Kurlandische Verkehr und Adresbuch, 1892/1893
The following translation has been provided by Carol Jackson, a researcher for the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The original document is included below the translation. If you can help clarify names or translations, please contact me.
Zabeln, which lies in the Talsen Circle (Talsen region), originated as an area knitted within the protection of the Ordensburg Zabeln of the Teutonic Order of Prussia. Eberhard Von Monheim, Chancellor of the Teutonic Order of Prussia between 1322 and 1341, developed the town. Zabeln began as a place of single house dwellings, whose number increased with the passage of time. By the 16th century Zabeln grew to the point that it was reaching Flecken [a neighboring town]. It is said that the sprawling town of Zabeln was larger than it is now.* As a consequence of a battle (allegedly between Russians and Swedes), many structures were burned down. The “freewu kapi”, the burial grounds along the Abau River, is where the battle occurred, according to local legend. However, the reality is that the “freewu kapi” cemetery lies on land that had already been used for burial of bodies even before the battle; multiple grave excavations have confirmed this fact. There is no evidence of a mass grave. The excavations uncovered remnants of exclusively single graves. Judging by the circumstances found in the single graves, the burials occurred during different periods of time. The assumption that this place named freewu kapi was a burial place only for those who died in one battle, is therefore a faulty one. According to Ceumerns “Liefl. Schaubuehne” “Theaters” (written in 1690), the Orden Castle** was situated right on the banks of the Abau. At this location only a few remnants of the foundation of the castle are currently visible.
Houses have been built above parts of the former castle’s foundation. Traces of the ramparts are still visible.
In the year 1836 Zabeln was comprised of 4 stone houses and 19 wooden houses with over 200 inhabitants. According to the census of December 29, 1881 Zabeln had grown to 1404 inhabitants. The population has grown to 2000 now.
On the anniversary of Riga’s founding in 1567, Gotthard Kettler and the Courland Knights created a fund for establishing 70 churches, among them the Pfarrkirche (Pastor’s Church) of Zabeln. The date the Pfarrkirche was built is not known for certain. By 1600 the church was in such disrepair that the Kirchspiel involved Herzog Friedrich Duke Frederick with its repair, which eventuated in its reconstruction. As a consequence a stone church was built, which by 1665 had been standing for a time.
The same church was partially remodeled in 1857. By 1876 it was completely renovated. The church tower was built in 1682; the oldest bell [in the church tower of the Pfarrkirche came from the former Chapel of the Castle of the Teutonic Order. The bell was poured into its mold in the year 1400.
Towering above the towns of Flecken and Zabeln is the Pilskalns**** upon which theWoodCastle, Holzburg, was built. The Holzburg was the castle of the native inhabitants of Courland up until the 13th century. Later a cloister***** supposedly was located at the same spot as the Wood Castle of Courland.
Later in time, at the same place was an iron canon, which for years was fired on the Feast Day of St John. That canon is now set in Flecken. Subsequently, a scale was brought to the place in Zabeln where the canon had stood.
At the beginning of the 19th century Flecken had an extensively German craftsman and artisan base***: hatmakers, skilled glass crafters, blacksmiths, tailors, skilled craftsmen in gold, and retail salespeople. Now, with one exception, these trades and businesses are in the hands of Jews with a smaller part of the businesses having been transferred to the hands of Latvians.
- * In 1892, when this document was published
- **The Castle built by the Teutonic Order to function as a fortress, was called an Ordensburg.
- ***This might mean of German heritage or German speaking, because immigration had been encouraged from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany by the Teutonic Knights.
- ****PiIskalns – the name of a mountain
- The cloister could have been a monastery or a convent. Given that Teutonic Knights and Monks settled in the Courland, it was most likely a monastery.
I. Organizations of the State and Town
- Regional Police. … Peter Rauling…
- Post and Telegraph Department. Chief: Alexander Marlow….
- Health Department: Dr. Paul Wagner, Dr. Jeannot Kallmeyer, Oscar Donker, pharmacist
- Real Estate Commissions and Flecken Administration. Members: F. Schmidt, Chr. Loewenthal, J. Hosiasson, C. Seeberg.
- Justice of the Peace… Alexander M. Scheremet
- Examining Judge.
- Private Lawyer: Johannes Wagner
- Daughter School … F. Neufeld…
- Private Elementary School of Mrs. Pauline Perrau
- School for Organists: Teacher: J. Steinhart.
- Private Hebrew Elementary School. Teacher: Schlossberg.
