HVAC Work Completed at NHHS Sites

Pethan's Heating & Refrigeration completed installation of the rooftop heating unit at the NHHS's 2018 Main Street building on Jan. 13.  Work has also been completed on the installation of the second floor HVAC unit at the Pioneer Corner Museum.  The completion of these two major NHHS projects should provide necessary climate controlled storage for artifacts housed at both facilities.
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As is the normal custom, at the end of the day on Sunday, October 31, both the Timm House and Pioneer Corner Museum closed for the 2021 season.

The Timm House was re-opened in late November for the annual Timm House Christmas celebration, but following completion of  the 2021 Timm House Christmas, on Dec. 19, the historic home closed, along with the Pioneer Corner Museum, until the first Saturday of May 2022 when the new season begins.


John and Honey Leibham were presented with the "Pioneer Award", the NHHS's highest honor award at the New Holstein Historical Society annual meeting on Saturday, November 13 at the Altona Supper Club. The couple was recognized for their many contributions, over the years, to the NHHS and specifically the organization of the Nicholas Vollstedt exhibit which was featured at the Pioneer Corner Museum in 2021.  Due to their efforts nearly 100 images of the local artist's work were located and made available for viewing, both in person and digitally, as part of the summer exhibit.

As part of the annual gathering, a short business meeting was held.  Three current members of the Society's Board of Directors,  Barb Weber, Mary Emily Anhalt, and Greg Hageman, were re-elected to three year terms.  In another action, the NHHS membership approved dropping the number of members on the Board of Directors from 12 to 10.  Prior to the vote, NHHS President Jerry Hallstrom explained that the NHHS had been operating with less than the 12 members for the past several years due to experiencing a lack of candidates to fill the open positions.

Program for the event was presented by NHHS Board of Directors member Greg Hageman speaking on the first sixty years of the NHHS.

Following the NHHS Annual meeting, a short regular BOD meeting for the month of November was held.  BOD members discussed plans for the upcoming Timm House Christmas event, and moved to proceed with the second floor HVAC project at the Pioneer Corner Museum.

Co-chairman of the Antiques Appraisal Day event, Dick Griem, announced that due to various reasons, the popular event would not be held in 2022 and will be discontinued as a NHHS fundraiser.

Officers for the year 2022 were set.  Jerry Hallstrom will continue to serve as president, Greg Hageman will assume vice-president duties, Dick Griem will serve as treasurer, and Kay Nett will be secretary.

TH Gets Parlor Update

Installers rolled out new parlor carpeting at the Timm House on Thursday, June 24.  The new carpeting was custom made for the NHHS to replicate and replace parlor carpeting that was original to the Timm House.  The original carpet had become tread bare, after being functional for 100+ years, and was deemed a possible safety hazzard to visitors. Original carpeting in the TH master bedroom had similarly been replaced earlier in 2021.

New Vignettes for 2021 at Pioneer Corner Museum

The coming of 2021 brings two new vignettes to the NHHS's Pioneer Corner Museum.  A saloon/tavern and a barbershop have been added to the museum's central gallery which features glimpses of New Holstein's past businesses.

The  new saloon/tavern and barbershop were both sponsored by Stanley and Mary Bruckner of Kiel.  One was sponsored in memory of Stanley's father, Ralph Bruckner and family, while the other was sponsored in memory of Mary's father, Herbert Selk and family.  The new vignettes sit side by side, with an interconnecting doorway.  Businesses of these types were often located in close proximity to one another as they conveniently allowed gentlemen of the day to refresh themselves both on the outside and inside.

In addition to sponsoring the new vignettes, Stanley Bruckner was also a contributor to the actual construction of the displays.  The wooden barber pole was handmade by Bruckner who also refurbished the barbershop sink and donated the connecting door that joins the two rooms.  The door came from Bruckner's mother's house.

Other items featured in the displays have been acquired by the NHHS via previous donations.

The new two new vignettes, the saloon/tavern, pictured above, and the barbershop, pictured below, will be ready for viewing when the NHHS opens the Pioneer Corner Museum, and The Timm House on June 5 & 6, 2021.


At the "House"

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NHHS Celebrating 60th Anniversary in 2021 

The year 2020 will go down in history as a year of questions.  How is Covid-19 really transmitted?  Should everyone be wearing masks?  Who will become the next president?  One fact, however, is unquestionable:  The NHHS Timm House and Pioneer Corner Museum were closed for all of 2020.

The key to that last statement above is that the NHHS facilities were closed, not gone, not shuttered for good, just temporarily closed in the interest of helping to promote good health within the community.  And when the NHHS venues open in 2021, it will be to the celebration of the organization's 60th anniversary year!

