Station 6

City Hallfrom the right to mint to the large municipality

Information point:
- Unterm Werth 1: Town hall, former official residence

1244, the existing settlement on the "Smalen Berg" was granted town, market and coinage rights and was thus elevated to the status of a town. With the fortification it received market rights, its own jurisdiction and the right to mint coins. The minting of coins in Schmallenberg probably began as early as 1244 under Archbishop Konrad von Hochstaden and ended about 50 years later under Archbishop Siegfried von Westerburg (died 1297). There are 13 different types of coins (known as Schmallenberger Pfennig) from the Schmallenberg mint. With the Schmallenberger Pfennig one could pay in the area and also in Arnsberg, Meschede and Brilon.

Municipal self-government
In the early modern period (1500-1800), the administration of the town was in the hands of a council elected by the citizens and headed by the mayor and his deputy (Proconsul). The council consisted of four councillors (senatores) and two high barmen (rakemen or cammerarii, called treasurers or penny-pinchers); in addition there were two municipal leaders. The mayor possessed judicial and police authority, represented Schmallenberg's interests at the Westphalian parliament in Arnsberg and was liege lord over the Schmallenberg vassals. Every year on St. Kunibert's Day (November 12th), the mayor was newly elected by the town council and two guild masters. In 1437, the Archbishop of Cologne granted the town the right to administer justice within the town boundaries, which meant that the town had greater judicial independence. The court hearings also took place at the town hall.

Carl Johann Ludwig Dham

Click here to read his own biography.

Since its foundation, the town of Schmallenberg, as part of the Duchy of Westphalia, was under the rule of the Electorate of Cologne and the Bishop of Cologne until 1803. In 1803 the city became part of the Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt through the Reichsdeputationshauptschluss (which, among other things, established the dissolution of the ecclesiastical principalities). In 1811/12 the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt abolished the old city constitution, the exercise of jurisdiction and the right of feudal ownership. At this time the city wall and the city gates were also torn down. In 1815 Schmallenberg and the Duchy of Westphalia came to Prussia.
With the introduction of the first Landgemeindeordnung for the province of Westphalia in 1841, the Schmallenberg office was created; the town of Schmallenberg became the seat of the administrative district. The revolutionary year 1848 passed quietly in Schmallenberg, because - according to the history of the time - an "efficient Landwehr" had formed. Karl Dham from Schmallenberg (later court councillor in Brilon) was sent to the National Assembly in Frankfurt as the eighth deputy from Westphalia. In 1894
master builder Sander from Hagen was commissioned to build the current official residence. Completed and occupied in 1897, it was enlarged during World War I, in 1922 and in 1993/94. Today called the town hall, it is the workplace of the mayor and the city administration. Behind the town hall, in the narrow building, the seat of the town archive has been located since 1985/86.

The oldest house in Schmallenberg at Oststraße 69, dating from 1639 (photograph taken in 1940)

Different types of Schmallenberg pennies, 1238-1297

Plan of the town of Schmallenberg from 1697: The drawing emphasizes the importance of the wall that protects and encloses the town

Drawing of the city wall: southern gate on the Werth (by Alexander Vollmert)

The old Amtshaus (seat of the Amtsmann until the completion of the new Amtshaus in 1897)

New town hall, built in 1897, today's town hall

The narrow house around 1993 (construction work for the extension of the town hall in the foreground)

Carl Johann Ludwig Dham

Carl Johann Ludwig Dham was born in Schmallenberg on 27.08.1809 as son of the physician Clemens Ludwig Dham and studied law in Bonn, Greifswald and Heidelberg from 1830-1833. During his studies he was a member of several fraternities with a liberal political orientation. After his studies he worked at the court court in Arnsberg. Because of his membership in the then oppositional fraternity movement, his participation in the Hambach Festival (which took place in 1832 and was regarded as the climax of bourgeois opposition to the restorative policies of the German states) and because of democratic statements, he was prosecuted for high treason in 1833. From 1833 to 1840 Dham served a fortress detention in Magdeburg. After his release in 1940 Dham worked again at courts in Marsberg, Brilon and Arnsberg. From 1848 he was a district judge and lawyer in Brilon, and from 1866 until his death in 1871 he was a lawyer in Paderborn.
During the revolution of 1848/49, Dham was elected to the National Assembly for the constituency of Meschede, where he campaigned for the creation of a parliamentary monarchy with a strong representation of the people and was one of those who turned to a small German solution and elected Frederick William IV as Emperor of the Germans (who, as is well known, did not accept the election, thus bringing the revolution to a standstill)