NHHS Sites to Close on June 26

Both New Holstein Historical Society sites, Pioneer Corner Museum and the Timm House, will be closed on Saturday, June 26 so NHHS members may attend the funeral of Terry Thiessen.  At the time of his death on May 27 Terry was a current member of the NHHS Board of Directors and was a NHHS Past President.  Terry's contributions to the preservation of New Holstein's history and to the community at large were numerous.  A full obituary may be accessed at meiselwitzfh.com.

The two sites will reopen for regular 1 to 4 PM hours on Sunday, June 27.

June 5 & 6 to be Opening Days for 2021 Season

The New Holstein Historical Society has announced that the Timm House and Pioneer Corner will be opening for the 2021 season on June 5 & 6.  2021 marks the 60th anniversary of the NHHS.

Both venues will be open on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 PM from the beginning weekend of June through the last weekend of October.  Special appointment tours, on other days, may also be available by calling (920) 898-5746.  Cleaning crews will soon be busy swishing away the 2020 dust from the dazzling Timm House and memorable Pioneer Corner Museum interiors.  Plan your 2021 visit to these two local historical sites now.

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.
 
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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.

 
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Brat Fry to be June 18

The New Holstein Historical Society will be holding a brat fry on June 18, 2021 at Blattner's Piggly Wiggly.  Hours and prices will be added to this post once they are determined.

A normal Spring NHHS slate of normal events also includes the Antique Appraisal Day and Spring Luncheon.  Both of these events have been cancelled for 2021.
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NHHS to Celebrate 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!

At the "House"

2020 NHHS Annual Meeting Mail-in Vote Re-elects Incumbent Directors

With the 2020 New Holstein Historical Society Annual Meeting cancelled as an in-person event the scheduled election of four NHHS Board of Directors members was held via mail-in voting.

Prior to the normal November meeting date, all NHHS members were mailed an envelope containing a ballot, instructions, and a stamped, self-addressed envelope in which to return the marked ballot.

Per tabulation of ballots returned, incumbent NHHS Directors  Jerry Hallstrom, Carol Wordell, Kay Nett, and Dick Griem were all re-elected.  A total of 59 ballots were returned with each casting votes for the four directors.  The directors were elected to three year terms.

AT PIONEER CORNER

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Depies is Volunteer of the Year

Bob Depies, right, was named the New Holstein Historical Society Volunteer of the Year for 2019.  Making the award plaque presentation is NHHS President Jerry Hallstrom, left.  Starting in the spring, Depies began dismantling the wrought iron fence that borders the Timm House property on Railroad Street and Wisconsin Avenue then had the fencing sections stripped and black powder coated at Professional Plating in Brillion.  Following the powder coating process Depies reinstalled the fencing on the Timm House property with the last piece in place at Summer's end.  The fencing looks GREAT and should continue to do so for many years.   

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 greatful 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.

Hours
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 or emailing: tethiessen@frontier.com 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