History of Vorderstoder

The altitude of the small mountain village Vorderstoder allowed only a moderate agricultural yield and thus a thin population. The area of the municipality of 3711 hectares consists of two thirds of forest and rock area and extends in the south to the Warscheneck.

The number of inhabitants, which was just under 1,000 in 1869, fell to 690 by 1980, especially after the Second World War rapidly decreasing agricultural workers number, but today increased thanks to a constant construction activity back to 760. The historical development of Vorderstoder begins with the settlement of ethnic groups uprooted by the migration of peoples. Above all, Slavic tribes have settled in the area, old Slavic proper names such as Retschitz (streamlet) or Stoder (stony soil) testify to it. Permanent settlements may not have existed in today's Vorderstoder. With the Christianization from the 10th century came new settlers from Bavaria and Franconia, so called the existing Altslawen on before from about 1170 a planned clearing and settlement began. During this time the Stodertal came into the possession of the hospital on the Pyhrn. The development from this direction explains the today many illogical names Vorderstoder and Hinterstoder. In the penitentiary of the year 1492, 65 farms appear in Stoder. The present parish church was consecrated in 1507 as the first church in the country to the then most modern Austrian saint, Margrave Leopold. The two small bells bear the year 1401 and are among the oldest church bells in Upper Austria. Before the construction probably stood there a chapel with a much visited picture of grace. The pilgrimages to the "Mother of God on stone" reached their peak in the 18th century and lasted until the beginning of our century. Since 1675 there is a separate pastor in the church, until then masses were only read periodically by clergymen from Spital am Pyhrn. In 1725, the cemetery was created, until then the dead had to be buried in Windischgarsten. Until 1787 also Innerstoder, today's Hinterstoder belonged to the parish St. Leopold.

Only since this time one speaks of Vorderstoder. The confusions of religion in the 16th century, triggered by increased robot and toe debits, led to riots and punishments that did not spare Vorderstoder. They culminated with the tragedy at the Filzmoserkapelle in 1597, where, according to legend, three rebellious peasants were hanged as ringleaders on the linden tree still standing there. Although the legend is not completely provable, but executed death sentences and criminally burned courts of the rebel leaders in Vorderstoder are historically proven. Although the authorities retained the upper hand, the population did not become Catholic. Stoder remained Protestant for more than 200 years. A second, until today known legend goes back to the abbey dean of Spital am Pyhrn, Heinrich Otto Gassner, in the 17th century. Gassner, a great personality, took special care of Stoder. He strove, not only for the constant improvement of the equipment of the church, but also made remarkable for the religious and social education of the population. The posterity thanked Gassner this pastoral care with the legend of the key miracle. On one of his fourteen-day visits to Stoder, he had forgotten the key to the church at home in the monastery and now stood in front of the locked door. In his heartfelt prayer, the church door opened in front of the people on their own. The key miracle is even shown on a window in the New Cathedral in Linz. Vorderstoder had hardly any part in the temporary economic upswing of the region as a result of the construction of the reamer hammers, only one hammer was in operation in Baderau until 1659. Until the emergence of tourism as an independent industry, the population lived exclusively on agriculture and the necessary crafts. The altitude, the unpredictability of the weather and its moods have repeatedly rocked the peasant world. Until the inter-war period, the farmers cultivated their bread grain themselves, so after rainy summers or overlong winters, it often came to problems. Especially the school chronicle has numerous indications of extreme economic hardship. The structural change after 1945 has had a positive effect for Vorderstoder. Farming is no longer so dependent on weather, because of the shift away from agriculture to pure grassland management, and with tourism many farmers have created another income. The climatic disadvantages of the high altitude, which caused agriculture for centuries to come, now prove to be more of an advantage for tourism. The fog-free location guarantees many hours of sunshine in the winter and the landscape obtained without major intervention now proves to be a major asset. In the midst of the imposing mountains of the Dead Mountains, away from industry and traffic, far away from all conurbations, many things developed slowly and cautiously. That the structural change was so gentle, that is, that no oversized tourism businesses have emerged, can also only be seen positively today.