As 2023, another historic year, comes to a close, the New Holstein Historical Society, by way of this vintage Santa, extendes Season's Greetings to all and offers best wishes for a joyous 2024 ahead. Santa is an almost life size cutout that originally was a standup lobby display at the Peoples State Bank building on Railroad Street. It was also later used in the same capacity by Calumet Feeds when they acquired the building.
The Timm House is all decked out and ready to welcome visitors to "Toyland" the decorating theme for the 2023 Timm House Christmas event.
TH Christmas Time is Here
"Toyland" has been selected as the theme for the 2023 Timm House Christmas. The annual event, in which the first floor rooms of the New Holstein Historical Society's historical house are decorated around a central theme, will take place on Friday nights, Dec. 1, 8, & 15 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, & 17 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Special appointment visits may also be scheduled by calling 920-898-5746.
Toys that have made children's eyes shine during past Christmases, as well as at other times of the year, will be on display underneath several gaily festooned Christmas trees and at other locations on the festive first floor. Historical data on many of the items will be posted as well. A Christmas treat will await guests, in the TH kitchen, at the end of the self-guided tour.
Admission for the 2023 Timm House Christmas is $5 for anyone 13 and older and $3 per child 5 to 12 years of age. Children under 5 are free when accompanied by an adult.
Richard Haney, guest speaker at the 2023 NHHS Annual Meeting makes a point during his presentation. Haney is the author of "When is Daddy Coming Home?", a book that tells the story of his family's methods of coping, first with his father's induction into the army, then eventual death, during World War II.
Annual Meeting Held Nov. 11 at Altona Supper Club
The New Holstein Historical Society Annual Meeting was held on November 11 at the Altona Supper Club in New Holstein.
Following the lunch meal, a short annual meeting was held to elect several Board of Directors. Incumbent Board members Jerry Hallstrom, Carol Wordell, Dick Griem, and Kay Net were re-elected to three year terms.
Following the business portion of the annual meeting, Richard Haney stepped to the podium as the event's featured speaker. Haney is a former Professor of History at the UW-Whitewater. His presentation was based on his book "When is Daddy Coming Home? An American Family During World War II". The book details the story of his family's life while his father was away fighting and how they coped with his eventual death.
At UW-Whitewater, Professor Haney taught 20th century U.S. history with a special focus on the events surrounding World War II. Following the receipt of a Ph. D from the University of Wisconsin- Madison Professor Haney completed post-doctoral studies at the U.S. Military Academy-West Point and the U.S. Army War College. His topic was especially appropriate for the day as November 11 is recognized in this country as Veterans Day.
Fall Colors are Historical!
Vibrant fall colors are once again a part of New Holstein's history in 2023. The brightly colored maples, as pictured, have been providing local color for many years. They stand along side one of New Holstein's stately older homes located just a block off the city's historical Market Square area.
Timm House and Pioneer Corner Museum Closed for 2023 Season
As of 4:00 pm on Sunday, September 24, the New Holstein Historical Society's Timm House and the Pioneer Corner Museum are closed for the regular 2023 season. Both venues will reopen on Saturday, May 4, 2024.
The Timm House will be open during the first three weekends in December 2023 for the annual Timm House Christmas event which features themed holiday tours on the first floor only. For more information on that event, please see addition article on this site.
TH Gets 150th Anniversary Touch Up
Eric, of Crown Services, puts brush to wood in the sunburst ornament located on the east side gable of the Timm House. The historic building is undergoing an exterior "touch up" in the home's 150th year of existence. Herman Christian Timm build the north part of the home in 1873 then added the more elaborate southern section, which includes the sunburst ornament, in 1892. The home's porches, window frames and the east facade are all receiving new paint as part of the touch up project.
Dairyland Tin Lizzies Visit TH and PCM
Members of the Dairyland Tin Lizzies, a group of Model T Ford aficionados, included the New Holstein Historical Society's Timm House and Pioneer Corner Museum as destinations on an August 5 road trip. The group, which on Saturday included 34 members and 15 vehicles, is comprised of members from throughout the state of Wisconsin and also boasts membership in neighboring states. The Aug. 5 road trip originated with some members meeting in, and motoring from Campbellsport. Other club members started in the Whitelaw area and headed south to New Holstein.
