2020 NHHS Annual Meeting Cancelled As In-Person Gathering, Mail in Vote Needed

The 2020 New Holstein Historical Society Annual Meeting has been cancelled as an in-person event.  There will be no luncheon or program held this year.

An election of four Board of Director members will be held via a mail-in vote.  Prior to the meeting date, all NHHS members will receive an envelope containing a ballot, instructions, and a stamped, self-addressed envelope in which to return the marked ballot.

Four Board of Directors incumbent members are currently up for re-election: Jerry Hallstrom, Carol Wordell, Kay Nett and Dick Griem.  Instructions will detail how to place votes for these four candidates, or for write-in candidate(s).  The instructions will also explain when the completed ballot must be returned to the NHHS.


Pioneer Corner Museum and Timm House to Remain Closed in 2020 

Looking like a bunch of doctors (masked and gloved) ready to handle  a intricate operation, the New Holstein Historical Society Board of Directors met on May 27 and decided that both Pioneer Corner Museum and the Timm House will remain closed thru 2020.  The closures are based on the currently unpredictable presence of the Covid-19 virus.

Like the conscientious doctors they resembled, members of the BOD engaged in discussion involving best case scenarios and possible negative outcomes of opening the facilities in 2020 and in the end, the joint diagnosis was that the facilities should remain closed for the 2020 season.  A good portion of that diagnosis was based on the uncertainty of whether visitors to the facilities, as well as NHHS docents working at the facilities, could be considered to be in a safe setting.

The decision to keep the two facilities closed throughout 2020 includes cancellation of the annual Timm House Christmas normally held in December.  In a normal season, both facilities would have closed on the last Sunday in October and the Timm House would have reopened at the end of November/beginning of December for the Timm House Christmas.

While the NHHS BOD decided to keep the two facilities closed for 2020, they will continue, at this time, to make plans for the NHHS Annual Meeting scheduled for November 14.  More information about that event will be forthcoming as the date gets closer.  With the closing of Pioneer Corner Museum and Timm House for 2020, plans will soon be started for the 2021 season in which the NHHS will be celebrating their 60th anniversary.

At the "House"

NHHS to Reach Milestone 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 are closed for all of 2020.

The key to that last statement above is that the NHHS facilities are closed, not gone, not shuttered for good, just temporarily closed in the interest of helping to promote good health within the community.  For the immediate future, 2021 looms as a light of hope for the reopening of the two facilities, as well as marking a milestone, the NHHS'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 being readied 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.

Currently, the NHHS has several events scheduled for 2021.  The annual Antiques Appraisal Day is scheduled for March and will be followed by the annual Spring Luncheon in April.  A brat fry is slated to be held during the course of spring or summer, and the Annual Meeting is again scheduled for November.  December should play host to a new edition of the Timm House Christmas.  Other special events may be added in celebration of the 60th anniversary.

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!


2020 NHHS Antique Appraisal Day is CANCELLED

The New Holstein Historical Society has announced that the 2020 edition of their annual Antique Appraisal Day, scheduled for Saturday, March 21, is CANCELLED.  At this time there is no plan to reschedule the event for later in the year.

The decision to cancel was made by NHHS directors with the thought that while the annual event is always well attended by local and area individuals, it could also present a possible danger to those attending in view of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) that seems to be spreading thru the country and specifically into Wisconsin.

Current NHHS plans include again scheduling the event for the third Saturday in March of 2021.  People who were planning on attending the event in 2020 are urged to keep their antique items where they are accessible and bring them to the 2021 event when they are another year older and possibly more valuable.

Spring Luncheon Also Cancelled

The NHHS Spring Luncheon will NOT be held on April 4.  This event, like the annual Appraisal Day, has been CANCELLED due to emerging health concerns in the state and nation.

Persons who made reservations for this event will be contacted by someone from the NHHS.  Thank you for your understanding.  

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.   

Board Members Re-elected at Meeting

Four current NHHS members of the Board of Directors were re-elected to three year terms at the 2019 Annual Meeting held Nov. 9.  Grace Flora, Donna Schneider, Linda Schneidewind, and Terry Thiessen were all unanimously re-elected to serve another three year term.  At the regular November NHHS board meeting which followed the annual meeting, President Jerry Hallstrom, Vice president Carol Wordell, Secretary Kay Nett, and Treasurer Dick Griem were all re-elected to their offices for one year terms.

Bernstein Recognized

Recently retired Wisconsin Historical Society Field Service Rep Rick Bernstein (pictured above) was recognized as a "friend of the New Holstein Historical Society" at the recent NHHS Annual Meeting.  Bernstein, who retired after serving the WHS for 29 years, was presented with an honorary membership in the NHHS.  In making the presentation, former NHHS President Terry Thiessen noted that Bernstein had provided assistance to the NHHS numerous times "over the years".  "When we had a question, or needed help, Rick was there to get us an answer or provide  that assistance," commented Thiessen, adding, "He will be missed." 

Royal Housekeeper Appears at NHHS Annual Meeting

Impressionist Jessica Michna was the guest "speaker" at the 2019 New Holstein Historical Society Annual Meeting held Nov. 9 at the Altona.  Ms. Michna portrayed Margaret Cummins,  mid 1800's head housekeeper at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.  She instructed the "staff" (the audience) on the nuances of showing proper respect while performing their daily duties when Queen Victoria and the Royal Family came to stay at Balmoral for the Christmas season.  Ms. Michna also shared insights as to how the "Royals" would expect to be treated during their stay.  This was the third appearance, at a NHHS event, for Ms. Michna.  She had previously portrayed Mary Todd Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt for NHHS audiences.

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 hjleibham@gmail.com 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. 

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: 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