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Loyalty & Dissent: Brown County and WWI

This exhibit is now open at the Brown County Historical Society in New Ulm, Minnesota. It was a great team effort to develop. I’m especially proud because it addresses significant issues that have relevance today.

A Sigel Township Farm

For our documentary, A Heritage Transplanted: German Bohemians in America, we gathered nearly 100 hours of interviews. The full-length videos will be available to researchers at the German Bohemian Heritage Society Library and the Brown County Historical Society. There was an abundance of wonderful stories, and none better than those told by Pat Kretsch. Last fall we toured the Sigel Township farm owned by his two uncles and an aunt. The interview is available here for the first time.

A Homeland Transplanted DVD Now Available

gbhs DVD

The German-Bohemian Heritage Society has just released the DVD of our documentary, A Homeland Transplanted: German Bohemians in America. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, immigrants from German-speaking Bohemia came to America, with many settling near New Ulm, Minnesota. There, they lived on farms in the surrounding townships or in neighborhoods like Goosetown and the Wallachei. They brought the folkways of their homeland with them to the new world. Today, the traces of that culture — their Heimat — linger. Many recall the use of the “Böhmish” dialect at home or in the fields. At the family table, bread dumplings with horseradish gravy or “schmierkucken” are still a part of their family fare. Older members of the community carry on crafts such as music-making and klöppeled lace. Based on oral history interviews, this documentary tells the story of a homeland transplanted. 122 minutes

For more information, contact:
German-Bohemian Heritage Society
P. O. Box 822
New Ulm, MN 56073
www.germanbohemianheritagesociety.com

Flatboatmen of the Frontier

Friends are taking off for a year with their two sons, heading down the Mississippi River in a houseboat. It’s the life of Huck Finn, hopefully without the drama. It will be a voyage that they will never forget. We talked a little about the history of flatboats, and I sent links to several websites about George Caleb Bingham and his evocative early nineteenth century paintings. In the search for more history, I was sent to this fascinating documentary, done in 1941. It begins in a low key manner, never quite stating that it is a recreation.