A highlight of the August 5 Tin Lizzies visit to New Holstein was the arranged presentation, at the Pioneer Corner Museum, of a short film on the Arps Snow Bird. The Snow Bird was a ski and track "kit" that could be added to Model T Fords, and similar vehicles, to facilitate winter driving in rural Wisconsin in the 1920s and 30s. NHHS Treasurer Dick Griem provided the 12 minute film that was originally produced in about 1930 by the Arps Corporation, of New Holstein, who manufactured and sold the Snow Bird kits. Assorted advertising and instructional literature was also displayed. The film presentation showed Snow Birds taking on and surmounting 12 foot drifts "with ease".
Model T Fords driven by members of the Dairyland Tin Lizzies lined Wisconsin Avenue on the morning of Aug. 5 when club members motored to New Holstein in their historic vehicles to tour the NHHS's historic Timm House and Pioneer Corner Museum.
Carol Wordell and Jerry Hollstrom check out the original Timm family dining room chair recently donated to the NHHS.
Timm Family Chair Returned to Home
As the old timers would say, “Another chicken has come home to the roost!” A recent donation has returned an original Timm family item to the New Holstein Historical Society’s restored Victorian home. One of the original Timm family dining room chairs will soon be back in the house where it spent time in the 1890’s and early 1900s. Former New Holstein resident and Timm family relative Jon Leverenz donated the chair to the NHHS in June. The chair had previously been given to Jon’s father Timm Leverenz, Sr. With its return to the Timm House dining room, there will be a total of four chairs around the dining room table that are considered to be original family possessions. It is thought that the table and the chairs were purchased following the completion of the 1892 addition to the original Timm House structure of 1873. The chairs were quite possibly purchased separately from the table, as at that time, dining tables and chairs were not always sold as a set. The chair is one of several artifacts that have been donated to the NHHS over the past several years. Joining the NHHS collection of historical objects during the organization’s recent history are items donated by members of the Kletzien family that include an original counter scale from the Kletzien Store, family photos, a wooden sea trunk from the Oseau branch of the family, and personal items owned by Gretchen Kletzien, operator of a local millinery shop (attached to the Kletzien Store) and former NHHS president. Another item welcomed to the NHHS collection is the original wooden Pinewood Derby track donated by the New Holstein Scouts. This track was constructed locally and served as the thoroughfare on which Scouts raced their wooden pine block creations against one another. It is hoped that on some date in the near future the track can be set up and anyone with a pine block car saved in their basement, or attic, can resurrect the car for an afternoon of racing at a NHHS site. Other items now happily folded into the NHHS collection include a 1930s New Holstein High School letter sweater and athletic trophy; photos and a work coat from Mike’s Friendly Service; a large postcard collection containing New Holstein postcards as well as others from Wisconsin and numerous states; a life size Santa Claus figure that was once part of a People’s State Bank holiday lobby display; original artwork from the New Holstein High School ; and a vintage roll top desk that is being used as a functional piece of furniture in the entrance area at the Pioneer Corner Museum. All of the items are important artifacts that will be preserved for future generations to view.
In addition to a DVD of the 1948 NH Centennial Parade, the NHHS exhibit includes a 1948 centennial events program and a Souvenir Booklet.
1948 NH Centennial Featured at PCM
In this 175th anniversary year of both Wisconsin and New Holstein, a new exhibit at the Pioneer Corner Museum focuses on the first 100 years of New Holstein’s history.
On May 29, 1848 Wisconsin became the 30th state to join the “union” known as the United States of America. Coincidently, on that very same day, a small group of German immigrants busied themselves marking off 80 acre sites in an area to the east of central Lake Winnebago which eventually became first the Town of New Holstein and later included the City of New Holstein. Upon completion of the first “homestead” selections, the area containing those parcels of land was almost immediately christened as New Holstein, named as such in honor of the German state of Holstein which the immigrants had called home before embarking for America. The Town(ship) of New Holstein officially became a government unit under the State Laws of Wisconsin in March of 1849.
