THE VILLAGE HISTORY:
Konrad Loh was one of a group of three passengers on board "Wilhelmsberg" out of Hamburg on 17th May 1853, each of whom nominated Nieder-Weisel as his place of origin. Konrad was a farm hand, aged 37.
They arrived in Hobson's Bay on 25th August 1853 just 101 days after leaving the Elbe, disembarked from their ship at Williamstown and made the long trek to the Ballarat goldfields.
There is no record of the activities of the group in Victoria after this. It is believed that they came out to assess the situation on the goldfields for the benefit of others who may have had ideas of joining in the gold rush to Victoria. As about 350 of the villagers eventually made the long and uncomfortable voyage to Melbourne, it can be assumed that their report was favourable.
Konrad did not remain in the colony for long. His second wife, Elisabetha Margaretha nee Klotz from Ostheim (just south of Nieder-Weisel) remained in the village with their daughter Katharina and his son Peter from his earlier marriage to Margaretha nee Maas when Konrad left on his adventure. After his return to the village the couple decided that the New World offered more than their village was able to and Konrad left for a second time, on this occasion with all his family.
It is not likely that Konrad made much money from his employment as a linen-weaver, so maybe he had been successful in his search for gold - at least to the extent that he was able to finance another journey to the New World. The family was in North America by 1860; Konrad's son Peter was confirmed in San Francisco in 1860 and Katharina in 1864. As the confirmations were notified to the church, it suggests that Konrad intended to return to the village eventually. This did not come about as he died in San Francisco on 13 July 1867, five weeks before his 50th birthday.