In 1843, Freiburg businessman Friedrich Mez opened a silk factory in Umkirch. The company started out in a warehouse in the Dachswanger Mill before buying the plot behind what was then the village stream in Umkirch in 1846. The factory employed up to 120 young girls of between 14 and 18 years old, who worked 12 hours a day with just one hour’s break.
Later, Mez moved his business to Freiburg and a tobacco company (Schneider) moved into the ‘Blaues Haus’ until the end of the Second World War. After the war, the business was shut down. The parish bought the building in 1952 and, after four years of conversion work, opened the parish school, which started lessons in 1956. The building soon became too small, and the pupils moved into a new school building in 1972. The ‘Blaues Haus’ now became home to the associations of Umkirch and the local archive. Since 2015, it has housed the ‘Haus am Mühlbach’ care home group.