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Dithmarschen farmstead becomes derelict because planning policies prevented its sale for residential purposes

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Comments (9)

Ian Stehbens on July 13, 2007

I have had difficulty locating this building on Google Earth. I thought it was at Edemannswisch or Edemannswurth. However I am unable to recognize it there, if my memory is correct. The best match seems to be this location at Wehren. If any local person from the Dithmarschen is able to help me, I would appreciate either correction or affirmation. Incidentally, I also have a B&W photo of this building taken in 1978, should anyone be interested to see it in when it was fully operational.

songv on December 5, 2008

I am almost certain that foto shows the building near my cousins farm. I will be sending him the link, to make sure. I would like to see the 1978 picture, if you could send it.

Ian Stehbens on December 5, 2008

Dear songv,

I trust it is the building near your cousin's farm. Since writing the note above on July 13, 2007 it has been correctly located, which I am sure your cousin will confirm this if he lives in the Dithmarschen.

It will take me a liitle time because of my current end-of -year workload for me to scan and upload the 1978 photo of this building when it was still operational.

I look forward to further conversation with you about all this. My ancestors left Poppenhusen and Woehrden in 1865, though some of their relative descendants still live in the area and are quite well known.

It is special to hear from you.

Warm wishes from Sydney,


Ian Stehbens on February 4, 2009

Dear songv,

At last I have uploaded the 1978 photo of this building. There is no doubt that these two photographs are of the same building. I am pleased that on returning 27 years later I could remember the building that I had photographed all those years before. I had more difficulty locating it on GE than I did in the car!

I hope now to hear from you again.



Margrit M. Berger (S… on February 5, 2009

Lovely b/w photo and interesting story, Ian! Such a pity that the house is not being restored!

My best wishes, May

Ian Stehbens on February 5, 2009

Thanks, May. It really was quite a significant time of discovery, on each occasion that I was in the Dithmarschen. I will admit to being quite emotional on both occasions, for until I began inquiring, this part of our history had not been passed down to the family.

On the second visit I was able to meet with locals to whom we were related, and they more enthralled than I was excited, for they turned out to have living relatives who were first generation migrants to Australia, whom I had discovered and knew well. Therefore I was the emissary between living first cousins, and so I became the bearer of photographs in both directions. It was a fascinating, and privileged experience for me.

Because of your special interests May, including your professional interest in architecture, I can understand the sense of loss you might feel to see such an example of traditional rural architecture and this heritage item becoming derelict. Similar structures nearby are being re-thatched and upgraded as highly valued and modern homes.

To have matched my 1978 and 2005 photos was pleasing.

Warmest regards,


Margrit M. Berger (S… on February 7, 2009

Thank you, dear Ian, for telling about your interesting experience in finding not only roots, but some relatives as well. What a surprise it must have been for all of you!

Warm regards, May

songv on December 3, 2009

I am sorry to say that when I travelled to Dithmarschen this summer the house was completely gone, not a trace of it was left. It really broke my heart.

Ian Stehbens on December 7, 2009

Dear songv,

I certainly understand your emotion! But I am pleased now that I have recorded it in 1978 and 2005 and both images are on Google Earth and here in Panoramio.

Thank you for letting me know of its demise.


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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 10, 2007
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Ian Stehbens