The Horse Farm behind Camp King, Oberursel

One of my readers, a former soldier stationed at Camp King from 1970 to 1972 and assigned to USTRANSCOM EUR Headquarters, wanted to know what happened to the horse farm/riding school adjacent to the northern end of Camp King.

The Siedlungshof, a.k.a. the Reichssiedlungshof in former times, was constructed in 1939.

Siedlungslehrhof Oberursel

It is still there, and as a matter of fact, a number of renovations and improvements have taken place over the years, especially when management changed hands in 2010.

On the other hand, Oberursel City plans more housing projects, and a much-discussed one is the one right next to the horse farm, which is the wide open space between the Mountain Lodge and the horse farm’s main buildings.

On 6 July 2018 though, it was decided to keep the new housing area smaller than the original design had called for. Instead of building 36 townhouses, the number was reduced to 23, among other concessions.

The final decision has to be made by the Siedlungsförderverein, the city of Oberursel, as well as the other current tenants of leased land.

You can read more about the current plans here (in German): Ergebnis der Begehung des Siedlungslehrhofs

I started my walk from the Rosengärtchen end, so I first arrived at the northwestern end of the horse farm/riding school.

After that, I had to turn around, since this is a Privatweg (private lane). I cut through the northern end of Camp King, and passed the Mountain Lodge in all its morning glory.

Mountain Lodge Camp King Oberursel

Then I proceeded to the other end of the horse farm.

This is the same private lane, from the other end.

Heading back, I crossed through the park around the Mountain Lodge. The big old trees are still green after this summer’s drought.

… but the grass is dying to tell its story.

The town of Oberursel seems to be imploding at the moment. There are quite a few new housing projects going on.

It is good to take some photos now, because these views of nature could change all too quickly.

German Word of the Day: der Dorfweiher

Hundreds, in same cases a thousand years ago, most villages had a little pond in the center. Back then, most houses were made from wood and covered with straw, which posed a substantial fire hazard.

Each village generally had a Löschweiher* (a.k.a. Löschteich, Feuerlöschteich oder Feuersee), or in English: firewater pond, pond with water used for firefighting.

This one we found in the village of Vasbühl (Werneck). I was pleased to discover a remaining village pond. Over the years, many of them have been filled to make space for other facilities.

A long time ago, the village pond was also essential as a water source for cattle on its way home from the fields. Women also used to wash their laundry there. Wash machines did not come to Germany until 1951. My mother got her first wash machine in 1965, I believe.

Not so long ago, when we were children, we had fun skating on frozen ponds. This was very popular in the 1960s.

Nowadays in Vasbühl, with the fire brigade having a central water supply, it still sits right next to the pond.

This is Saint Florian, the patron saint of the fire department.

 

How the Rosengaertchen in Oberursel got its Name

When we still got letters by regular post, friends sometimes commented on the beautiful street name: Im Rosengärtchen (lit: In the Little Rose Garden).

If they did come for a visit, they were a bit surprised to see this high-rise settlement. Well, we do have some roses climbing up on the side of our building.

I started asking around who might have been in charge to name a big part of this area ‘Im Rosengärtchen’.

Our local historian, Manfred Kopp, had the answer:

In the 16th century, the ‘register of arable land’ had named this area ‘In the Rose Garden’.

In 1972 (at the time of construction), the diminutive form was added, hence ‘In the Little Rose Garden’.

German Word of the Day: das Seifenkistenrennen

The first Seifenkistenrennen (soapbox racing) was held in …

Seifenkistenrennen

Motor Pool Oberursel and its Swimming Pool 1929 – 1969

I have permission to share the following photos of the very first swimming pool in Oberursel, which belonged to the Motor Pool.

1929: pool party or Sommerfest (summer fest)

Summer fest 1929

On 30 March 1945, U.S. troops occupied the town of Oberursel and the Motorenfabrik (Motor Pool). The Motor Pool remained in U.S. American hands until 1956/1957.

Change of hands: The Americans returned the Motor Pool back to the Germans in 1956/1957

The Motor Pool also had its own fire department. The next three photos show a fire drill held in 1969.

Photo source:  Geschichtskreis Motorenfabrik Oberursel

For more about the history of the Motor Pool, have a look at the book at 125 years of Motor Pool history , a post I had written about the author Helmut Hujer, and his work.

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