Eckhard Oelke/Elmar Hebestedt:
Old smelting Houses on the Selke
When we speak about smelting houses on the Selke, we mean those which were handed down to us from the middle and the late 17th century. In the Anhalt part of Harz there were the local places of Mägdesprung and Silberhütte, in the Stolberg part there was the smelting house of Straßberg. Although one could assume, that older smelting houses had existed, almost nothing was exactly known. There were only a few hints concerning an old smelting house for silver near the Little Hausberg beneath the ruins of the old Anhalt Castle. Only few information were also available with regard to early mining in the Anhalt Harz. Studying the history of mining here new sources of information were found, which give a more detailed knowledge about smelting houses before the Thirty Years War. They are to be discussed here including some remarks about mining before 1618.
The Anhalt part of the Harz mountains is a peneplain mostly situated south of the Ramberg pluton. It belongs to the catchment area of the Selke. A very small part drains into Eine and Wipper. The town of Harzgerode is the geographical, and since early times the economic and administrative centre of this region. The oldest pit is that of "Birnbaum" first documented in a paper from 1300. The last mining took place in the fluorit shaft "Fluor" between Siptenfelde and Straßberg until 1990, where fluorit was exploited from the Biwender and Brachmannsberger veins. It was the succesor of the old "Suderholz" mine.