- 1938 Sepp Fersterer expressed himself in wood. This tendency seems to be hereditary. His father acquired the Hinterhag, with the money he made as junior forester. On the 25th of April 1939 Sepp Fersterer was born. His childhood was tough. Thanks to his virtuous mother, he came through it in good health. In hindsight it was precisely this period of hardship that made him inventive.
- 1956 At 17 years of age he obtained his first patent on an agricultural machine. During the week he worked with his father in forestry, but the weekends he focussed on his inventions. He materialized his dream of having his own workshop. New patents followed, until he was offered a position by the Reformwerke industry.
With the money he made as an inventor he was able to buy his first car (Fiat). His homebuilt agricultural machines were all over the Hinterhag. He worked to be free again – he was looking for bigger opportunities for his talent. But he stayed. He helped his parents with the (re)construction of the Pension Hinterhag.
- 1968 In 1968 he married Evi Stöckl, daughter of the Kirchenwirt hotel in Leogang. On the 15th of December 1968 daughter Eva-Franziska was born. On the 26th of January 1970 daughter Sylvia-Helga was born.
Together they managed the pension and the agriculture. The first advertisement in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper was: “Home butchered-cheapest at the Hinterhager full board pension Schilling 110,-. Evi used to cook at the wood stove. The simple recepies of those days are, to this day, the secrets of succes of the cuisine of the Hinterhag Alm.
- 1972 In 1972 Sepp Fersterer directed every detail of the construction of Hotel Hinterhag. Without a crane and with just three workers, he built the shell of the building. At Christmas 1973 the Hotel Hinterhag was opened. Slowly but surely it became a success. The financial stress eased.
In 1974 grandpa Sepp Fersterer died.
Sepp Fersterer returned to his wooden origins no later than 1975. He acquired a few old barns but at the time nobody knew, what he had in mind. In the hotel the number of beds was reduced from 110 to 50. The list of prominent guests was something to be proud of.
- 1976 When Evi fell ill the couple went on their first holiday. Three weeks of forced relaxation at the seaside. The kids were badly missed. During the third week of “deck chair imprisonment” the plan of the Hinterhag Alm was born. This was in April 1976.
At Christmas of the same year the Alm was ready. It was not simply the aged wood that made his work a success, but rather the way in which he applied it. He put lots of patience, skill and his peace of mind, into it.
- 1977 On the 26th of January 1977 Evi for the first time throws her hearts. The Herzerltanz (Dance of small Hearts) was born. Thirty years later this dance has acquired cult status. Evi doesn’t like to speak about her “heart greeting of love”. She simply does it everyday and prefers that nobody makes videos of it. The legacy of Sepp Fersterer: “Eva, never give up the Herzerltanz!”
The Hinterhag-Alm turns into a success story. The greatest reward are the multitude of guests who have a good time in the Alm. Young and old – poor and rich – the Alm unites everyone.
- 1978 Sepp starts to build the farmhouse in 1978. The 100 feet long barn he tears down, has it cut and orders wainscots to be made. Everything in this house is authentic, straight and simple. Just like a work of art, owing its magic to the “omission of the unimportant”.
- 1979 In 1979 Evi visits the summer academy with Prof. Claus Peck in Salzburg, who fostered, encouraged en promoted Evi decisively.
Sepp builds Evi a studio – a wheat store from the 17th century – from Stöcklweg – Billersee – Tirol. Sepp tore it down en rebuilt it in Saalbach. For many years she is painting behind closed doors.
- 1984 In 1984 Dir. Peter Greenham welcomes Evi as a student in his master class at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Sepp uses the opportunity to annex a so called Daxing stable to the Hinterhag Alm.
As Evi returned, she got inspiration from the wooden steles that were lying around to create her logmen (Klotzmenschen). These then turned into a distinct art form. Sepp just put the logs on her pathway so to speak. Sepp was her biggest fan and supporter. His loving diligence shaped her character.
- 1985 On the 29th of September 1985 their son Josef “Seppi” was born. In his calendar in which he used to describe the weather, we found this note: Sunday 29/09/85 – 13.30 hrs Eva (Pemsal) 36 after almost 16 years gave birth to a boy. We are filled with joy – we are out…
- 1986 For the first time the hotel and Alm were closed for the summer and the whole family moved to Panzano. Evi and Silvia studied art in nearby Florence. Sepp turns into a winegrower while Evi paints. In October they returned home with a trailer packed with the home produced “Sole Rosso”exclusively for the Hinterhag-Alm, barrels full of mulled wine and lots of pictures.
The way Sepp returned with his long hair, was causing great astonishment in those days. Evi’s art took off and she had many exhibitions.
- 1987 Evi turns her “idea of the mirror tree” into reality on the Rathausplatz in Vienna. In 1988 she receives her first solo exhibition in the Galerie Art 54 in New York. Günter Degn of the national TV channel ORF produces a cinematographic portrait of hers. With the first money she makes with her art she acquires an old tower in Panzano/Tuscany as a studio.
In 1988 Sepp, Evi and Seppi travel south. They returned home onlyafter having acquired also the adjacent “Castello di Panzano”.
- 1995 In 1995/96 she shocks people with her performance art “Reckoning with my old ways of thinking”. She destroys her fur coat that Sepp once gave her and displays it in front of her gallery in Saalbach. Ever since then people in Saalbach are in sort of a love-hate relationship with her. In 1998 she has a big solo exhibition in the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg.
- 2001 Hinterhag-Alm: following a fake fire alarm the entire fire department of Saalbach raced to save the building. Sepp decided to never ever experience such a blow again. He lifted the roof and created the top floor with a separate exit. In December 2001 theAlm was reopened just in time for the first Apres-ski Show on German national television. In 2002 the Apres-ski Show went into its second edition. The Hinterhag Alm’s name and fame spread quickly so now everyone knows about it.
- 2003 In 2003 the restructuring of the bathrooms and heating in Hotel Hinterhag was due. Sepp, Evi and Seppi spent the summer months in Panzano. After the vintage they returned to the reconstruction site.At the end of oktober Sepp suddenly contracted acute leukaemia.
On the 8th of November 2003 Sepp Fersterer died.The family was in shock.
They entered a period of sadness. Seppi was 18 years of age andhad to replace his daddy. Evi retreated in her studio and cancelled all exhibitions.All the guests and friends helped ease the pain and inspired them to move on.
- 2005 On the 26th of June 2005 Sepp’s mother “Juli Fersterer” died 91 years old.In 2006 Evi has a wooden chapel built on the mountain. Still in the same year the old stable was torn down and the Ansitz was erected in aged wood.In 2007 the old Hinterhag was transformed into the new Art & Ski-in Hotel-Hinterhag.
- 2007 The old Hinterhag was transformed into the new Art & Ski in Hotel-Hinterhag in 3 stages. The entire stored waste wood from Sepp is used for this purpose.
- 2013 The hotel is being converted into a half-board - with restaurant and bar being renewed.
- 2014 Opening the new á la carte restaurant SEPPI'S
- 2016 The Hinterhag Alm is celebrating its 40th anniversary.
- 2017 The new á la carte restaurant MUZI'S was opened in the Art & Ski in Hotel-Hinterhag. And Seppis and Carmen's son Leonardo were born.
~ Josef Fersterer jun.