Pinch Me Places: St. Marie Aux Mines

In 2010, the lovely Robin and I managed to navigate the French countryside well enough to find the town of Sainte-Marie-Aux-Mines, the one locale in which we know with confidence our ancestor Jakob Hochstetler once lived.

It was much larger than I had expected, with block upon block of shops and restaurants, and at least four churches, though at least two of them seemed to have long been shuttered).
The Catholic church of Sainte Madeline, however, was clearly active (though because it was built in 1747, our ancestor would not have known this structure (though he could possibly have known some of the people who built it).

This building, however (above) would have certainly been known to our ancestor, built as it was in 1596. Today it is the hotel and restaurant Wistub or Winstub (both spellings appear on the building's walls).

It was definitely a "pinch me" place, to walk the streets and see the sights in a town where my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather and his family once lived, in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century, in the years prior to my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Jacob's emigration to the American continent in 1738.

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