The records I'd described in my two previous posts in Jutte and Perl indicated that their residence in Skole had been in house number 1. Alex and Natalie Dunai had pulled some archived cadastral records for Skole to see if they could determine where the house might have been. Unfortunately, the exact lot map for this rynak (central core) area of Skole is missing from the archive.
The house and lot were owned by someone named Jossel Waldman (not a relation, as far as I am aware). That, and the fact that Hersch Ett was listed as a day laborer, makes it likely that they were renting.
The rynak, the central market area, would have been a likely area for Jewish people to live, although by the mid-1800s in the Austrian Empire, Jews were not restricted to special areas and lived and were integrated throughout the town. Without an old map of the area it is hard to say where house 1 would have been, but it is clear that several buildings on the town square were of more recent Soviet vintage. It seems likely that house 1 is no longer there.
These are some of the older buildings at the rynak.
And this is what is on the other side now.
Alex asked several locals if there was a town museum. During Soviet times there had been one in an old Catholic church. When the building was returned to religious observance, the artifacts were removed. The museum has not been re-established elsewhere, and no one we spoke with knew what happened to the artifacts.
We were fortunate, however, to meet Igor Chudiyovich, unofficial town historian. Igor met us near St.Parasceve's Church. It was built in 1597.
We drove with him on an abbreviated tour and he showed us where the old synagogue had once been (Borgnetsa Street) and some of the houses that had belonged to wealthy Jewish families. Skole was dominated by the wealthy Groedl family who owned 36,000 hectares of forest surrounding Skole and also in Hungary, Poland, Germany, and Romania. This Jewish family ran a huge saw mill complex and also mined for building materials. The family at one point had about one million zlotes in income - a huge sum. Most of the Groedel family left Skole before 1939 (when there were still about 3,900 Jewish people). They emigrated to the United States, Australia and Romania.
Igor C. was kind enough to invite us to his home where he showed us wonderful historic photos of Skole (including some old photos of the Jewish cemetery) and his ten years of research into the Groedl family. He has been in touch with and met some of the family. I noticed that there are Groedls listed in the JewishGen Family Finder. Igor told us he sees about one Jewish family seeking its roots in Skole each year.
All this is background to some thoughts about the Etts move to Skole. Hersch was listed on the vital records for his wife and child as a day laborer in a factory of some sort. The town's economy would have been closely tied to the timber industry, so it is likley that the Etts moved to take advantage of work opportunities associated with the timber industry. After more than 30 years working in natural resources management for the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, I like this thought.
We ate lunch at Vivcharnik Restaurant. I had meat and potato pirogis.
Before we left Skole, we visited the cemetery where Perl would have been buried in 1895 and where many Skole Jews were executed during the World War II German occupation. Few stones are visible and most of those that are are toppled and not, therefore, readable.