Christmas Reflections Meal: A Fund Raiser for Sustaining the German American Museum

Christmas Reflections Dinner.

On Saturday, December 12th, members of the St. Lucas Historical Society will present the traditional Christmas Reflections meal as a curb-side pick-up dinner from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM at the German American Museum, Library and Family History Center in St. Lucas.

"This 18th Christmas Reflections dinner," states Joyce Moss, vice president of the St. Lucas Historical Society, "is a 'Hot Beef Sundae' featuring beef brisket on gravy with fresh home-made mashed potatoes with a cheese garnish, topped with a cherry tomato. Each carry-out dinner will also include coleslaw, fresh carrots in sauce, homemade dinner rolls and a special dessert box of Christmas goodies (homemade Christmas cookie holiday bar, Belgian Chocolate candy)."

Virginia Manderfield, treasurer of St. Lucia Court #233 of the National Catholic Society of Foresters (NCSF), states that "the Christmas Reflections meal is a NCSF matching funds event to help with maintenance costs of the Museum building, including the need to replace the leaky roof system."

Clair Blong, president of the Society, notes that "Christmas Reflections is the only fund-raising event we are able to hold this year, so please consider the German American Museum in your end-of-the year charitable giving. The annual June cultural heritage workshop and Oktoberfest fund-raising events were cancelled due to the COVID pandemic."

The St. Lucas Historical Society is recognized as a Federally and State of Iowa non-profit charitable organization. Mel Bodensteiner, a Society board member states that, "On June 1, 2003, the IRS granted the St. Lucas Historical Society the 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status as a non-profit charitable organization. All donations are greatly appreciated and will be put to good use."

For dinner planning purposes, please call Virginia at 563-778-2710 to indicate how many dinners you plan to take home on this pre-Christmas evening.

Museum Open House Weekend.

The St. Lucas Historical Society will be holding an Open House at the German American Museum on Saturday, December 19th and Sunday, December 20th from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Joyce Moss urges, Please bring your family and friends to see the refreshed museum exhibit rooms and the newly-restored huge attic space with its many elaborate Christmas trees and decorations. Among the newly-acquired museum exhibits are a 160-year-old German spinning wheel and a handsome antique piano from the Elaine Kuennen Sloan estate.

Joyce Moss is very excited about the long Summer and Autumn restoration effort in the attic. Joyce notes, "Society volunteers provided over 1,250 hours of effort to completely refresh the attic space. Dan Kuennen led the grueling volunteer team effort to scrub the 110-year-old red cedar roof beams and hardy Douglas fir attic flooring. Dan has scars to prove it."

The attic now has additional lighting and several interesting exhibits including: a women’s tea room; a turn of the century school room; a men’s lounge with 1,200 historic beer cans, unique farm feed signs, feed bags and old sports gear; a children’s play area with antique doll houses and toys; and a striking display of devotional pictures from many local families. Diane McCarty, treasurer of the Society notes, if you would like to display an antique item in any of these exhibit areas, please bring it by the museum in the coming weeks. The museum exhibits and attic displays are a community-wide effort to save and celebrate our cultural heritage.

Clair Blong states, "COVID pandemic procedures will be in place during the Open House days. Entry to the museum means wearing a mask and physical distancing in the exhibit rooms. Face masks will be available for anyone needing one."

Carl Most, the secretary of the Society extends the German greeting, "Der Vorstand und Mitglieder von der Historical Society wünsche allen von nah und weit Frohe Weihnachten und einen guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr! Gnade sei mit Euch und Friede von Gott und dem Herrn Jesus Christus." The translation of Carl's remarks is: "The Board and Members of the Historical Society wish everyone from near and far Merry Christmas and a good New Year. Grace to you and peace from God and our Lord Jesus Christ."

The Old Mission - Joe Tillman

Autumn Speaker Series Will be on Video

Due to the continued spread of the COVID 19 virus, the German American Museum, Library and Family History Center staff are placing the Autumn Speaker Series on YouTube. These videos replace actual live speakers in the Museum. The first two speaker videos will be uploaded in mid-September to St. Lucas Museum, Iowa.

The first speaker is Joe Tillman of Forest City, Iowa who will be speaking on the early families in the church records of Festina, Iowa. The second speaker is William Burke of Lansing, Iowa who will be speaking on the Black Hawk War and the war of extermination against his people.

Clair Blong, of the St. Lucas Historical Society, states, "In October we intend to upload presentations on the arbor heritage of the St. Lucas community and the history of the Hauer Family Blacksmith Shop." In the following months, speakers will cover family histories and local history topics.

Window Restoration and Preservation

Restoration and preservation of the large double hung window sets on the German American Museum, Library and Family History Center. Restored window locations:

This huge multi-year historic preservation project has been funded by many avid individual and family supporters, both locally and across the Nation; local banks and manufacturing businesses; the State of Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs matching fund grants; the Fayette County Community Foundation matching fund grants; the American Legion Father Aloysius Schmitt Post 691; the Catholic Order of Foresters; and the National Catholic Society of Foresters. This restoration and preservation team effort is an awesome example of re-purposing of a historic building, the St. Luke School (1911 to 1967), later St. Luke & St. John School, that was placed in June 2005 on the National Register of Historic Places.

Upcoming Events

Cancellation of Workshop on Preserving and Celebrating German Cultural Heritages

The board of directors of the St. Lucas Historical Society regret to announce, after much deliberation and thought, the difficult decision to cancel the Annual Workshop on Preserving and Celebrating German Cultural Heritages in the Midwest. The workshop was scheduled to take place on Wednesday, June 17, 2020.

This action is being taken in consideration of everyone’s health and safety during this period of the COVID 19 virus and possible re-occurrences, and the many uncertainties of planning and holding a large public meeting in mid-June.

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Workshop on German Cultural Herritage in the Midwest: the Past, Present and Future


Window Restoration and Preservation

Restoration and preservation of the large double hung window sets on the German American Museum, Library and Family History Center. Restored window locations:

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