Letter delivered 286 years later

24th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

30 November 2004, OSTHEIM-VOR-DER-RHOEN - A letter that landed in the wrong box 286 years ago finally reached the right address in Germany after an expert decoded the ornate handwriting. The letter, from a Lutheran church official in Eisenach, instructed the small nearby town of Ostheim to pick a new clergyman after the old one died in 1718. But it was delivered by mistake to a different Ostheim near Frankfurt, and ended up in the town archives. Karl Schneider, 73, a local history buff in Ostheim-vor-der-R

30 November 2004

OSTHEIM-VOR-DER-RHOEN - A letter that landed in the wrong box 286 years ago finally reached the right address in Germany after an expert decoded the ornate handwriting.

The letter, from a Lutheran church official in Eisenach, instructed the small nearby town of Ostheim to pick a new clergyman after the old one died in 1718. But it was delivered by mistake to a different Ostheim near Frankfurt, and ended up in the town archives.

Karl Schneider, 73, a local history buff in Ostheim-vor-der-Rhoen, in central Germany was entertaining visitors from the "wrong" Ostheim recently when one of them mentioned a puzzling letter in his hometown's history display.

Schneider investigated and matched the curly writing with names and events in his own town's history. The letter was handed over Wednesday. Schneider said Ostheim-vor-der-Rhoen did get a new clergyman despite the letter being lost.

Mail-carrying in 1718 was done by cattle merchants, as the royal post only connected main cities.

DPA

Subject: German news

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