Traces of life

The Oberhaus in Feldbach was built in 1743 and has been inhabited by the Bühler family ever since. Over the course of more than two centuries, numerous traces of life accumulated in the house. They document the history of the family, but they also show the development of farm life and the whole region from pre-industrial times until the second half of the 20th century.

Picture: Martin Zeller

Tools, household goods, leisure activities and clothing styles went through a constant process of evolution since the farm was founded more than 250 years ago. Old items were discarded and new ones acquired. Work on the farm was increasingly mechanised, and fewer haymakers, farmhands and maids were needed. Discarded items were stored in the rooms that were no longer used by personnel to have them available if people would ever need them again. Over the years, books, clothes, furniture, toys, tools and much more accumulated on three floors. Since the upper floors were only used for storage, they were hardly ever rearranged or refurbished.

Picture: Martin Zeller

For a long time, the traces of life of the Bühler family lay unsorted and almost forgotten on the upper floors of the Oberhaus. Rosmarie Bühler, who came to the farm as Albert Bühler’s wife, was the first to take on the legacy. In the seventies, she began to sort, document and present the various traces of life. Over the next thirty years, she took care of the collection and offered guided tours to groups and individuals. In this, she was assisted by her husband Albert and her children Annemarie and Stefan.

After Rosmarie Bühler’s death, her descendants founded the “Stiftung Erhalt Lebensspuren Oberhaus” with the aim to preserve the traces of life at the Oberhaushof farm and open them to the public.