Museum History | Founding of the N.B.H.A. | Renovations

 

WHEN & HOW THE NEW BREMEN HISTORIC ASSOCIATION WAS ORGANIZED

[from Secretary’s minutes, Sesquicentennial book, and early newsletters]

[published in the July 1996 “Towpath”]

When a group of people held a friendly gathering in a backyard on the evening of Thursday, September 27, 1973, they discussed the sad loss of the Thompson Hotel and Livery at Lock 1 on the canal.  They determined that another such building that was soon to be remodeled by its owner, Bruce Scheer, should be preserved.  They approached Mr. Scheer about the possibility of buying the house for use as a landmark and museum.  Thus the New Bremen Historic Association was organized as a non-profit group dedicated to the collection and preservation of the history of New Bremen and German Township.

The twelve-room, two-and-a half story house on North Main Street became the immediate subject of a community restoration project.  The "Luelleman House", so named because that family purchased it in 1868 and lived in it for more than seventy years, is one of the first non-log-cabin structures in the original plat of 1833 in Bremen (as it was then called.)  The building is believed to have been constructed about 1837, with an addition about 1846, and renovations about 1876 and in the 1930s.

On Sunday, September 30th, a second meeting was held at the library which was attended by Mary Ann Brown, Jerry & Sue Maxson, Jeanette Hellwarth, Carl & Melba Roediger, Greg Parrott, Mrs. Elmer Ende, Miss Marie Schrage, and Nancy Hack.  It was decided to contact the major industries and to talk to as many individuals as possible.

On Wednesday, October 3rd, another meeting was held and a motion was passed to form the “New Bremen Historic Association”.  Holly Riebel, Emil Fledderjohann, and Jerry Maxson were appointed as a committee to draft by-laws.  A steering committee was set up to take care of finance and membership.  Appointed were John Poppe (also the voluntary legal advisor), Jim Dicke II, Melba Roediger, Sue Maxson, and Greg Parrott as a consultant.

On November 5th, eighteen people signed up for membership and an election of Officers and Trustees was held (see below).

On December 3rd, a finance committee was named: Jim Moeller, John Gilberg, Lester Blanke, John Poppe, Jim Dicke II, Vic Maurer, Emil Fledderjohann, John Hoffman, and Holly Riebel.  They were to contact all businesses to seek pledges.

On December 28, 1973, a letter was sent to the citizens of New Bremen, asking for pledges to meet the initial purchase price of $15,500.  Over $7500 had already been pledged by local businessmen.

By the January 15, 1974 meeting, a total of $17,021 in pledges had been received from 40 businesses and 169 pledge cards.

On December 16, 1974, Irene Bay accepted the position of Corresponding Secretary.  Marjorie Conradi was to be contacted about becoming the Historian.  She resigned October 20, 1975, and Ollie Inman took over the job of keeping the Historian's scrapbook.  [Today, in 2008, Marge’s daughter, Genevieve Conradi is the Historian.]

At the annual meeting on January 20, 1975, three new Trustees were named: Dave Anthony, Lois Moeller and Fred Wellemeyer.  They replaced the departing 1-year Trustees. 

In May, 1975, Greg Parrott resigned as Curator and was replaced in September by Janet Fledderjohn.

On February 17, 1975, it was decided that anyone who contributed $76.00 or more by July 4, 1976, would be considered a Charter Member and his/her/their name would be placed on the Founders "Spirit of '76"  Plaque in the museum.  As of November 17, 1975, 138 people had pledged $75.00 or more.

On October 20, 1975, a motion was passed to offer Life Memberships for $50.00.

On July 4, 1976, as the United States celebrated its 200th birthday, the town of New Bremen turned out to dedicate its museum which was completely paid for by pledges from over 130 interested people.

 

JULY 4, 2008 MARKED THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF THIS DEDICATION.

 

FIRST OFFICERS OF HISTORIC ASSOCIATION - 1973/74

President/2-yr. Trustee .......................Victor Maurer

Vice-President/3-yr. Trustee...............John Hoffman

Secretary/2-yr. Trustee....................Melba Roediger

Treasurer/1-yr. Trustee...............Jeanette Hellwarth

Trustee/1 year............................Emil Fledderjohann

Trustee/1 year.......................................Sue Maxson

Trustee/2 years......................................Holly Riebel

Trustee/3 years...............................Mary Ann Brown

Trustee/3 years.........................................Mary Wint

Curator..................................................Greg Parrott

 

Museum History | Founding of the N.B.H.A. | Renovations

 

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