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The Knatz Ancestral Family Home In Niedenstein

In 1987, about two weeks after I was married, I took a trip by myself to visit Niedenstein. I recall waking up and hearing an advertisement for low fares to frankfurt on the radio and so I decided to go. While I was there Armin Reinhard arranged for me to see the Knatz ancestral farm which was still located within the walls of the town. The farm house is located at No. 77 Unterstrasse. The annotated aerial photograph of Niedenstein shows the location of the Johann Knatz farmhouse and the house of Justus Knatz.

The Johann Knatz farm has been purchased by the Schmidt family and they were in the process of restoring it. The house was built in 1817 and remained in the family until the early 1960’s when Armin’s family sold the farm because they wanted more room. It was the practice of the local government to try and keep the farm equipment off the streets in the center of town so some of their fields had been traded for fields further out of town. The family who bought the farm in the 1960’s (Grunwald’s) let the place get run down. The Schmidt family bought the home in about 1985 and they kindly let me in and allowed me to take pictures. Mr. Schmidt told me he found lettering on the outside of the house, that he also had restored which reads “Johann Jost Knatz and Anna Catharina Lechthaler. They respect God, 1817 Jakob Heinemann.” Heinemann was the builder. The Schmidt’s has moved some of the walls to make the rooms bigger. I learned that the farm and the living quarters were all part of the same structure.

The Knatz family farm in Niedenstein

House Front Showing the names Johnann Jost Knatz and Anna Catharina Lechthaler

Rear of the house

House owner Mr. Schmidt showing how house was constructed

The Knatz house is built on what remained of the original walls around the city. I took this picture in 1987 but I do not remember the cat being there.

An old picture of the Knatz home in the same location as the one I took in 1987. With Sophie Schroder, born Knatz and her sister Charlotte Knatz

At the opening of the Niedenstein Museum in 2010, I used a hand-held scanner to make a copy of the page of the notebook that went with the display model of the town showing all the old homes. This sheet documents the ownership of the Knatz Ancestral Home.