The Geesefellows

In our area most of the inhabitants of the different villages and cities have nicknames which are reflecting on historical people or on the special activities the people did to increase their income. For example the people of  Weißenborn are called „Thornsmen“, those of  Grebendorf „Sandhares“ and those of Eschwege are called „Tootlemen“. This enumeration could be continued. In former times the people of Datterode were called „Juniperknockers“ because they harverested the berries of the juniper-tree by knocking at the trunks to sell those berries to chemist’s shops at the county capital of Eschwege from which they produced medicine. A little more income during hard times.

While the religious group of the hugenotts imigrated from the french area of Alsace the family-kin of the „Fischers“ came to Datterode. They bought and sold chicken, ducks and of course geese. They went over the countryside with a back-basket called „Kötze“ (the original is in our museum). First by foot and with a dog-pulled cart, later with horse-pulled carts, then by motorbike at least by motorcars. Over the times of tradings, the “Fischer Dynastie” was known at the cities and all over the countryside from Eisenach (Thuringia) to Kassel (district capital in northern Hesse).

So the nickname „Geesefellows“ was developped for the people of Datterode. Some Fischers are still living in our village. While one of the traders died in 2007, a second one still continues that profession, a third one ist trading with cattle today.

In  2007 the Heimatverein built a monument at the Netra-creek close to the village green. Draft for the figure, which was made by stonemason Jan Müller, was a photograph of Jakob Fischer. The figure itself stood for years at the bus stop at the main road looking lost. Now it has a dignified place at the point where over hunderts of years the geese crossed the village green to the Netra-creek.  Monument opening

Many years ago tediously uphill
with Fischer-back-basket, the dog in front of the cart.
Underway early in the morning time buying feathered live stock,
by foot over dusty streets,
the old Fischer Dynasty.
Known as geesefellows for miles around
with horse and cart in neighbourland.
They bought chicken and geese and what ever was found
highly loaded on the wagon
in nice Thruringia-land.
Clapping hooves, starlit night,
on the way home living freight.
Bought chicken and geese and what ever was found
highly loaded on their wagon,
stay safe you Thuringia-land.
Neighbours and needed to lend a hand,
pluck the feathers and wrap, off to Kassel then.
The best of all christmas-geese where only found at the stall
of the Datterode geesefellows,
three cheers for the Ringgau-land

Karl Beck

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