Fichtenbach

(chlick here for German version)

Three years after the expanded forests south of the Cerchovs at Boehmen and here by the city Taus had been felled in 1707, the Glassmaster Georg Schmaus established the Glasshütte (glass hut) Fichtenbach in the upper valley of the Cold Pastritz.The raw material wood for potash production and for beaconing the glass stove was plentifully available. The Clearing area rapidly grew into a Glasmaker settlement: in 1739 there were already 151 inhabitants.  

Anton Fuchs took over the Hütte (hut) from Schmaus (see also II. 5. ). From now on it would carry his name, even up to the present day, the official designation Fichtenbach remained exclusively for official correspondence, while the local population spoke of the Fuchshüttn (fox huts). In 1780, Anton Fuchs’ son Ignaz finally acquired the Fichtenbacher forest in a hereditary lease from the city of Taus. His descendant Benedikt Fuchs lost the hut and forest again because of high debts. 1823 he sold it for 73,220 Guldens to the glass industrial Count Philipp Kinsky, who moved his Stubenbach Enterprise here. In the possession of the Family Kinsky, glass production flowered once again  in the Fuchshütte. They adapted to the requirements of the time, extended and took on a Kanzelspiegelofen (pulpit mirror furnace) as well as new Spiegelschleif (mirror sharpening) and polishing works.

 In 1846 a new Hütte was built with two furnace. However, this burned down after only seven months. To assist in understanding, it’s mentioned that in the old glassworks only the furnace was bricked, the remaining building parts consisted of wood. Reconstruction started again quickly, so both glass furnaces could continue production after only a short interruption. One of them worked on “Bandl” , which means it produced small plates, while the second furnace manufactured raw mirror glass. By the end of the fifties, the old Hütte  was also changed over from HohIglas (bottle glass?) to mirror gIass. In1872 the Fuchshütte was sold  to the company Kupfer and Glaser and 1922 the city of Taus brought the forest property back into its possession. 

The economic basis for the Fichtenbacher population was the glass industry. It’s ups and downs can also be found reflected in the  population statistics: 1739 sources register 151 inhabitants, in 1880 it is 703, 1910 - 458, 1939 only 279. The Fichtenbacher glasswork was strongly reduced in 1908, because substantial production departments were moved to Kriegern. In 1934 the remaining business stopped working also. As was the case with many glassworks in the Bayerisch-Boehmischen forest, they had reached a dilemma, with the decreasing wood reserves the hut industry was forced to relocate and change to coal.

From the remote forest valley area they moved away and preferred locations at main traffic routes with railway connection in order to remain competitive. The original basis of existence was taken from the remaining population in Fichtenbach. There were acquisition possibilities in Furth, but mainly in the forest industry in the service of the city Taus, which came with all awkward attendant circumstances as described in chapter 11. 2.

In language and mentality the Fichtenbacher differed clearly from the remaining inhabitants of the Vollmauer region. They were immigrant German glassmakers from Böhmen, thus originally non-resident skilled workers, who had retained their own dialect colouring to a large extent. The “Fuchshüttner” were seen everywhere as a merry Völkchen (people), because of their preference for music and singing. Sereneness seemed to be the basic element of their philosophy.  

Fichtenbach belonged to the municipality and parish Vollmau. Today nothing more remains of the Glasmacherdorf only the former “Herrenhaus” (Manor House)