Sequoia Trees in the Oberursel Forest

There are two Sequoia trees (Sequoiadendron giganteum) near the Frankfurter Forsthaus located in the Oberursel forest.

If you live in the Oberursel area, enter the Rosengärtchen at the U-Bahn station An der Waldlust. Walking downhill a bit, you’ll soon see a sign pointing you to the Tierheim (animal shelter). Follow this road into the woods, pass the Tierheim, and you will soon come to and intersection and see the trees on the left side. Walking time: 20 – 25 minutes

These trees were planted around 1860. One of our international friends asked me if I knew who planted them. As of now, I have only learned that 1860 was a significant year in Europe’s history.

As these tree have been planted close to the Frankfurter Forsthaus in the Oberursel forest (closer to Oberstedten and Bad Homburg), I suppose it might have something to do with all the important people and events in Bad Homburg.

Certain events in 1960:

* Bad Homburg got connected to Frankfurt by rail.

* Emporer Wilhelm II. started using the Bad Homburg castle as his summer residence on a yearly basis.

* The Bad Homburger Kurverein was founded.

* In the year of 1860 alone, there were  275 000 Kurgäste (spa visitors) in Bad Homburg.

* The Gotische Haus (Gothic House) bordering the city limits of Bad Homburg came into possession of the  forest landgraviate( landgräfliche Forstverwaltung).

Sequoia sign in Oberursel Forest

Sequoia sign in Oberursel Forest

Oberursel Forest

Oberursel Forest

Sequoia cone and seeds

Sequoia cone and seeds

Looking for information about 1860 Deutschland, there are about 9,560,000 results. Searching for 1860 Bad Homburg, the net comes up with 126,000 results.

 Who planted these two Sequoia trees? If you know, feel free to share it here with us.

 

Ten Years of Research on Camp King Oberursel

Back in January 2007, Graham Tappenden from AllThingsGerman asked me to do a podcast with him about the history of Camp King. At that time, I had no idea what else was there to come.

Camp King Oberursel – aerial view

Through the podcast, we stirred more interest in the topic, which caused me to do a bit more research. Since then, I have been blogging about the end of the former Camp King post and its morphing into a German settlement.

We’ve had visiting authors, such as Annie Jacobsen (author of Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America), and other visitors from the U.S. tracing their fathers’ WW II time in Oberursel. We have hosted ‘Open House’ events and tours through Camp King.

In 2012, I posted my first video about Camp King Oberursel on YouTube. The Candy Bomber came for a visit in 2013, and much more.

I’ve seen former military personnel searching for loved ones left behind, and looking for bars they used to go to. Others inquired about the goat farm, and whether the bakery on Hohemarkstraße is still there, etc. Through the readers’ questions I’ve learned much more about the history, and I hope to keep sharing it with you.

Somewhere down the line, I became  a member of the Camp King research group.

This blog is having its 11-year anniversary on 6 December 2017.

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The ‘Goat Farm’ on Camp King, Oberursel

There has never been a ‘goat farm’ on Camp King in Oberursel, hence the quotation marks. The U.S. soldiers stationed there liked to refer to this piece of land, with just one mean goat, as the ‘goat farm’.

One of my readers, a former soldier stationed there from 1966 to 1968, wanted to know what happened to the goat farm. I asked someone who would know, our historian Manfred Kopp, and this is what he had to say.

There has never been a goat farm.

The School of Agriculture (Siedlungshof) hosted a big array of chickens, rabbits and some sheep. On the sheep meadow, right next to the prison camp, the POW prisoners were allowed to do sports, especially soccer. The meadow was not secured by barbwire, unlike the camp itself.

On this meadow, there was a small hutch with a goat,  notorious for its aggression towards the prisoners. One incident made this goat especially famous. When one group of prisoners  were able to escape on Pentecost 1941, one of the guys, Roger Bushell, was able to hide in the same hutch under the straw and muck, and got a head start by several hours. He escaped several hours before the rest of the group, and was able to head south.

The same goat was also featured in Thomas Killper’s art work next to the Kinderhaus (formerly Kommandur Haus). Look for #20 to see the goat and its hutch on the map.

This is a close-up of the actual art work. With this, the goat has become eternalized.

The location of this meadow with hutch can be found on the map, listed in the article ‘Flieger ohne Flügel’ (reprint S. 262). Number 7 on the map lists the ‘Sportplatz’ (sports field).

Today, the so-called goat farm is still green. It is part of the Camp-King Park, on the corner of Camp King Allee and Elvis-Presley-Weg. The park itself is almost 10 acres in size.

Corner of Camp King Allee and Elvis-Presley-Weg, entrance to the park

Camp-King Park in Oberursel

One feisty goat was enough to leave this little story behind.

Camp King Oberursel Memorabilia

While doing some research on Camp King Oberursel, I ended up on eBay. I was quite pleased to find something interesting, especially something I had not even been looking for.

cognac snifter Mountain Lodge, Oberursel

Back in 1990, this cognac glass, was given to Nicole Horn, then the reigning Brunnenkönigin (Fountain Queen) of Oberursel, by the Camp King post commander.

She sold it to me yesterday. Now I’m the lucky owner. It is made of very sturdy crystal with a hand-cut design.

 

German Term for the Day: Logopädische Praxis

I’m having fun with this ad by a speech therapy clinic right here in Oberursel. At first, the wrong spelling of Praxis (clinic) got me off track. Then I noticed the spelling for Logopädisch (logopedics) having gone wrong too.

I’m just glad they work on speech correction. They would never win a spelling bee* contest.