2008 - A Year of Celebration
Throughout the year of 2008, New Bremen celebrated its founding of 175 years ago.
The celebration began January 20, 2008 at the Auglaize County courthouse. Both New Bremen and Wapakoneta were honored that day for their 175th birthdays. Colors were presented by the New Bremen American Legion Post 241. Frances Strickland, Ohio’s First Lady, presented greetings from the State of Ohio. New Bremen Mayor Jeff Pape and Wapakoneta Mayor Rodney Metz greeted the audience for each of their towns. Ivo Kramer, Auglaize County Commissioner, also offered greetings. The keynote speaker was James Dicke II, Chairman and CEO of Crown Equipment Corporation, New Bremen. There was special music by four Auglaize County High School students: Lanae Caudill and Lauryn Bertke from New Bremen and Elliot Schuler and Daniel Sprague from Wapakoneta. Refreshments were served following the ceremony. Rachel Barber, Administrator of the Auglaize County Historical Society, planned and hosted the event with the help of members of the New Bremen Historic Association.
New Bremen continued celebrating. The New Bremen Historic Association’s Annual Dinner meeting on March 17th was decorated as a birthday party. Over 200 members were present and helped celebrate the occasion. The speaker again was James Dicke II.
The celebration continued at the annual New Bremen Historic Association’s summer picnic on June 1st. A large turnout gathered for the delicious food and entertainment. Members of the T.R.S.S. Drum Corps from Dayton provided the entertainment. Coloring Contest winners were also announced at the picnic. Participants were asked to color a drawing of the village seal. The winners were: BACK - Hallie Hemmelgarn, Tara Springer, Koby Paul, Cody Springer; FRONT - Melissa Waterman, Devon Thieman, Taylor Paul, Madison Pape; NOT PICTURED - Elizabeth Wells. Each winner received a New Bremen Canal Game.
The New Bremen Historic Association has also been offering brass commemorative coins depicting the seal of the Village of New Bremen. The proceeds from the sales benefit the fund for the proposed Lockkeeper’s House to be built at Lock One.
On June 11th at 6:30 P.M., the New Bremen Village Council met at Lock One to commemorate the platting of New Bremen on June 11, 1833. The occasion was complete with birthday cake. Special guests were former mayors, Lloyd Laut and Richard Wiedeman. (Lloyd Laut since passed away on August 31st at the age of 105.)
The St. Paul United Church of Christ celebration occurred on June 29th. The church was established in 1833 at the same time as the town. The congregation of St. Paul invited all residents of the village to join them in the celebration. A special service was planned for the morning worship. Following the service, Mayor Jeff Pape read the proclamation. Mayor Pape and church officials then had a ribbon cutting ceremony and the congregation posed for a group picture.
There was homemade ice cream, cake, cookies, pie and chicken dinners for everyone to enjoy and large inflatable games for the kids. Music was provided by the Sharon Chaney Band. Several former ministers of the church were present to help celebrate. A comprehensive anniversary book was written and published tracing the congregation’s inception to the present.
In July, at the Auglaize County Fair, Delores Stienecker of New Bremen and Rachel Barber from Wapakoneta collaborated on developing a “Made in New Bremen/Made in Wapakoneta” display. After the fair the display was shown in downtown New Bremen during August and then moved to the Library in Wapakoneta during September.
The annual Bremenfest event was held August 15-17, 2008 and also celebrated 175 years of history.
Lastly, in November 2008, “The History of Business in New Bremen” was published - a book which describes 175 years of progress in New Bremen businesses from 1833 to the present. This book was written by a committee from the New Bremen Historic Association and is available from the NBHA, the Chamber of Commerce, the Artist’s Touch or the New Bremen Public Library.
[by Genevieve Conradi]