847 meters above sea level
605 inhabitants (as per 1.1.2016)
The village was settled at the end of the Mülibachtal. It consists of the parts Vorderdorf (formerly "behind the creek"), Dörfli and Hinterdorf (together once "Engi before the creek"). The "Ratsherrenhaus" (Alderman House) in the "Bergen", which was demolished in 1972, probably was built in the 13th century. In the middle of the following century, the place name ze engi appears. The name Engi has either originated from an expression for a corridor at the Sernf river or comes from the term "Anger" with the meaning meadow.
The villages of Engi and Matt were part of the Wahltagwen Matt. From the year 1582 a Mannschaftrodel (arm charter) with armament is preserved for this Wahltagwen. In 1621, moreover, the Matter were obliged to assist Engi after an avalanche. In 1738, for example, the Fittern avalanche buried the house of Hans Baumgartner, with ten persons perishing. In 1828 the Mühlebach corporation was mentioned. The worst of this creek raged on 15 June 1910. After the avalanche winter in 1998/99, the municipality was dependent on personnel and equipment of the Swiss army. 1843/44 the Tagwen bought the alp Mühlebach from the church community as well as from private individuals for about 60,000 florins or about 90,000 Swiss francs. The power station of the Sernftal railway (1905-1969) was in the "Wyer" in a former silk drying chamber.
Since 1273 Engi belonged to the church in Matt. Perhaps later, in the "Mattbrunnen", a litte women convent existed. In 1528 the Reformation happened. On the estate "Friedhof" (cemetery) between the Speichen- and Fittern gulley, a church was probably to be built in the early modern period. It was only in 1984 that a Catholic chapel was consecrated, after the mass was held in a chapel in the girls' home which was bought by the spinning mill Sernftal in 1869. The reformed church community of Matt-Engi owned a large part of the forests until 1832 and was the owner of most wild hay fields until mid 20th century. In 1857 Engi decided to found an own savings bank which was turned into the todays savings bank Sernftal.
Since the late Middle Ages, livestock farming was the most important line of business. In 1408, the purchase of the Gandalp from the Land of Glarus for the use of a municpal area by the Tagwanlüt [...] ze Engi (citizen of Engi) is documented. In the alp deed Mühlebach dated from 1416, the church community of Arth (canton Zug) remarkably owned 160 cattle rights. The Engibrücke (Engi bridge), mentioned in 1460, was an important transit for the valley traffic. The "Wydenhaus", documented in 1525, was a roadhouse, of which a wall anchor with a hook and a ring for horses still exists today.
Slate was mined at the latest from the 16th century (until 1961) at the "Landesplattenberg" which was taken over from Glarus in 1833. Investigations should clarify whether the slate found in the Roman villa in Kloten/Zurich originates from the Sern valley. In 1837 more than 200 persons were employed in Engi for this mine. Additionally between 1858 and 1906 a slate building company on the right side of the valley ("Ringgen" area) maintained a slate quarry. South of the Plattenberg, at the Schwarzkopf, was the mining of the Sernftal marble from 1874 to 1901, in an area, which had been leased from the Tagwen Engi. The black shield in the village crest still reminds of this product.
In the middle of the 17th century, both a stamping and a saw were mentioned. On the alp Mühlenbach (in the area "Wissmilen"!) one dug into the 19th century after gypsum, which was exported to Zurich. In 1777 the village counted 267 male citizens. In the first half of the 19th century the cotton hand-weaving flourished. Their crisis as well as the potato disease led to a wave of emigration from 1845, especially to the Americas. In 1855, Engi was considered a "beggar community". At that time around 1200 people lived in Engi. Since 1847 the textile industry has been proven. At that time a weaving mill was created in "Hinterdorf". In 1857 the company Trümpy Jgr. & Co. opened in the "Wyer" a silk weaving mill which was acquired in 1875 by the "Weberei Sernfthal" (weaving mill Sernftal) founded eleven years before by Leonhard Blumer. Today it is owned by "Weseta Textil AG" (terry towel production). In 1897, the company also bought the site of the in 1891 burnt down weaving mill in the Hinterdorf and erected a building for 150 looms. In 1920, 1259 people lived in Engi due to this development. In 1972 the weaving in Hinterdorf was stopped. Since 1985, the building has been using by Techno AG, which produces advertising boards.
In 1890 a "Geissgadenstadt" was built in the "Au", which contained 120 stables for 600 to 800 goats. In 1971 the herd was lifted. Engi is now the domicile of two transport companies and the location of the wastewater treatment plant of the Kleintal. At the end of the 20th century the population was around 700.
Around 1605 Glarus promised to the church Matt-Engi an annual remuneration for the school. Until 1779, Engi belonged to the school community of Matt, then it founded its own school at the Rigigasse. The school-house, built in 1832 on the initiative of the Matter pastor Jakob Heer, is of art-historical value. In 1876, the new school building was opened. Since 1981 Engi has formed again a school community with the southern neighbor village Matt.
The touristic use of Engi goes back at least to the year 1581. At that time, the Mattlaui bath was mentioned, which was to be spilled in 1762 by a "large water". In the twentieth century, a reservoir was used as a swimming pool for a short time, which the Sernf-Niedernbach Kraftwerke AG had completed in 1931.
At the beginning of the 18th century, a Junker (nobleman) Zoller traveled to Plattenberg. In 1994 the foundation "Landesplattenberg Engi" was established with the aim of opening up the old mine with guided tours, a museum as well as an educational path for the public.
For nearly 300 years, the Plattenberg has also been the subject of geological and paleontological research on fossilized, approximately 35 million years old fishes, birds and turtles. In this science tradition, Engi has been home to the Canton's scientific collection since 2003. In 1995 the local Ortsgeschichtsverein Engi (local history association Engi) had already been established.
Translation of the official website of Engi.
Family Names from Engi
Giger / Geiger