Within the township, two small community units soon took shape less than a mile apart. The community that became known as Altona, again, named after a community of the same name in a German state, formed at the northwest end of present day Wisconsin Avenue while a growing community calling itself New Holstein was coming together on the east end of Wisconsin Avenue. The village of Altona was platted in 1851 with New Holstein following suit later. An 1893 Platt map shows the bookend communities under the title “ALTONA and New Holstein Station & P.O. (Post Office)”. Both communities sported a Main Street. Eventually, in 1901, the two combined into one governmental unit incorporating as the Village of New Holstein and in 1926 as the City of New Holstein. The accepted story for the name New Holstein being chosen over the name Altona gives some credit for the decision to the US Postal Service. A community in north central Wisconsin, by the name of Altoona, had also come into existence in the mid 1800’s. The two names were so similar that the postal service, and eventually the railroad (which ran through New Holstein, not Altona) that carried the mail to various Wisconsin communities, often delivered correspondence to the wrong place. When the first post office was established to serve this area it was established in 1850 in New Holstein and served both fledgling communities. Community planners followed suit in 1901 when choosing the official community name.
The new exhibit at Pioneer Corner Museum highlights the celebration of the first 100 years of New Holstein’s history. A 1948 New Holstein centennial movie, originally produced on 16 mm film, has been copied in DVD format and is available for viewing. The 25 minute show reveals scenes from the centennial observance parade (in the rain), soap box derby event, and gathering in Civic Park. In addition to the DVD presentation, a copy of the 1948 New Holstein Centennial Souvenir Booklet is on display. The booklet includes stories and photos from the community’s first 100 years as well as a section of profiles and sponsor ads from local businesses and community organizations.
Pioneer Corner Museum, operated by the New Holstein Historical Society, is open from 1 to 4 PM every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from the first full weekend in May through the last full weekend of September. An admission fee is charged.
4th Graders Visit PCM
New Holstein Elementary School fourth graders from three classrooms visited the Pioneer Corner Museum in early May 2023. Preceding the museum visit, NHHS Director Kay Nett gave a "Traveling Trunk" presentation at NHES. The presentation included a display of several tools and items from New Holsgein's early days as well as a disertation of how the community of New Holstein came to be. In the above photo, a group of NH fourth graders view the New Holstein diorama at the Pioneer Corner Museum.
2023 Spring Luncheon
Susan Puls of Vintage Ada was the guest speaker at the New Holstein Historical Society's Annual Spring Luncheon held in April 2023. Along with displaying and describing numerous items from her shop, Ms. Puls also discussed the discrepency between Vintage and Antique.
Timm House Featured ON WLUK News
The New Holstein Historical Society's Timm House was featured on a segment of WULK (Fox 11) news on Friday, December 9. WULK photographer/reporter Eric Peterson (pictured, left) made the trip down from Green Bay to interview NHHS President Jerry Hallstrom (pictured, right) and NHHS Secretary (and Past President) Kay Nett. The entire clip from the WLUK newscast can be seen on the WULK website, www.wluk.com or by going to the NHHS on Facebook below.
A "Christmas Tea" at the Timm House
ON December 8, 2022 the NHHS's Timm House was the site of a unique event. A Christmas Tea was held in the living room of the almost 150 year old Victorian home. Approximately 20 people attended the "reservation only" event, touring the Timm House's downstairs rooms, listening to seasonal melodies played on the Timm Family's original Box Grand piano, sampling some finger food and seasonal delicacies and, of course, sipping tea (or coffee). A highlight of the event was the joint reading of author Tom Hegg's book, "A Christmas Tea" by NHHS board members Mary Emily Anhalt (left) and Kay Nett (right).
2022 Timm House Christmas Opens
Sandy Hauman plied her deft touch to the original Timm Family Box Grand piano, drawing out a Christmas carol, while visitors viewed a parlor Christmas tree during the Friday, November 25 opening night of the 2022 Timm House Christmas. The New Holstein Historical Society's annual event will run for three more weeks, opening from 5 to 8 PM on Friday evenings and from 11AM to 3 PM on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Last day for the THC will be Dec. 18.
