1902Conservative farmers against the Catholic working class
In the late autumn of 1902 Trento’s Bishop Council sent the curate Nikolaus Malpaga to Lasa. His efforts were aimed towards the working class and the poorest peasants for whom he built a residence, a library and a youth center. The conservative farmers perceived these efforts as an open provocation.
The entrepreneur Lechner, who had been equally supportive towards his workers and Malpaga’s initiatives, suffered the consequences of the farmers’ aversion to anything that had to do with public interest and social engagement. The municipality, for example, promised him supplies of wood from its lands and these were never delivered.
That the municipality was autonomously managing the Nesselwand quarry was still bearable for Lechner but the situation was generally quite difficult. The lease contract with which the municipality entrusted the quarry’s management to Gasteiger four years later had a clause that prohibited Lechner from transporting marble on the road that the municipality was about to build in the Lasa valley. This explains the premature unilateral termination, in 1921, of the original 25-year lease of the Weisswasser quarry, signed with Lechner in 1906.