Elsfleth

Petermann Introduction
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Elsfleth

Elsfleth is an old seaport at the confluence of the Hunte and Weser rivers in the district of Wesermarsch, Lower Saxony, Germany.

Sophia Marie Steuer Petermann, the daughter of Wilhelm and Bertha Steuer, was born in Elsfleth circa 1857. Sophia married Johann Berend Petermann in Elsfleth in 1879. They had a son, John born in Elsfleth in 1880. They emigrated to the United States sometime before 1883.

According to the local telephone book there were no Steuers in Elsfeth in 2005.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Posted 1915


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Muhlenstrasse. Posted 1907


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Memorial to the Herzogs - Wilhelm of Brunswick.

Not posted.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2009

Amt [office]

Not posted


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Deichstucken

Not posted.

This is the street address for Otto Christian Steuer (b. 1818). See Steuer


Photo collection of Klaus Kuelken

"my parents home in Deichstuecken where I grew up."

Klaus Kuelken, January 2008


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Posted but can't read date


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2009

View of the church from Oberrege

Not posted


Photo collection of Klaus Kuelken

Klaus and Brita Kuelken

"Brita and I where married in 1954 in the Church you have in your picture gallery. At that time it was already over 500 years old."

Klaus Kuelken, January 2008


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Not posted.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

The Navigation School

Posted 1907


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Cannot read date.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Posted 1912


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Image on left is Muhlenstrasse. Image on right is Steinstrasse

Posted but can't read date. This postcard contained seven small images.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005 Weserstrasse

Posted 1913


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2009

Weserstrasse


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2009

Weserstrasse

Posted 1912


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2009

Am Burgermeister Ramien-Denkmal


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Posted but can't read date


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

The Hunte River.

Posted but cannot read date.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

The Hunte River.

Posted but can't read date.


Collection of Klaus Kuelken

The Hunte River.


Postcard collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Elsfleth today


Elsfleth in 1844

Collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Elsfleth 2005


Hunte River, Elsfleth

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Count Anton Günther Jagdschlosses (Hunting lodge), Elsfleth

Restaurierung des Jagdschlosses Des Grafen Anton Günther in Elsfleth

Restoration of Count Anton Günther Jagdschlosses, Elsfleth

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Rathaus, Elsfleth

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Houses on and below the dike, Elsfleth

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Elsfleth

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

Houses dated 1792 and 1763, Elsfleth

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

St Nicolai-Kirche, Elsfleth

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

St Nicolai-Kirche, Elsfleth

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

St Nicolai-Kirche Cemetery, Elsfleth

Photo collection of Maggie Land Blanck, 2005

All of the cemeteries in the areas we visited were very well kept. Disappointingly, from the genealogical point of view, there were almost very few old grave stones.

There were no gravestones for Steuer in the Elsfleth cemetery.


Photos and Other Images From Jim Degen

In May 2008 Jim Degan sent the following lovely images of St Nicholas Chruch in Elsfleth.


Courtesy of Jim Degen 2008

St Nicholas (Nicolai) Church was built circa 1500 in an east west direction with the altar to the east. In 1690 an addition was made on the north that contains the main entrance of the current church. The tower was added about 1880.


St Nicolai-Kirche Church, Elsfleth

Courtesy of Jim Degen 2008

St Nicolai-Kirche Church, Elsfleth

Courtesy of Jim Degen 2008

St Nicolai-Kirche Church, Elsfleth

Courtesy of Jim Degen 2008

St Nicolai-Kirche Church, Elsfleth

Courtesy of Jim Degen 2008

The Grandduchess Elizabeth — Old and new models

St Nicolai-Kirche Church, Elsfleth

Courtesy of Jim Degen 2008

St Nicolai-Kirche Church, Elsfleth

Courtesy of Jim Degen 2008

Granduchess Elisabeth — Elsfleth.

Information on Elsfleth from Klaus Kuelken

In January 2008 Klaus Kuelken emailed to share several photographs and the following information on Elsfleth.

" Elsfleth has a history dating back to early 1400's. It is situated where the Weser river and the Hunte meet and is part of what is now called Kreis Wesermarsch, Kreis meaning County and marsh meaning lowlands reclaimed from the river or sea. The people in this area have a long history of being hardy farmers, sailors, and fishermen who always fought for their independence and freedom from the rule of outsiders.

The town also has a long history of shipbuilding. Many a sailing ship that sailed the seven seas was built by ship-yards in Elsfleth, right into the 20th century until the steamships took over the sea lanes. Later on the main industry of the town was a shipyard,and the fish-plant which had one of the largest herring-fleets before WW 2. The fish-plant gave employment to a lot of local women who had the tough job of salting down the herring into large barrels once they were landed by the fleet. At one time more than 25 herring loggers, as they were called, brought their catch to this plant.

