Searching for Broedels in the Wasgau

On June 10, 2011 Roger ventured into Der Wasgau region with his trusty guide and interpreter, Alfons Sillaber of Innsbruck. Being in Frankfurt for the CIRED 2011 meeting, he rented a car (a Ford with a spunky diesel that they don't sell in the US) and drove to the south to Mannheim and turned West. Passing through the wine country (Weinstrasse) we entered the tree-covered hills of the Wasgau and into the city of Annweiler. We inquired about Broedels at the town hall and the archives and got a little information. Then we moved on to Sarnstall where we knew the Broedels were in 1871 through 1899. After walking around the almost deserted town, we casually asked a fellow apparently waiting for his wife to get off from the cardboard factory if he knew any Broedels around Sarnstall. He said there were none, but Wilgartswiesen was full of them. He told us how to find one who owned a lumber store -- Gerhard Broedel. His son Juergen, who is the mayor, came later as we were about to leave and he told us about his young son Tobias (Toby). Gerhard had a family book with lots of information and he graciously made us a copy. While we waited for the copy, we toured Dimbach where Margaret Stoffel was apparently from. A very small little town nestled in the mountains. We did some other touring around looking at castles and rock formations as well as visiting some of the quaint towns along the way. Then we headed back to Frankfurt where we made it safe and sound. A great adventure!

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Juergen Broedel, Roger Dugan, Gerhard Broedel in front of the Broedel lumber store.

Juergen, Roger, and Gerhard closer up

Trifels castle above Annweiler. This is where King Richard the Lion Heart was held for ransom on his return from a Crusade.

Trifels castle closer up



Annweiler: water wheel

Annweiler: Tanners story

Annweiler: mill stones by water wheel

Annweiler Mayor's office

Annweiler: There's a Lions chapter

Annweiler: Reception outside Mayor's office

Annweiler: Looking over farmer's market unto the hills


Annweiler: Description of the "river" that flows through the city to the Rhein.

Annweiler: Demonstration power generation from the water wheel. Hydrowatt -- that about what there was.

Annweiler: water wheel gears


Annweiler: Quaint hotel

Sarnstall: "Cardboard" factory mentioned in a1899 letters after Michael Broedel's brother died.

Sarnstall: Buchmann Karton factory

Satnstall: Buchmann Cardboard factory

Sarnstall: We went to all these places.

Sarnstall: Note wavy roofs. Old buildings.

Sarnstall: Looking left from the intersection.

Sarnstall: Old house with a bit of settling.

Sarnstall: Could this be a relative? The name Hauck shows up in the registry.

Sarnstall: 1708 House


Sarnstall: It is 4 km to Lug and then 1 km up the hill to Dimbach where Margaret Stoffel was from.

Sarnstall: Looking right from the intersection

Sarnstall: Looking up the main street

Sarnstall: Interesting rock formation in the hills

Dimbach: Coming into the city limits

Dimbach: Old barn at the main intersection.

Dimbach: Town square (rotary)

Dimbach: Pretty garden


Dimbach: Maypole. This gets greased and children try to climb it to get the treats.

Dimbach: Top of Maypole

Dimbach: Evangelical church. Only one we saw. Could this be where Margaret Stoffel worshipped?

Dimbach: More curvy roofs

Dimbach: Heading out of town the other way. Note stack of firewood. Common sight.

Dimbach: Mural on stucco wall

Dimbach: Looking down the valley on the way out. Not much farm land visible.

Dimbach: Lots of trees

Trfels Castle: We drove up in but didn't have time to climb to the castle. Next time.

Wilgartswiesen: Entrance to Broedel lumber store

Wilgartswiesen: Sign at Broedel lumber store

Roger in front of interesting rock formations. Not unlike some we see on the Cumberland Plateau

Close up of rock formations

Nice church on way to Bad Bergzabern

Dragon's rock

Dragon's rock

Castle ruins in Bad Bergzabern:

Bad Bergzabern:

Bad Bergzabern:

Bad Bergzabern: Alfons says there are 100,000 Wagners (Peggy's maiden name)

Bad Bergzabern:

Bad Bergzabern:

Bad Bergzabern: We had a snack here before we left

Bad Bergzabern:

Bad Bergzabern:

Bad Bergzabern: What would our neighbors think if we did this to our shutters?

Bad Bergzabern: Hotel for the angels

Bad Bergzabern:: Alfons gets a surprise on the size of his snack.