Herrenmühle with the Döhler Family 1918

Postcard (1907), with the Herrenmühle on the right side


(Note: The original name of the mill is Herrenmühle, which translates roughly into Lord's Mill. We will use the term Lord's Mill in this chronology, because we think mixing german and english words sounds awkward.)

1583 - (until 1591) Construction of the Merlau Castle and the utility compound named the Vorwerkshof with the Lord's Mill. The castle was commissioned by Landgraf Ludwig IV. and built by the renowned master-builder Ebert Baldewein.

1590 - The first entailment to the Lord's Mill is given to Johannes Scherer.

1646 - (until 1655) Mentioning of the castle in the Topographia Hassiae et Regionum Vicinarum by Matthäus Merian: "Nicht fern von dieser Statt ligt gedachtes Schloß Mörla / oder Merla / in einem Thal vnnd Wiesengrund / welches LandGraff Ludwig ältere auff das zierlichste erbawet hat: Vnnd sind in dieser Gegend viel schöne Wälde / vnd bequeme Jagten."

1692 - Building application of Johannes Becker, addressing the Hessian Landgraf in Darmstadt, with the intention of building another small mill. We have managed to find a tanscript the the letter, which is displayed along a copy of the drawing of the building permit in our house.

1790 - The castle was used as quarter for soldiers in numerous wars since 1618, always feeding off the land and taking grain and animals from the farmers of the region. So the people of Merlau removed the roof of the castle and thus started its decay. Starting in the middle of the 19th centure, the castle was used as stone quarry for the region. The stones of the castle were used in the construction of houses in the vicinity, for example the Merlau Church (and most probably also in the Lord's Mill). There, even nowadays a crest of the castle can be made out in the entrance.

1859 - Heinrich Damm becomes the first private owner of the Lord's Mill.

1872 - Theodor Bindewald, a lutheranian pastor from near Groß-Eichen, publishes a collection of of Fairytales and Myths of the region. Jakob Grimm personally encouraged him to seek out the folklore. The Lord's Mill is mentioned in one of the fairytales, and the immediate vicinity is mentioned in several other stories.

1899 - The Lord's Mill is modernised to house the best available technics of the time.

1904 - Moritz Döhler expands the Lord's Mill by a weaving mill, powered by the water of the mill. One year later, he was the first, and for a long time the only one, in town to make use of electric lights.

1920 - The Lord's Mill delivers electricity to all of the town Merlau.

1932 - The historic barn of the Vorwerkshof burns down. It is rebuild shortly after the fire.

1968 - Following a change in the waterway courses, and a general decline of the usefulness of a mill in modern times, the mill is given up.  The brook that powered the Lord's Mill for centuries is filled with earth.

1971 - My parents, Monika and Klaus Goletzka buy the Lord's Mill off of the Döhler family to make their dream of owning a mill true.

1990 - The district president of Gießen rents the Lord's Mill for a short time to accomodate several resettlers, who were relocated following the turbulent times after World War II., so they may find more permanent homes in their old home country, Germany.

1993 - The Lord's Mill is converted to be rent to several families.

2012 - The Lord's Mill is again converted to make room for what it is today: A group accomodation with 14 rooms in 8 apartments.

Myths & Fairytales

In our holiday home, we show the complete stories you find in abbreviated form below. During your stay, make sure to read these (you can also find them here)!

The Last Castle Maiden of Merlau: Almost every German castle houses a White Woman, a kind of ghost. The Merlau White Woman used to wander between the castle and the Lord's Mill...

The Sleeping Shepherd before the Merlau Castle: The White Woman appears to a shepherd who dozed off watching the castle being built. She wants to give him her ring of keys, but be is struck with fear and runs away. We like to imagine he rested himself on the meadow right in front of our house...

The Wounded Confirmation Child: In the late days of the Merlau castle, a child plays hide and seek with its peers only to doze off. When it wakes, everybody seems gone and the White Woman appears and without words offers her ring of keys to the child. The child panics and starts running, but the White Woman hurls her keys after the child, wounding its head...

Merla (Merian)
Merla (Merian)
Castle Ruins of Merlau, ca. 1853
Castle Ruins of Merlau, ca. 1853