Also in town is a marine college which dates back a long time. This institution trained mates and captains for the merchant marine. The graduates of this marine college provided the town girls with a never ending supply of husbands, and many a captain who married a local girl after graduating from the college retired later in town.

The surrounding countryside is marsh land which has been reclaimed from the river. It is split up by drainage ditches which take the water at low tide out into the river. The soil is a very heavy loam,hard to cultivate, and best suited for pasture. Thus most of the farmers are in the dairy business, milking cows and raising bull beef on the rich pastures. Some of the local families have been on their farms for over 300 years,a hardy lot, not very talkative but absolutely dependable as friends."

He says: "I immigrated to Canada in 1952 and my wife Brita and I live on a buffalo ranch North of Edmonton/Alberta."

Klaus Kuelken

Klaus Kuelken generously shared his experience of living Elsfleth and immigrating to Canada.

Just to fill you in on what it may have been like for your forefathers to leave their homeland, and tackle a completely new life, I would like to give you just a glimpse of our own experience.

My parents were not farmers but had a lumber business outside the dike in Deichstuecken.

As a boy I spent a lot of time on the dairy farm across the dike and loved the outside activities the connection to the land, the handling of animals, and the good lunches.

So after high school I apprenticed on different farms in Northern and Central Germany to become a farm manager. To have your own farm in Germany at that time was not possible for a penny-less person unless you could find a girl to marry who would inherit one.

After ag-college and different jobs on farms I found an ad in the paper by the Canadian government offering free passage and a job on arrival for farm hands, and applied at once. I was on my way 6 weeks later to the absolute consternation of my loving family. I can still remember the moment when the ship started to move away from the pier, and I was waving good bye to my family slowly disappearing from sight.

At that moment I made a pledge with myself and said:" I will either succeed in this adventure, or you will never see me again!" After being at sea for a long 8 days, it is an emotional moment when you get the first glimpse of the country you have chosen to live in. For me it was love at first sight, and from the moment I got off the boat on pier 21 in Halifax/Nova Scotia I felt at home. It probably was a great help that my English was good enough that I could help out as a translator for other passengers, and I had no trouble talking to the locals.

I spent the summer of 1952 working on a farm in Ontario, and was lucky to have a young boss who became a friend. In the fall he told me that I was welcome to stay, but that he would have to reduce my wages because there would be less work to do. So decided to move on and found a good paying job in a nickel mine for the winter, working 2000 feet below the surface. For a farmer this was pure hell , and come spring of '53 I counted my savings and took the train West where my family had uncovered an immigrant from our neighborhood who left Germany in 1927, and was farming North of Edmonton/Alberta.

Here again I fell in love with the West which at that time was still considerably wild.

Again, I was lucky to find a job quickly, working for a boss who in time became a friend, and I became a freewheeling driver salesman. I had met Brita briefly when I visited on one of the farms I had apprenticed on in Northern Germany, and found that we had a lot in common. We both loved farming, and both did not come from farming families.

We both had miraculously survived the war. Brita as a child in Berlin, and I after having been drafted into the German military right out of high school at age fifteen in 43', and ending up in the dying days of the war on the Russian front, where I surrendered to American troops under the command of Fieldmarshall Montgomery. We both knew what hardship meant.

In early '53 I was able to contact her and we started to write to each other. Through our correspondence we realized that we shared similar dreams and values, and in November of that year I had saved enough money for my return trip to Canada and sailed away to get my bride.

The rest, so to say, is history. After many hardships we did succeed in this country beyond our wildest dreams. We raised six beautiful children who all became successful in their own field of work. They presented us with many beautiful grandchildren, and now the first great-grandchildren have arrived.We were able to create our own little kingdom on the border of the wild forests to the North, with three of our children still living close by. We are very thankful indeed.

You can visit Klaus and Brita's buffalo ranch at Freeman River Bison Ranches

Elsfleth is located in Stedingerland. For more information on Stedingerland go to Cultural Entities (Niedersachsen) Stedingen

If you have any suggestions, corrections, information, copies of documents, or photos that you would like to share with this page, please contact me at maggie@maggieblanck.com

In January 2008 Jim Degen wrote to share the connection to a great web site about the lighthouses near Bremerhave and on the Weser River. It is a fun and informative site with great pictures of the lighthouses and connections to the satellite pictures of same. Lighthouses of Germany: Bremen and the Weser


Petermann Connection Page

Steuer


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Maggie


© Maggie Blanck - Page created 2010 - Latest update, March 2011