Station: [13] “Satellites”, Dotzheim Families

M: For centuries, Dotzheim hadn’t expanded beyond the limits of the historic village center. But that changed in the course of the 20th century. In 1904, Freudenberg Castle was built, followed in 1932 by the housing development of the same name. After World War Two, the Kohlheck neighborhood north of Dotzheim became home to many ethnic German immigrants from the Sudetenland region.

On the right of the glass case, you can find out about the Talheim Project that was set up in the 1920s to provide cheap building plots for World War One veterans. Over recent years, it has grown into a major development area, now called “Sauerland”. But these days, the largest Dotzheim suburb is Schelmengraben, built in the 1960s and 1970s on what had been arable land and traditional orchards. It’s named after a sunken track that once led out of the village in a south-westerly direction. Two old photographs evoke that forest trail, which disappeared when the suburb was built.

M: One wall on the right-hand side of the room is devoted to Dotzheim’s schools. Note the old school desks scattered about the room.

F: On the side of the room with the window, you can meet some of Dotzheim’s old established families:

The Nicolais are the oldest of the resident families – we know they were living in Dotzheim as early as 1638. For several years after the end of the Thirty Years’ War, Dotzheim was uninhabited. But once the danger had passed, some families returned, including the Nicolais.

These days, the Dotzheim clan with the most members is the Rossel family. Then there’s the Wintermeyer family, which is also widespread – some three hundred people with that name are living in the Wiesbaden area today. The Wintermeyers’ arrival in Dotzheim is well-documented. The family still has a certificate of ancestry dated 1665, and on display here in facsimile.

To this day, many of the old established Dotzheim families are wine-makers and wine-growers. And wine growing is a subject we’ll be discussing in the next room, at stop number 14.