In April of 1961 an intrepid group of New Holstein history enthusiasts gathered and made a decision to form, through affiliation with the Wisconsin State Historical Society, the New Holstein Historical Society.  A letter of application was drafted and sent to the WSHS and by October of 1961 a reply had been received recognizing the NHHS as a viable entity.  Initial NHHS officers were Orin Lindemuth, President; Albert Jochimsen, Vice president; Alice Cooley, Treasurer; and Sabina Paul, Secretary.  Board of Directors members were: Mrs. G.J. Hipke, Virginia Meyer, Ted Boockmeier, Jacob Schildhauer, and Rudolph Paulsen.

In November of 1962 the NHHS unveiled its first exhibition.  Lothar Iversen offered space in the Iversen building on Main Street for a display of historical objects gathered by the NHHS.  Eight years later, Iversen donated the entire building to the NHHS and the Pioneer Corner Museum was born.  Iversen's generous gift was followed by another generous gift, in 1974, from the Timm family.  The Timm House quickly became the most visible and well known facility of the NHHS.

Both buildings have undergone numerous changes since becoming part of the NHHS.  Hopefully in 2021 their doors will be open wide for the public to visit.  New exhibits are ready for viewing at Pioneer Corner for 2021 and the Timm House remains resplendent, both inside and out, as a result of constant upkeep following the major 2007 refurbishing.

If you haven't already visited the Timm House and Pioneer Corner Museum, or just haven't visited lately, please plan on visiting in 2021.  Let our smiling docents show you around and help the NHHS celebrate 60 years of preserving local and area history!


Brat Fry held on June 18

The New Holstein Historical Society held their annual brat fry on June 18, 2021 at Blattner's Piggly Wiggly.  The day was hot, but sunny and bright.  By 4:00 PM the brats and hamburgers were all gone and cleanup was underway.

A normal Spring NHHS slate of normal events also includes the Antique Appraisal Day and Spring Luncheon.  Both of these events were cancelled for 2021.
Jerry Hallstrom (left) and Dick Griem (right)  participated in the hanging of outdoor greenery at the Timm House for the 2021 season.  The TH's interior is spruced up as well with the 2021 theme being "Simply Christmas".

Timm House Christmas 2021 Debuts on Nov. 26

“Simply Christmas” has been chosen by the New Holstein Historical Society as the theme for the 2021 edition of their annual Timm House Christmas.  Event organizers chose the theme because  now, following the COVID chaos that has held sway for the past year plus, it is time to enjoy a happy Christmas in a relaxing atmosphere.

The NHHS’s refurbished Victorian era home will be open for public viewing on Friday evenings as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons starting Nov. 26, 27, and 28.  December opening dates will be 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, and 19. Open hours on the Friday evenings will be from 5:00 to 8:00 PM .  Saturday and Sunday hours will be 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

First floor rooms of the historic residence will be decorated in holiday fashion using items from the NHHS’s collection and some pieces on loan for the holiday season.  Christmas tunes will be played for visitors on the Timm family’s original Steinway box grand piano and seasonal “goodies” will be served in the home’s kitchen.  Tours will be self guided with NHHS docents on hand to answer questions.  Admission is $5.00.

Vollstedt Exhibit to Be Open Until Oct. 31 

The popular Vollstedt painting exhibition, currently on display at the New Holstein Historical Society's Pioneer Corner Museum, will remain on display through Sunday, October 31.

The exhibit features original paintings done in the late 1800's and early 1900's by the talented New Holstein artist, as well as a slide show of over 60 known works.

Nicholas Vollstedt, was a New Holstein meat cutter, by profession, who painted in his spare time. Vollstedt, who was mainly self taught, specialized in landscape scenes painted from memory or from photographs. The paintings displayed in the Pioneer Corner exhibit were originally done for the enjoyment of family and friends.  Many remain in the hands of family members who loaned them to the NHHS for this group showing and have agreed to the extended exhibition time.

Viewing hours are from 1 to 4 PM every Saturday and Sunday through the month of October.  Special appointment hours may also be made by calling 920-898-5746.


A Nicholas Vollstedt Original

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Vollstedt Exhibit to Open at PCM

A collection of paintings and sketches by a turn of the century New Holstein artist will be spotlighted as part of the 2021 season at the New Holstein Historical Society’s Pioneer Corner Museum.  Works by former businessman and artist, Nicholas Vollstedt, will be featured in a new display when the museum opens on June 5.  The one time exhibit will run from June through July 2021.

The collection is being organized by NHHS members John and Honey Hipke Leibham, She is Nicholas Vollstedt’s great-granddaughter.

Nicholas Vollstedt was born in Schleswig (Germany) in 1841.   He came to the United States at the age of 18 and during his first two years in the country, he toiled in Lake Superior area copper mines.  At the age of 20 he moved to the New Holstein/Altona area and soon after became the growing community’s “schlachter”, which is German for meat cutter, or butcher.  The Vollstedt meat market served New Holstein well into the first half of the 20th century, first under Nicholas’s leadership, then under the efforts of his son, August.  What many folks didn't realize is that the local meatcutter was also a prolific artist.

