Chronicles: 140 years Guesthouse Maßem

Where our name originates we can’t say exactly but because surnames are often derived from professions, cities, regions or landmarks it is believed that our surname is probably derived of the river Maas, a river which originates in France and flows through Belgium and the Netherlands, before flowing into the North Sea.

As always it was all about power. The Catholic noble families fought against the Protestant nobility of the Huguenots, which started with a massacre in Champagne on March 1, 1562.
On August 23, 1572, in one night (Bartholomew) on the orders of King mother Catherine de Medici, 3000 Huguenots in Paris were murdered (during what is now known as the Parisian blood wedding). Eventually, 20.000 people fell victim to this religious war .

On May 13, 1598 , October 13, 1598 and November 8, 1685, a total of 500,000 Huguenots fled to Potsdam and the Hochwald.

According to the stories these Huguenots were mostly wealthy merchants and highly qualified artisans. Most came from Champagne and Lorraine, on the banks of the river Maas.

And that’s how we came to Schillingen , the heart of the Hochwald . The villages Heddert , Schillingen, Mandern , Waldweiler and Kell are to this day surrounded on all sides by woods, woods that if seen from a birds eye view are in the shape of a heart. The heart of the Hochwald.

The look of the Hochwald had been dominated by the main sources of income, forestry and agriculture. Guesthouse Maßem began its history over 240 years ago as a farm. About 100 years later an inn was added to the farm and almost 60 years ago a butchery was added to it.

In the year 1768, the great-, great-, great-, great grandfather of Jonathan and Samuel Massem was born. He was employed as "Ackerer", an old name for peasant farmer. From his marriage with Barbara Göden from Bonerath came forth (amongst others) Peter Maßem, who was born on March 7, 1801 .

He also became a farmer and he married Elisabeth Stüber from Heddert . On February 4, 1843 a son  named Joseph was born .

His profession was initially farmer until he and his first wife Anna Amalie Koch opened an inn in 1870. After eight-years of marriage his wife Anna died. A few years later this great-great grandfather married Helena Eiden from Hermeskeil. On September 8th 1894 Nikolaus Maßem was born.

Knowing he would be inheriting the inn he had to look for a suitable wife. He found her in Susanna Treinen from Kell, who had qualifications as a cook in the Felsen Keller in Bad-Kreuznach. On June 14, 1919 they married and the couple had five sons. After the eldest son Erich was killed in the Second World War and two others died at a young age, Rudi Maßem, the second youngest of the brothers took over the trading and Günter had to prepare for running the inn.

Moreover, he learned the trade of a butcher, received his degree in 1954 and opened his own butchery at the Guesthouse. Both strived to ensure quality.

On November 7, 1962, he married baker's daughter Gertrude Kimmlinger, who turned out to be a good catch. In 1964 daughter Edith was born. She was the first daughter in a hundred years in the house of Maßem and the birth was celebrated in a grand fashion.

In 1965 the old barn was converted to the guest house.

Son Christof was born in 1966.

After the sudden death of Günter in 1980 Gertrude married choirmaster and conductor Peter Reis a few years later. She continued the company with him and her two children.

In 1998 Samuel Maßem saw daylight for the first time and in 2002 he got a brother named Jonathan.

Nowadays Gertrud Maßem-Reis, the good soul of the house, runs the restaurant, the guesthouse and the butchery still according to the old tradition, together with her son Christof and a good team of employees.

Incidentally: The place name Schillingen is derived from "Scheelingen" old dialect for "Stallion". The origin of Schillingen is to be found in horse breeding.

Decorations for our loyal employees:

The traditional Gasthaus Maßem has had, over the past four years, several reasons to celebrate special anniversaries. During a festive gathering Gertrud Maßem-Reis and her son Christof Maßem handed out charters from the jubilees Monika Müller, Herbert Hoff, Renate Hornetz and Margarete Kettern for their many years of loyal cooperation and great commitment.

Margarete Kettern from Heddert began as a cook on February 2, 1968, after having successfully completed the domestic school in Trier. She felt very connected with the company and the family Maßem. This went so far that she stayed overnight when the family wasn’t home to take care of the business.

Monika Müller, the oldest of the four, began on August 15, 1959 as the second apprentice of  Maßem, training as a saleswoman of processed meats under master butcher Günter Maßem.

She learned her profession from the ground up and was interested in all the facets of the business. She rapidly developed a special fondness for working in the kitchen and she works till this day as a cook. If there were problems Monika was always ready to offer her help. Even connecting a new beer keg was a simple matter to her.

Herbert Hoff felt at home with the family Maßem from an early age. He often stayed there so he was well acquainted with the affairs of restaurant and butchery even before starting of his training. His training began on April 1, 1963 under the skilled direction of Peter Franzen. Although these training years weren’t always fun he has remained with the team till this day, with a lot of ambition and pleasure.

Renate Hornetz began her training as a saleswoman processed meats, the fourth apprentice in the shop Maßem, on August 1, 1967. She also learned the trade from the ground up and within a short time knew all facets of the company. After her studies she helped in the butchery and the restaurant  where she has become unforgettable for the guests because of her friendly personality.

Elmar Maßem also began his training as a butcher in our company and he has not forgotten us. He is still always willing to help us when an extra hand is needed.

But it was especially Gertrud Maßem-Reis, "the good soul of the house", who after the early death of her husband Günter formed and led the team. And thanks to the support of her second husband Peter Reis it was possible for her to steer her business successfully through difficult times.

And it is mainly her merit that the staff remains faithful to the business.

So the family Maßem thanked all for their staff for their friendly nature, their team spirit, their willingness to help and their outstanding achievements and commitment which often went beyond the work in the business and included in the initial years, more than once, the bathing and changing of the children Edith and Christof.

The family Maßem wishes the jubilees much health, happiness and job satisfaction!

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