Houses on the Hellweg in Geseke, Germany

Dickmann House on the Hellweg, May 2008

Shown in the photo above is the Dickmann House, built on the Hellweg in 1664, which has been converted into a Heimatmuseum. It is located at the intersection of Alter Steinweg. Visitors to the museum can see how a house of a wealthy resident of Geseke was furnished in the 17th century.

Sometime between 400 and 700 AD, Jewish merchants began building shops along an old military and market road called the Hellweg, which means "clear way" in English. This road runs from Dortmund to Paderborn, through several little towns and villages including Geseke. Since 1965, the road has bypased the town and is now called Bundesstrasse 1, or B1, while the original road through the town is now part of historical old Geseke.

Houses on the Hellweg, May 1995

When I first visited Geseke in May 1995, the flowering trees on the street were small, as shown in the photo above and the photo below. When I visited again in May 2008, the trees had grown so tall that they now obscure some of the houses, particularly the Dickmann house shown at the top of this page.

Some of the houses on the Hellweg had been repainted, and even remodeled, since my visit in May 1995. Compare the two photos below which show a door that has been completely changed.

Hellweg doorway, May 1995

Same Hellweg doorway, May 2008

This photo below, taken in May 1995, shows one of many houses on the Hellweg which have writing on the building. When I visited in May 2008, the writing on some of the Hellweg houses had faded to the point that it was no longer readable, particularly on the Kramer-Sampson house, which is shown on a separate page.

Many houses on the Hellweg have writing on the building

Brightly painted doorway at #8 Hellweg, May 1995

House on the Hellweg, May 1995

Tavern at the end of the Hellweg, May 1995

Door into tavern on the Hellweg, May 1995

A book on the history of the town, which I purchased in Geseke, mentioned that a family named Goedde had a business on this spot in the 17th century. The name of the tavern shown in the two photos above had been changed by May 2008 when I visited Geseke for the second time. The Gödde family in Geseke was related by marriage to the Samson and Stein families in Geseke. Members of the Samson and Stein families emigrated from Geseke to Missouri in 1852.

Hellweg Houses - slate tile

Kramer-Sampson house

Jewish Families in Geseke

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