Mainly self-taught, Vollstedt enjoyed painting scenes much like traditional European landscape artists might have created.  He is said to have made many of the paints he initially used.  It is thought that through conversing with the Native American population in the area Vollstedt learned which plants and barks could be used to create pigments for his work.  Just about any surface that was available became a medium for a Vollstedt painting.  Pieces of wood, press board, canvas, cardboard, and even card stock shipping labels served as surfaces for his artistry.
The New Holstein resident painted and drew, creating numerous pieces of artwork that became the property of his children, grandchildren, and their children.  Other relatives and close friends were also recipients of Vollstedt originals.  At this point in time it is thought that approximately sixty examples of Vollstedt’s work exist.  The Pioneer Corner Museum exhibit will feature a dozen, or more, originals that have been brought together from within the NHHS’s own collection and through loan from current owners. Various copies of Vollstedt paintings will also be displayed.

 Vollstedt signed and dated most of his works, usually in the bottom left or right corner with a "NV" and the year it was done.  Some works also are titled.

Along with his work as a butcher and his leisure time as an artist, Vollstedt was also an acclaimed storyteller.  A granddaughter once related a memory of her excitement in hurrying to the market after school each day where her grandfather would await the arrival of his grandchildren then tell them a story he had just created.  In addition to telling the story, Vollstedt would use charcoal to make sketches that depicted the tale being told.  Unfortunately, none of these sketches are known to exist today.
Nicholas Vollstedt was married to Sophia Jens in 1866 and together the couple had nine children: sons, John, August, Edward, and George; and daughters, Dora (Mrs. Louis Hipke), Mary (Mrs. A.T. Hipke), Ella (Mrs. George Schaar), Adele (Mrs. John Schwalenberg) and Anna (Mrs. Peter Iversen).

Anna and Peter Iversen’s nephew, Lothar, donated what was then called the Iversen Building, a former merchantile store, to the NHHS in 1962.  The building is now known as the Pioneer Corner Museum and will house the exhibition of Vollstedt’s works of art.

Gun Powder Keg Appraised at Event

Gun powder keg
The small gunpowder keg pictured at left was one of the items appraised at the 2019 New Holstein Historical Society's Appraisal Day.  Due to the keg still containing some amount of  powder, the keg was appraised from photographes.
It is thought that the keg was probably manufactured by hand at the Hazard Power Company in Hazard, Conn. in the mid 1800's.  The powder company had its own cooperage which manufactured the kegs for shipping the gunpowder.  This small keg was thought to be one of the company's "15 pounders".  The keg was manufactured of wood slats and bound together by wooden bindings, possibly made of soaked and steamed willow.  The finished keg also sported a wooden screw, or bung, which could be opened to get powder out of the keg.  The manufacture of gunpowder was big business in the mid 1800's as the Crimean War, the building of the transcontinental railroad and the initiation of stockpiling arsenals within the US all spurred demand. 

Thanks for your interest in the New Holstein Historical Society

Thanks for visiting the New Holstein Historical Society's website. Our website continues to change as information and features are added to the website in an attempt to present a useful, comprehensive and centralized source for New Holstein's history and the activities that celebrate that history.

Our Society, formed in 1961, owns two facilities. The Pioneer Corner Museum houses a variety of collections that highlight the history of New Holstein and its surrounding areas. There is always something new at the Pioneer since we add new displays, exhibits and vignettes each year. One visit is never enough!

The Timm House Historic Site represents a time period of from 1898 - 1905. The total restoration of the property (interior and exterior) was completed in 2007 at a cost of $1.25 million. The Society is sincerely grateful to The Jeffris Family Foundation for a $562,000 matching grant. Without this help the project would never have been completed and the home would have been lost.

Please explore our website and enjoy the articles and information that you will find.

The Timm House is open from 1 to 4 PM on Saturdays and Sundays from the first weekend of May through the last weekend of October.  It is also open for the Timm House Christmas in December.  Exact dates and times for the Timm House Christmas appear elsewhere on this website.

The Pioneer Corner Museum is open from 1 to 4 PM  on Saturdays and Sundays from the first weekend of May through the final weekend of October.

Please note that tours are available at other times by calling 920-898-5746.  Thanks for your support. We are always interested in hearing your recommendations, comments and suggestions, so please feel free to share them.

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After you have experienced the Timm House and Pioneer Corner Museum please continue your historical tour of the area by visiting our friends at The Calumet County Historical Society Museum, five miles north at Irish Road, just off Hwy 57.  For a preview, check the CCHS out at  www.calumetcountyhistoricalsociety.org   or on facebook at   facebook.com/CalumetHistoricalSociety