The borders of the present day town were formed in 1950 by the consolidation of Katzhütte and Oelze into a single large municipality. At its founding there were about 3800 inhabitants, but following consolidation the number of inhabitants has dramatically decreased. By 2004 there were only about 2197 citizens remaining. Nevertheless, it is the largest settlement place in the collective municipality of Bergbahnregion/Schwarzatal. Other major cities include Oberweißbach and Meuselbach-Schwarzmühle .
The town is well known as the home of the porcelain manufacturer Porzellanfabrik Hertwig & Co., founded by Christoph Hertwig and Benjamin Beyermann in 1864.
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