Station: [5] Light and Shadow in the 19th Century

With the dissolution of the Electoral Palatinate, Eppingen was integrated into the Electorate of Baden in 1803, and shortly afterwards became the seat of the regional administration.

The administrative quarter, called “Rot”, which still exists, was built outside the town walls. It included a prison, a district court, a forestry office, a notary’s office, schools, a synagogue and a Protestant church - parsonage. A time of economic recovery began.

It was all looking good until 1815, when the volcano Mount Tambora erupted in Indonesia. Famines and bad harvests followed, in Europe as elsewhere. Two thirds of livestock died, grain became unaffordable.

The German Revolution of 1848 and ‘49, more bad harvests, and an expanding population increased the pressure to emigrate.

In 1854, 200 penniless Eppingen residents were given tickets on a ship heading for the United States – one way!

By the end of the century, more than 500 local people would have emigrated.

Even well-to-do residents deserted the town, sold their houses and land and travelled to the States to make their fortune. Such as the Kobold family, whose family bible found its way back after more than a century and is on display here in the steamer trunk.

All depictions: © Stadt- und Fachwerkmuseum Eppingen