- Evangelical Lutheran Church
- Synagogue. Rabbi: Hirsch Kalba. Board: Hirsch Friedberg, Jossel Hirschberg, Ephraim Rabbinowitz
- Cemeteries: 1) Evangelical Lutheran and 1) Hebrew
II. Essential Organizations of the Community, Associations and Insurance
- Diaconal Hospital (founded 1888) with 8 beds. …
- Savings and Loan Bank (est. 1882). …
- Burial Fund (est. 1888). …
- Volunteer Fire Department (est. 1882) …
- Insurance. Russian Fire Insurance. Agent: D. Donfer…. Life Insurance…. Agent: J. Wagner
III. Trades, Businesses and Industries
- Merchants, retail store owners – R. Uhrensberg: Manufactured goods. J. Dupper: Colonial goods and wine shop. H. Friedberg: manufactured, iron, colonial and leather goods. J. Hosiassohn: large warehouse for brandy, spirits, colonial and iron goods and bookstore. Ephraim Goldberg: manufactured goods.
- Small businesses – E. Blumberg, Nochum Blumenau: Colonial goods. Samuel Glaser, Ch. Dreyer, Hirsch Friedberg, Marcus Friedlander, E. Goldberg: manufactured goods. Abraham Marcus Hosiassohn, Moses Kahn: material goods. Schaie Kabiller, J. Kabiller, Ch. Loewenthal, J. Loewenthal, R. Loewenthal, K. Leuchter, S. Lieberthal, Ludwig Springfeld;: Fruit and delicatessen. R. Guttner, J. Randschus, Ch. Weinberg: diverse.
- Categories of Small Business
- Pharmacist – Oscar Donfer
- Bakery – Steinhart, Gramper
- Beer and Brewery – J. Hosiassohn, Strauss, Erben
- Cooper – Carl Selberg, Grunthal
- Brandy and Spirits Distillery, Colonial and Iron Wares: J. Hosiassohn
- Book store – J. Hosiassohn
- Colonial wares and winery: J. Hosiassohn
- Turner – H. Frischfeld, R. Grabowsth, L. Zerling
- Iron, Colonial, Leather and manufactured goods – H. Friedberg
- Dyer – E. Wichert
- Butcher – Master Butcher and sausage manufacturer W. Frennsdorf, C. Grimm.
- Gardener – J. Saile
- Caster, brass founder – Wicinsth
- Tanneries – H. Friedberg, M. Galant, H. Mahler
- Tinsmith – Diamant
- Candlemaker – Mendel Schneider
- Manufactured wares – R. Uhrenserg, C. Goldberg
- Painter – Klein, Wichert
- Mason – Rosenthal
- Cap maker – Jossel Blumberg
- Cleaning business – C. Lawendel, Wichert
- Saddler – L. Konig…
- “Schmiede” – … Hausmann, F. Kalewitsch, Jahn Robesch… J. Raudschus. Goldschmied Schoenberg.
- Tailor – Kuhn, S. Dreyer, Kahn, Kasriel.
- Shoemaker – L. Nelius, H. Putrig, J. Davidoff, Master shoemaker J. Wilke, J. Schmiedenberg, N. Gandel, W. Hirschberg, Ziegler, Butz, H. Gandel, Jossel Hirschberg
- Carpenter – Meister Adolf Grabowsky
- Potter – Asterode, Pezold, Carl Perlau, Jeannot Kunstler
- Watchmaker – H. Theuermann, Melamet, Wehrsch
- Carpenters – H. Eichmann, Zeilert
- Industrial Businesses – Beer and method-brewers – Jankel Hosiassohn and Strauss inheritors. Tanneries of Hirsch Freidberg, Moses Galant, Hirsch Mahler.
- Travel Businesses
- Hotel “St. Petersburg”, Owner Rudowitz
- Taverns: J. Fren. Neuenkrug: Schwan. Kirschenkrug: P. Schon Stuhrenkrug: J. Hosiassohn. Karl Schleinsky. Wessenkrug: W. Helms. Behrenkrug: W. Grimm. Altenkrug: Ch. Blumenthal, Spalwenkrug: Israelson. Neuenkrug: Fritz Wehrich. Tiltenkrug: Janis Kapp. Kahnenkrug: J. Eichwald. Leyenkrug: R. Bach. Zahlekrug: Benjaminson.
- Annual Market: the second Thursday after the 2nd of February
- Weekly Market: every Thursday
- Notice: The small steamship called Puck, which belongs to the watchmaker Theuermann, embarks on excursions on the Abau River to Gypsy Island.