Humble beginings – Watchtower
The oldest documents concerning the house and the land it occupies come from 1860. In those days, it was most likely the property of Count Marcel Czarnecki. The unique architectural form alludes to its original function. Oral tradition indicates that it used to be a watchtower and a base for extending vineyards. A substantial part of the current building was it was related with the tower.
A high tower with windows facing the four cardinal directions probably was used to observe the vineyard and to safeguard the owners’ property. The central part of the house was meant for residents, perhaps the family guardian, their tenant. The real treasure and the heart of the building were its cellars, the way they were built indicates they were used for storing grape and perhaps the production of wines. This is indicated by special type of yellow brick floors, vaulted ceilings and brick niches and shelves for storing wine. The idea is to create a specific microclimate and temperature for storing wine.
Fuchs’es Garten – Postcard, September 1898
Restaurant – Fuch’es Garten
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century a German family of Mary and Ernest Fuchs became owners of the house. Fuchs continued the house tradition of associated with winemaking and opened a Garten – Restaurant. During the past 30 years the house has become a local center of cultural life and entertainment.
Fuchs opened a restaurant, and over time he added to it’s a northern part housing ballrooms and restaurants. He also built a bowling alley and outbuildings. Soon the band shell has been build, were a local military band was playing on summer evenings. In the light of gas lamps guests strolled through garden alleys.
Park – Bandshell
Park view – July 1905
Local community and guests from afar – Marksmen Fraternity Congress
After Poland regained independence in 1919 Fuchs family decides not to accept Polish citizenship, which forced them to sell the property and return to Germany. Its new owners, my grandparents, Marjanna and Stanislaw bought the house in 1923 to with the money they earned by their coffee roasting plant business in Berlin. The house was still a restaurant until the outbreak of World War II. Despite the turmoil of the interwar period the family grows and prospers.
Grandfather Stanisław, Grandmother Marjanna and their eldest son, Leon
In May 1932 years Stanisław Marciniak die. It was a huge blow for the whole family and an event that impacts the future of the house and the restaurant. Two years after the death of my grandfather, my grandmother marries Stefan Mały. Hence the popular name of the establishment – “Małowa’s Place”.
In 1934 Irene – my future mother becomes the owner of the house. She was 3 at the time.
Restaurant after gandfather’s death
Restaurant’s kitchen: Grandmother Marjanna , Stefan Mały and Maria Przybyła, a nanny
One of the famous guests was the Polish Prime Minister Wincenty Witos
Second World War – Willi Jaholke
At the beginning of December 1939, Marciniak family shares the fate of many families from Rakoniewice and is deported to the General Government. They find a temporal residence in Podlasie region, in the town of Kosów Łacki and remains there until April 1945. At that time a german called Willi Jaholke becomes the landlord. A cinema screeing propagandist films was established here.
Font of the house – 1943
German officer in band shell – 1943
Post war period
War had a devastating impact on a house in Rakoniewice. The building is in a deplorable state, repeatedly robbed by the Germans and the Russians. Homeware and restaurant is destroyed or stolen, and many of the monumental park trees have been cut down for firewood.
But life revives in people affected by the war. The community is still in need a place for meetings, parties and weddings. The house becomes such place again. Here a traveling cinema begins its screening and the humble beginnings of People’s Theatre productions and performances of the Scientific Society of the local school.
During this time, the hostess of the house is grandma Marjanna, a person that not takes on the responsibilities of the farm and the house, which is no easy task due to negligence during the war, but also tends to a buffet at the nearby railway station. The whole family puts great effort to help grandmother to restore the former glory of this place.
The performance of People’s Theatre (from the collection of Mr. Kazimierz Nowak)
The performance of the Scientific Society of the Universal University ( Uniwersytet Powszechny)
At the end grandmother Marjanna’s life, my mother Irena takes over her responsibilities as a homemaker. For many years, she has been a legal heir to the property, but she takes over her responsibilities only after marriage with my future father, Stanislaw Maćkowiak.
House post war – returning to it’s grandness
Over time taken is the decision to renting halls of the former restaurants that change their character to production. Successively there are factory producing Christmas ornaments, precious stone cutting, production plant jackets. In the 60s part of the production house is extensive – have long porch is built in the basement of the built and social facilities for employees.
Ink drawing – 1957
Front veranda – post war