September and October are Last Chances to View Wedding Gowns,  Gramma Clown and Furniture Connection Exhibits 

The New Holstein Historical Society's Timm House and Pioneer Corner Museum remain  open for the 2019 season thru the last Sunday in October, the 27th.  A popular feature for the 2019 season, at the Timm House, a display of eight wedding dresses from the NHHS's own collection, or on load from friends of the NHHS, will remain thru the closing date.  This exhibit is temporary and will not be on display in the 2020 Timm House season.

The wedding dresses span a time slot from the late 1800's to 1961.  They ware be displayed in various rooms throughout the restored Victorian home.  Each dress is accompanied by a short history of "happenings in New Holstein" for the year the dress was worn.  Where possible, a photo of the bride wearing the gown is also displayed.

At the Pioneer Corner Museum, two featured exhibits will be making their last appearance in the South Gallery when the 2019 season ends.

"Remembering Gramma Clown" offers a wonderful glimpse of former New Holstein resident Audrey Orth's career as a clown.  Several of her costumes, some of her props, and photos of many of her appearances are part of the.  For anyone who remembers the Gramma Clown troupe cavorting in any, or all, of the area parades, this exhibit is sure to evoke memories.

The second temporary exhibit about to close at the end of October is "Furniture Connection".  This Pioneer Corner Museum display tells the story of the Rodenbaeck/Laun families' connection with the furniture and lumber businesses that ultimately became the A.A. Laun Company and the Erbe-Laun Furniture Store in New Holstein.

New exhibits will take the place of both"Gramma Clown" and "Furniture Connection" as the NHHS endeavors to display other facets of New Holstein's history.

Both the Timm House and Pioneer Corner Museum are open  from 1 to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays thru the 27th of October.  Admission to either the Timm House, or the PC Museum, is $7 for adults and $5 for children.  A combo ticket for both venues is available at $10 for adults and $7 for children.  Combo tickets need not be used for both venues on the same day.

Appointments for tours at times other than the regular weekend hours may be made by calling (920) 948-7748 or (920) 898-5746.

Christmas at Balmoral to be Presentation at NHHS Annual Meeting On November 9

Impressionist Jessica Michna will portray Margaret Cummins, head housekeeper at Balmoral Castle as the featured presentation at the 2019 New Holstein Historical Society's Annual Meeting.  The event will take place on Saturday, November 9 at the Altona.

Margaret Cummins served as the head housekeeper at Balmoral Castle, one of the British Royal Family's residences since 1852.  Her presentation centers on instructing Balmoral's staff on their duties as Christmas approaches and the Royal Family will be in residence.  The time period will be late 1850's/early 1860's.  The audience takes the role of the staff in receiving the wisdom of Mrs. Cummins.

Margaret Cummins is one of may personas portrayed by Ms. Michna.  She has previously appeared at NHHS events as Mary Todd Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt

Balmoral Castle is somewhat unique in that it is actually owned by the Royal Family,  Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, purchased the castle and estate in 1852 and almost immediately set about commissioning a new larger structure which was completed in 1856.  The old castle was demolished soon thereafter. Balmoral is located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

It is thought that Albert's purchase was prompted due to the landscape, which surrounded the castle and estate, reminding him of  that which abounded in his homeland of Thuringia (Germany).  It has also be said, however, that at the point Albert purchased Balmoral, he had not laid eyes on it.

Albert and Victoria enjoyed their visits to Balmoral and visited as often as the royal schedules allowed.  Following Albert's death in 1986, Victoria continued to frequent Balmoral staying for as long as four months through the summer and autumn months.  After Victoria's death in 1901, the royal family has continued to visit and acquire additional property at Balmoral.  It now covers approximately 50,000 acres and is a working estate.

Reservations are required for the November event.  Cost is $20.00 per person with reservations due by November 1.  Doors open at 11:00, lunch will be served at noon with Ms. Michna's presentation to follow.  A short annual business meeting will follow the presentation.  This event is open to the public.


A Nic Vollstedt Original

Vollstedt 4

Nic Vollstedt, Early NH  Artist

Many of you, who are familiar with the early history of New Holstein, have heard the name Nic Vollstedt.  Vollstadt was a "meat cutter".  He opened a meat market in New Holstein in 1855 and his family continued in the business for many years thereafter.  What many folks didn't realize is that Vollstedt was also a prolific artist.

The New Holstein resident drew and painted, 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.

Vollstedt enjoyed painting scenes much like European landscape artists might have created.  He conversed with the Native American population in the area to learn 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 Vollstadt painting.  Pieces of wood, press board, canvass, cardboard, and even card stock ship labels served as surfaces for his artistry.

Along with his work as a butcher and his leisure time as an artist, Vollstedt was also a prolific storyteller.  His granddaughter, Mary Vollstedt Hipke, 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 of his creation.  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.

While the charcoal sketches may no longer exist, many of Vollstedt's paintings do.  Vollstedt's great granddaughter, Honey Hipke Leibham and her husband John, are trying to locate current owners of Vollstedt paintings.  The NHHS collection contains three examples of his works and various other local residents have come forward with information on pieces they own.  If you, or someone you know, has one or more of Nic Vollstedt's works, Honey and John would like to speak with you.  They can be reached at or 920-898-4928.

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.

The NHHS is working with the Leibhams with a goal of locating enough of the Vollstedt paintings that a gallery showing of the works could be held in the near future.  The NHHS would also like to compile a photo catalog of all existing known Vollstedt works.

A Vollstedt Seascape from 1912

Nv seashore painting   1912

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. 

State Historical Society Curator was Featured Speaker at NHHS Annual Meeting on Nov. 10 at Altona

Leslie Bellias, Curator of Social History at the Wisconsin Historical Museum, was the guest speaker at the New Holstein Historical Society's Annual Meeting.  Her topic will be "OVER HERE: THE WISCONSIN HOMEFRONT IN WORLD WAR 1".

The Annual Meeting was held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Altona Supper Club in New Holstein.

In the time following the United States' entry into the foray of World War 1, Wisconsin began to receive dubious attention as America's "Traitor State". With a large percentage of citizens of German descent, a staunch anti-war advocate in the person of Senator Robert Lafollette, and a very active Socialist party operating within the state, some sections of the country formulated some doubts about Wisconsin's collective loyalty.
Ms. Bellais' address focused on the ways Wisconsinites exhibited loyalty and patriotism while coping with the tense atmosphere that existed within and around the state during the 18 months the US was actively involved in World War 1.

Ms. Bellias' presentation highlighted key figures such as Wisconsin Governor Emanual Philipp, "preparedness advocate" Wheeler Bloodgood, and Wisconsin's anti-war advocate and Senator, Robert Lafollette.   
Leslie Bellias, of the Wisconsin State Historical Society, was the featured speaker at the 2018 NHHS Annual Meeting on Nov. 10.

Annual Meeting Notes from Nov. 10, 2018 Meeting

New Holstein Historical Society incumbent directors Ginny Curry and Greg Hageman were re-elected to three year terms at the NHHS Annual Meeting held Nov. 10.  Former NHHS director Barbara Weber rejoined the Board as she was also elected to a three year term.

At the regular NHHS November meeting that convened following the Annual Meeting, current NHHS officers Jerry Hollstrom, President; Carol Wordell, Vice-president; Dick Griem, Treasurer; and Kay Nett, Secretary, were all re-elected for the 2019 term.

Inside the house

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.

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: 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   or on facebook at