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Did You Know

Henry White Farm…

Henry White Farm…

The White Experimental Farm, located on Hwy 158 between Belleville and Millstadt (part of the old Belleville Prairie) was owned by Henry White who had built the old White Schoolhouse, and that Virginia Vollmer Brieasacher, prior resident of Old Oak Estate Farm, lived at the White Farm as a girl and went to the White Schoolhouse.  Virginia's family rented the White farmstead from Henry's sister, Mi…

Native American Camp…

Native American Camp…

Old Oak Estate Farm rest on what was once an Native American camp, mostly likely belonging to the Tamaroa or Cahoika Tribes. Nearby natural creeks and ponds made the land good for hunting and agriculture.…

Once Called Belleville Prairie…

Once Called Belleville Prairie…

Did you know that Old Oak Estate Farm was situated in an area that was once called Belleville Prairie? It was southwest of Belleville and northeast of Millstadt, west of Roachtown, and northwest of Smithton (formally Georgetown). George Briesacher bought the farmland from John Teeter in 1854.…

Subject to Four Governments…

Subject to Four Governments…

The land that now makes Old Oak Estate Farm has been historically a subject to four government: Illiniwek Confederation (1500s to 1673), France (1673 to 1763), Great Britain (1763 to 1783), and the United States (1783 to Present).…

Union Hill Cemetery…

Union Hill Cemetery…

Union Hill Cemetery, located between Belleville and Millstadt off of Hwy 158, interns many founding members of Millstadt, Belleville Prairie, and Roachtown.  It's the oldest cemetery in the area.  The ancestors of Old Oak Estate Farm (iesacher, Vollmer/Fullmer, Hatfields..)  are interned there as well as the ancestors of the famous mid-century billionaire, ard Hughese…

Vetted Odonata Records…

Vetted Odonata Records…

Great news! Old Oak Estate Farm now has three (3) vetted records with Dragonfly Society of the Americas' OdonataCentral website. Odonata is the species name for dragonflies and damselflies. Learning about these fantastic fliers has been a wonderful education.…


Offwiller, Alsace, France


Offwiller, pronounced (Off-vee-ler) in french and (Off-vi-ler) in german, is located in the Alsace (Al-sayce) region of France.  Alsase is located in the southeastern part of France along the border of Deustchland (Germany).  Offwiller is situated on the south piedmont of the Offwiller National Forest.  The land can be classified somewhere between high hills to low mountains.  The scenery is outstanding! Most of the buildings in Offwiller are made from local stone (Sandstone).  It is of good quality. The sandstone has been requested and shipped to Hagenau, France to build their church.

 

The population is about 1800 people.  Most of the residents of Offwiller work in Hagenau, which is about 23 kilometers (15 miles) to the southeast. During the 1930s, the occupation that most Offwillers worked in was in iron works.  Of course, during the time that our Briesachers lived there, the main occupation was "cultervitor", french for farmer.  Our Johannes Briesacher was a tailor while he lived in Offwiller.

According to Phil Brachet and Phil Hauss of the Les Amis du Musée d'Offwiller, one of the oldest building still existing was built during the 1500 hundreds (16th century). It exist in part of of a larger building.

16th Century  Building in Ofwiller.
16th century building.

During the time that our Briesacher's lived there, the main language was Alsacian a German dilect in France.  Today the streets of Offwiller have two names.  One in Alascian and the other in French. According to Les Amis du Musée d'Offwiller, it wasn't until recently that France allowed them to start using Alascian names.  The light blue signs are French and the dark blue sign are in Alsacian.  The ancestral Briesacher home(s) is located at the intersection of Rue des Tilleuls and Rue des Mineurs in  Offwiller.

Street sign in  Offwiller in both Alsacian and French.
See a street sign with both languages.

Offwiller is small and charming.  One of it's traditions is taking a clay tile that is used on the roofs and painting it to hang on the outside of your door with your address on it.  Sorry that there are not any pictures of these clay painted address tiles.  We are going to try to do this tradition on our home here at the Briesacher-Hayes Farm. There are some very pretty painted clay tiles in Offwiller.

The religion history of Offwiller is that of Protestant. The only  church in Offwiller is Protestant and it is located on the Rue de Liberation.  It is unusal for a town to have only one church because there is usually a Catholic church and a Protestant  church but Offwiller maintain it's Protestant faith therefore only one church exist. Our Briesacher ancestors were of protestant faith according to some writtings.  According to our records Johannes Briesacher , his wife, his sons and their wives attended and where buried behind the Union Hill Methodist Church, a protestant church, that was located between Belleville and Millstadt in St. Clair County, Illinois.

Offwiller Church.

See the only church in Offwiller.

One of the most interesting buildings in Offwiller is the laundry house. Residents would come here to wash there clothes.  the water was pumped down to the laundry house via a pump station.  Offwiller's water comes from the hills on the North side of Offwiller.

Laundry house  in Offwiller Laundry House
Offwiller's pumphouse. Pumphouse

If you have some time take a look at our Offwiller Gallery. The gallery is from our trip to Offwiller on 2 December 2007. You'll find its link on the right.  I think you'll find Offwiller as charming as we did. (Coming soon.)