Guest speaker at the 2022 New Holstein Historical Society Annual Meeting was Green Bay fireman David Siegel who related details of a historical conflagration in northeast Wisconsin.
The Great Fire of 1871
When people think back to historical fires of great proportions in the late 19th century, the Chicago fire of 1871 normally pops to the top of the list. While that blaze certainly should rank near the top of the list, northeastern Wisconsin suffered an even larger conflagration at exactly that same time in October. Chicago claimed the newspaper headlines due to its massive property loss, but the Wisconsin fire claimed a greater number of lives and burned over a far greater area.
"At the time of the Wisconsin incident, the popular theory was that the fire started on the west side of the Bay of Green Bay then embers were windborne all the way across the bay to ignite further burning on the east side of the bay," said New Holstein Historical Society's annual meeting guest speaker David Siegel of the Green Bay Metropolitian Fire Department. "We know now, from historical investigation, that the Wisconsin fire was actually three fires which started seperately in the same general area."
Siegel said that conditions in 1871 were almost ideal for a large surface fire. A prolonged dry period had rendered grasslands, some swampy areas, and forest area floors dry and susceptible to burning. The forested areas were also filled with "slash", the remnants of timber harvesting. Limbs, branches, sawdust, anything that was not usable as a building material and was thus left behind when a tree was taken down, to be used for lumber, comprised the on-ground waste called slash.
The western lobe of the Wisconsin fire area is probably best known as the Peshtigo Fire. It burned northward on the west side of the bay. Two other, smaller, lobes burned on the east side of the bay starting north of the community of Green Bay and heading as far north as the Door County/Kewaunee County line, then east toward Lake Michigan. "Flames did not jump the bay," stated Siegel, "these fires all started on their own at seperate points then were wind driven on their paths of destruction."
The winds were actually the most crutial factor in the advancement of the fires. Describing the winds on those October days as being much like the straightline winds we experience today, Siegel said that with fierce winds pushing the fires foward in combination with the abundance of dry combustible materials, including structures such as houses and places of business made of timber, in the fire path, the blazes quickly became "fire storms". On the west side of the bay Peshtigo suffered great property loss as well as loss of lives. On the east side, communities like New Franken and Williamsonville were obliterated by the sweeping inferno.
Siegel stated that loss of life was great in the Wisconsisn fire area because there was no place for people to go to get away from the fire. Everything in the fire's path was combustible. There were few places to hide. Some folks sought refuge in a river and inside well sites, but many of those people also succumbed due to the massive heat that accompanied the fires. Superheated air was pulled into people's lungs destroying soft internal tissue and causing death. Some residents made their way to a river and found refuge from the flames, but after emerging from the water when the fire had passed, had no way of drying out or warming up. Many contracted various maladies associated from the "chill" they sustained on what became a cold October day in the fire's aftermath. Some of those maladies, like pneumonia, led to further deaths.
While the tale of the "Great Fire of 1871" is a somewhat grim one, Siegel stated that some good did come from it. Survivors stayed in the area and rebuilt. Non flammable components like rock and brick became preferred building materials, better clean up and disposal practices were incorporated into forestry management, and communities began to think about methods of fire supression should situations necessitate it.
And a hundred miles, or so, to the south, Chicago managed to pull itself together and survive also.
Following Siegel's address, a short NHHS annual meeting was held with the main point of business being the election of three members to the NHHS Board of Directors. Incumbents Donna Schneider, Linda Schneidewind, and Grace Flora were all re-elected to three year terms.
NHHS @ the Calumet County Fair
In 2022 the New Holstein Historical Society has a featured display at the Calumet County Fair. The fair runs from now through Labor Day. Our exhibit is in the big white building with the cupola on top at the north end of the fairgrounds. Plan a fun day at the fair, ride the Ferris Wheel, eat a corn dog, pet a cow, and stop to see the NHHS display!
LEIBHAMS RECOGNIZED AT ANNUAL NHHS MEETING ON NOV. 13
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.
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.
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!
Gun Powder Keg Appraised at Event
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.
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 September. 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 September.
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.
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