Previously to 1890, the school was in house no.17.

 

The voluntary fire department, was established in 1895, and had its Society gathering in the Gasthaus Hilpert. In 1930 the firehouse was built and the motor fire truck was

purchased. There were 63 members, and the last Kommandant (Commander) was Josef Hilpert.

On the business way, there was 1 Schmied (blacksmith), 1 Schuhmacher (shoemaker), 3 Mühlen (millers), 1 Wagner (wagon maker) , 3 Tischler (furniture maker), 1 Kaufladen (merchandise store), 1 Konsum (consumption) and 2 Gasthäuser (innkeepers).

After the World War I, the mayor was the proprietor, Michael Ortsvorsteherl. After him was Josef Schübert and as a last mayor in the old homeland was Josef Giptner. Who remained as the Ortsbetreuer (person keeping the history and the whereabouts of the towns folk) in Bavaria. 

There was so much forest around Schmolau and so little arable land many cottager's farm fields turned out to be quite small. Haying in the little meadows didn't produce enough to last through the winter. For a small fee they received permission from the forest (administration) to"Schlochgrosn" in clear cut forests which have been replanted, to cut grass. Grass that grew between the saplings had to be cut by hand with sickles to protect the plants.

Between haying and reaping (harvest) came the operation of Streuheigen (litter-haying) It was done in the forest of the Heiligenkreuz Herrschaft. The straw served as bedding-straw (litter) for the cattle. Everyone in the village helped out on and had specific days to

work. In the afternoon the housewives brought food, usually Dalken (Flat dumplings) and coffee. Thirst was quenched with spring water that the smaller children were sent to get in tankards. The haying lasted normally two days. Then the piles of hay were received and

inspected by the ranger and the forester and were taken home on often difficult roads. Residents of Schmolau also found work and profit from a forest nursery.

Some noted personalities are also worth mentioning here.The Offizierstelivertreter Michael Haustein is said to have been a brave soldier of the 1st World War. Josef Grundler, Schmolau no. 41 came home from the war highly decorated. Richard Guldan attended the modern high school in Budweis and studied construction engineering at the German Technical College in Prague. He became an assistant to professor Nowak and received his doctorate in 1931. In 1943 he was promoted to professor at the Technical College in Prague. Following the expulsion he was a professor in Hanover. He died in 1955 after a short severe illness. In 1866, sergeant Georg Meyer of Schmolau was in the 35th Infintry Regiment took part in the bloody battles at Jitschin and Königgrätz.

Some historical events concerning Schmolau are still remembered. In 1781 a customs point was set up at Bärentanz. In 1820 it was transferred to Eisendorf . On August 17, 1876, four residences and barns at Schmolau burned down. In 1879, there was a tragic hunting accident in the vicinity of Bärntanz that cost the Treiber (Driver of the hunt) herr Lichner his life. In 1909 the group called German Bohemian Forest Bund was established. It had 93 members. In 1916 the main highway through Schmolau was rebuilt. That year is engraved on the bridge over the Erlbach. The local branch of the German Cultural Association was formed in 1920. The Entrepreneur,Wilhelm Dimpl, from Eisendorf got the concession for bus service between Eisendorf, Schmolau, Weissensulz, Waier and Ronsperg in 1929. Dictated by Franz Giptner and Herr Herzog.

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