by Clare Elizabeth Frederika Meyer
My great-great-great-great-grandparents, Johann and Catharina Steenbock Köster lived in the small farming community of Struvenhütten über Kaltenkirchen in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. Johann was the Kösterei, hence the name Köster. The Kösterei was the church sexton or custodian of the church keys and treasury.
This original star-roofed cottage belonged to the Struvenhütten Kösterei since the year 1826. On the old beam over the entrance beside some large planks stood the names deeply carved: Johann Köster-Cathrina Köster Anno 1826. It was preserved in the oak beam of the historic foundation of the building.
The farm place consisted originally of a straw-roofed, half-timber farmhouse combined with a barn, which was erected in 1816. Ten years later the old part of the cottage was built.
The old farmhouse had previously been restored in 1914. The 100 year-old beams of the first construction were used for the construction of the barn area. The old part of the cottage, which had become run down, was still standing and was stilllived in at that time.
In 1958 this building was torn down, because of the high cost for necessary