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Note to readers: While other things have been keeping me from posting more to this blog, a cousin of mine happened to go back to read the most recent post, Grandma's Diary Entry, 26 June 1936: While Grandma Cecile waits at her sister Gustie's house for them to come home from work in the fields, she mentions getting some "sourbrunn" as she waits. My cousin Linda's question - just exactly what was Grandma doing? Was sourbrunn some sort of bread? Was she getting a snack? This post is the answer to that riddle.
Grandma Cecile does not give any clue in her writing as to what "sourbrunn" is. Seems she may have been hungry, it was 5:40 pm, was it some sort of food? As I often do, I turned to my friend Al Haunold for help - any idea what sourbrunn is?
Al's response: The word Sourbrunn as you wrote it here is not a German word. It would have to be Sauerbrunn meaning "a well with sour/acidic water like a mineral spring". That is not unusual, I knew of some wells like that when I grew up and most of the time they were not used, except in tourist locations for health bathing like in the town of Baden near Vienna or others in the Alps.
Okay, that would make sense. Grandma's writing here in her diary was generally English, but it was a family habit. Maybe it is common for people who speak more than one language to mix the languages together in their speech or writing? It certainly was for my parents.
I happened to be looking through the book "Unvergessene Heimat" while working on something else for this blog. ("Unvergessene Heimat" is a book about Nieder- and Ober-Mohrau.) I turned to page 78 and there it was - "Sauerbrunn-1965"! A photo beside the caption shows a small, roofed structure over a stream of water. Sure looks like a spring and/or stream to me! 1965 would probably be the date of the photo. The photo is one of many photos in the picture section of the book. The title of the page it is on "Nachkriegsaufnahmen" which was translated by Google as "post war recordings" or "images recorded after WWII".
|Sauerbrunn 1965 in the book "Unvergessene Heimat"|
Could it have been that Grandma was referring to getting a drink of mineral water? Again, it would make sense, going by what my folks did when I was a child, years ago. I can remember going on Sunday drives with my family to mineral springs at Sodaville and Cascadia, both in Oregon.
My folks would take along a gallon jug and fill it with the mineral water, take it home and drink it, like many other people. Back then some people thought drinking mineral water had medicinal benefits.
Now the Cascadia wellhead is closed. I would guess the Sodaville one is as well. Jack & I stopped at Cascadia State Park a couple of years ago (2019) and the pump is still there, but it is unusable. The mineral water is deemed unsafe to drink. Whether anyone was ever sickened from drinking it, I do not know, but since it is not regulated, it is probably a risk that the State Parks are unwilling to take. Just as well, I never liked it anyway, but Grandma must have! (The following photos are two of mine.)
|mineral spring handpump - Cascadia 2019 |
|Soda Creek at Cascadia |
To see any of the images up close, click on any image and you will be able to scroll through all of them. To learn more about Sodaville and Cascadia, click on the links within the story.
Story to be continued......