The East Prussian village of Osterwein (Polish Ostravin), in the former Kreis (county) of Osterode (Polish Ostroda), was probably a Vorwerk, a collection of homes and small plots that collected around and before the Gut, the larger estate. In this case, the cottages and gardens of the residents cluster about the crossroads and line the road that continues southeast toward Wittigwalde. Green fields and pastures stretch up and down the slopes from the road. A few brick buildings stand beneath the shade of tall trees as one nears the Gut. In 1995 the two-story brick manor house of the former owner was nothing but a burned-out shell, although the barns and sheds still stood around the edges of the rectangular yard just as they appear on the map. A narrow track behind the ruin leads down to the Osterweiner See (Lake). The road to the southwest connects to the main highway, which leads back to Ostroda. The Gut dates back at least to the beginning of the 19th century. A history of the area mentions that Osterwein, owned by the wife of a local judge named Hardt, was pillaged by French soldiers as Napoleon's army occupied the province after the Prussian defeat at the Battle of Eylau in 1807.
The road to Wittigwalde (Polish Wigwald) curves through a cool wood of evergreens with the church prominent at the approach to the Wittigwalde community, another former Gut. In the East Prussian days, the Gergolla family attended Evangelical services there and Fritz Heinrich was christened to the sound of German hymns. At the edge of the churchyard overgrown with weeds lay the iron grave marker of a late Lutheran pastor, and the brass door handle still says "Gott mit euch". Wittigwalde is now a Roman Catholic church with no resident priest.
ABOUT THE MAP:
This is a scanned section only of a 1:25000 scale map (4 cm=1 km), ca. 1936, distributed by Institut fuer Angewandte Geodaesie (IfAG).
PRUSSIAN ROOTS * HEINRICHS & ROLOFFS in AMERICA * ZIEMER'S TREE