Supplementary Appendix: Weende Paper Mill

Weender Papiermühle bei Göttingen (after 1751; Herzog August Bibliothek; Top. Museums./Signatur App. 1/326):


Weende is located just north of Göttingen (J. F. Saltzenberg and H. F. Irsengarth, Carte der Gegend um Göttingen auf 2. und 3. Meilen [between 1803 and 1816]):


Here an illustration of the Paper Pill in 1813 in a book for new students at the university (anonymous, Der Göttinger Student. Oder Bemerkungen, Rathschläge und Belehrungen über Göttingen und das Studenten-Leben auf der Georgia Augusta [Göttingen 1813], plate following p. 74):


Concerning the Paper Mill, see Heinrich Veldeck (G. H. Klippel), Göttingen und seine Umgebungen: Ein Taschenbuch vorzüglich für Studirende und Reisende (Göttingen 1824) 71–74:

This designation refers to a pleasant mill situated to the east in a deep ravine behind the village of Weende and frequented by professors, students, and residents from the nearby town during their morning and evening walks. The beautiful road leading out to it, one quite comfortable for either riding or walking, takes the visitor through fertile cornfields situated between Göttingen and Weende itself. Although this road only touches on the upper part of the village, those wishing to stroll there from one of the village’s busy inns can follow a narrow but quite pleasant footpath along the Weende Brook up as far as its source.

Here the mill ca. 1787 (watercolor 1787 by Johann Centurius Hoffmannsegg):


The mill itself is situated at the entrance to one of the bottoms surrounded by hills, which the springs, flowing from within, have gradually hollowed out. Although the surrounding area is restricted, it is quite pleasant. The edges, the steep interior precipices of this natural hollow, and even part of the small valley bottom are forested with tall oaks, beeches, and various fruit trees.

The forest located on the upper rise of the mountain probably earlier extended down to this lower area as well; as it is, well-cultivated fields now lie between the two. The clear, cool streams emerging almost surreptitiously within the hollow flow together into a small pond and then, immediately on flowing out, busily drive the mill’s wheel. The brook, now under the name Weende, then winds its way toward the village, where it drives several other mills as well before flowing into the Leine River.

Charming paths wind their way out of the valley bottom in gentle or steep meanderings along the hillside incline; here rich vegetation grows round about us, and here and there a quiet place of repose beckons us to take a brief respite. Quite without noticing, we soon reach the top of the hill, from which we are then rewarded with a beautiful view of the plain.

Weender Papiermühle bei Göttingen (after 1751; Herzog August Bibliothek; Top. Museums./Signatur App. 1/326):


The pristine spring water, especially when the sun is shining cheerfully, its rays penetrating through the tree foliage and reflecting off the pond, offers a very pleasant, salutary sight indeed. The brook flows quite swiftly, but also gently, its bed profusely covered by perpetually green water plants. This quiet, peaceful calm is interrupted only by the murmuring of the wind and twittering of the birds.

Here our hearts cozily open and broaden at our friends’ side. Pleasant images of the past hover about, sweet thoughts of a better existence stimulate us. In earlier times, family celebrations often took place here among friends. The company gathered together at a certain time, sang, played, jested, and amused themselves in all sorts of ways. Modest fireworks were usually set off in the evening, after which the company then returned to town both happy and contented.

Unfortunately, the inclination for these cheerful rural celebrations, which, if enjoyed in moderation, certainly were not in the least harmful, has quite waned over the past few years. In the meantime, however, one can still secure quite good refreshments from the miller, albeit not at cheap prices.

Weende Paper Mill ca. 1795/1800 by Christian Andreas Besemann (1760–1818):


Julius Conrad Müller, Versuch einer kurzen mahlerischen und charackteristischen Beschreibung, der berühmten Universität Göttingen und derselben benachbarten Oerter . . . Für Studirende und andere Liebhaber (Göttingen 1790) 10–11:

North of town, in the midst of fertile fields and barely a half hour from the university, lies the pleasant village Wehnde [Weende]. Because of its proximity and the finished road running through it, it is also a place of amusement sought out by students. Notwithstanding that the auberge there is too modest given the proximity of such a university, one does nonetheless find a quite pleasant garden area with many arbors that are often illuminated as well as a ninepin alley.

Just to the side of this locale, a paper mill with a unique bosquet [Fr., “grove, thicket”] is situated within a bottom area, somewhat concealed along the incline of a hill, and quite solitary. Entire caravans of sons of the muses, professors, and ladies pilgrimage out here for various sorts of entertainment. —

Representative illustration of open-air, bucolic socializing at the time, albeit against a clearly Grecized but common enough backdrop at the time (Taschenbuch für das Jahr 1819: Der Liebe und Freundschaft gewidmet [1812]):


Over there a ball, deftly tossed, rolls across a flat surface with the goal of diminishing the number nine. — Over here, a sweet gentleman presents charming objects to his heart’s beloved in graceful conversation. — There, separated off from the rest of the company beneath the shade of a linden, amid the murmuring rush of a brook bubbling out of the ground, sits a future philosopher, reading Mendelssohn concerning the immortality of the soul, while a couple of academic politicians reestablish the lost balance of power in Europe. Amid it all, strains of rural music cheer everyone’s heart, and fresh milk refreshes even the most weary limbs.

Translation © 2011 Doug Stott