History 'Schwarze Fabrik' (Black Factory)

The ‘Black Factory’ is one of the few remaining industrial monuments from the early Wihelminian time. The name ‘Black Factory’ has originated in the vernacular and refers to the production and processing of charcoal. In 1878, the charcoal factory was built by Mr. Otto Schütte. The commencement of business was in 1879. The charcoal was burned in the Sauerland forests and processed to charcoal gravel-pulverised charcoal- charcoal briquettes- charcon filtration and later also to barbecue charcoal. These products were in great demand which shows the large number of employees, about 100 in the nineteen twenties. Amongst others Otto Schütte supported the local interests. From 1878 until 1900 he was captain of the ‘Schützengesellschaft’. He also was one of the co-founders of the “Sauerland tourist association” in 1890. With water of the river Lenne and the turbines of the ‘Black Factory’ also electricity was produced. Therefore Oberkirchen, prior to Schmallenberg and the surrounding places could be supplied with electricity. At that time a kilowatt hour cost 0,45 Reichsmark. Since 1974 the artist blacksmith Schütte is located in a part of the monumental building. Here bronze, copper and forging grade steel is processed into railings, gates, fountains, tables and lightings. 1996 Willi Schütte acquired the ‘Black Factory’ of Peter Schütte, a grandson of the company’s founder. The outdoor facilities were prepared and an exhibition park was created. Since 1998 the ‘Black Factory’ is a historic monument and protected as such. In 2001 a showroom was built and the exhibition park was expended with a pond. Bronze sculptures and exclusive gifts completed the diversity of the range. 2004 Willi Schütte handed over the artist blacksmith to the second generation, Thomas Schütte. In 2005 he modified the old packing counter of the Black Factory into another showroom inclusive a café. In the summer of 2006 the ‘Schmiedecafé’ (blacksmith café) was opened. Many old elements such as the old firing kilns were preserved and integrated carefully into the café. Here a cosy place at the firesite or summer day a shady idyllic garden terrace invite for staying. Once in January 2007 the storm Kyrill devastated the Sauerland forests and there was no electrical power for several days. So Thomas Schütte bought an ancient ‘Herforder’. By this motor the smithy, the charcoal production and the café could carry on working independent of the mains supply. He fixed and redesigned and put the motor into operation in 2008. Furthermore, in 2008 the old garages were modified into a ‘Music Factory’ and now are used by Tobias Schütte, the brother of Thomas Schütte, as a recording studio and rehearsal room. The restauration of the old turbines started in 2010 and thus the hydro power could be further used. In 2009 Thomas Schütte took over the charcoal manufactory, modernised it in 2011 and in this way could come up to the charcoal business at that time. In the ‘Black Factory’, now operating under the name ‘ Holzkohleverarbeitung Schütte’, charcoal is gravelled in different grades for the industry and sieved and mixed in different grains according to customer requirements.  The application areas are manifold. Furthermore, as at that time, now barbecue charcoal is sold.



Otto Schütte   Paul Schütte   Werner Schütte   Peter Schütte