On May 7, 1730 the authority of the Republic of Gersau, Mr. Sebastian Melchior Rigert, granted the approval to rot and wash silk on the Bachstatt am See.
Rigert acted by order of Josef Augustin Reding from Schwyz, the real founder of Gersau's silk industry. The Schwyz authorities had denied Rigert the corresponding approval.
The first large silk factory was set up in the "Eggi" in 1846/47, followed by the one in the "Bläui" in 1859/60. The third factory, the "Seefabrik", was built as early as 1861. Large factory buildings were the result of the rapid mechanization of silk processing, which was based on waterpower. All three factories had been built along the village stream. The water flowing down from the Rigi mountain was needed to drive the machines, whereas the lake was the place where the raw material arrived as well as the place where the finished silk products were sent out.