Every story has its beginning. Ours begins in 1611, when the Weißer family took over the “Rindenmühle” mill. A lot has changed since then.
Hard bread is not hard – no bread at all is hard! This was certainly the basic reason for why the millers and landlords out in the countryside were considered the extremely influential in the Middle Ages. This was also true in the city of Villingen. Here the millers lived according to a special right, the “miller’s right”. Although located outside the town, they were not considered as expatriates but as full citizens, and the land of the Villingen mills was treated as if it was located in the town, although it was under the jurisdiction of the Counts of Fürstenberg until the 16th century. The millers living outside the town (grain, oil, bark and saw millers) belonged to the important bakers’ guild. At that time, the ordinary citizens were only allowed to appear before the town council in their coat and hat, the miller alone was allowed to appear before the council in his working clothes, the sack under his arm.
In 1358, the town council issued a mill order, one of the oldest in the country;
which stipulates, among other things, that each mill may have only two partners. Every miller and grinder had to swear before grinding not to take more than their appointed wage; the miller’s wife also had to swear. At that time there was also a supervisory instance. Two officials were appointed on the day of the solstice, they had to swear to reprimand all violations of the miller’s regulations, later they were called squatters. The size of the frames was determined in the mill regulations. The millers’ livestock farming was also determined.
A mill ordinance of 19.10.1680 forbids the millers to sell white flour and semolina, it demands that the miller “employ good servants and not horsemen who only deal well with other people for their detriment”. The miller is not allowed to keep fattening pigs and only one sow and two pigs a year. He is allowed to keep one rooster and twelve hens, geese and ducks.
The allowed number of livestock is determined individually by protocol. “If anyone keeps more steeds than allowed by the protocol, he must put away two cows for each of these steeds; two sheep are valid for one cow”. Again and again, the millers had opposed the government and had fought against the restrictions on their livestock farming that the council had decreed.
1611-1860 Bark mill of the Rotgerberberzunft, from 1860 grain mill, today owned by Franz Weißer, mill at the Kneippbad. Once the bark mill produced flour and tanning agents for finest leather. Since 1611 the bark mill has been owned by the Weißer family. The mill was converted into a grain mill at the beginning of the 18th century. The water wheel and the mechanical equipment from that time, mainly made of wood, are still in existence.
Today the mill is used for environmentally friendly energy management. The heat is produced with pellets from local forests, the electricity is generated with water power and photovoltaic. Two combined heat and power plants with heat recovery conserve the resources of nature. Since 1989 the former homestead has been run as a hotel and restaurant.