Showers Lead to Flowers

The April newsletter suggested that you help us with flowers and, wow, you really did. In fact, we are using some of the donations to fix windows in the farmhouse so we can work on the kitchen flower garden below them. And, Sam Musfeldt is going to fix the wooden lattice at the Church now that Glen Ahrendsen has planted some neat annuals and some great roses in the flower plots up there. In this business, a lot depends on appearance and, as they say, “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression”.

I need to add Lisa Halbur to the list of horticulturists, along with Jeanie Stadtlander, Karen Kienast, Laurie Stein, and Karen Reinke who did the planting. What a great group! We’ve had lots of compliments on the flowerpots. And, of course, we have the dedicated mowers who keep the grass trimmed. Dave Rohe, Bruce Grimm, Warren Puck, Ken Puck, Duane Monson, Roger Hinz, Larry Genzen, and Howard Roe are great help there. Wayne Curlile and LeRoy Dammann keep the pots all watered and fed with Miracle Gro and the flowers are doing very well this year. Chuck Ehlers and Allen Muhlbauer also help with the Park in many ways by moving trees, brush, etc.

Donations Lead to Grants

It’s grant writing time for two local grants and Manning really takes advantage of them. Everyone wants a piece and the grantors have their work cut out for them. It’s fun to be in a community that has so much going on and also has an opportunity to get some funding for all the important projects. Thanks to the Timmerman Trust and the Renze Trust for their investment in the future of Manning and Carroll County. Just this week, we received word that we have been fully funded for the $3500 grant we requested from the Historical Resource Development Program. We’ll add $1700 in cash and $1700 in-kind to get the project done for a total cost of about $7000. The money will be used to start restoration of the scale house in the Leet/Hassler Farmstead District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Farmstead is a very interesting part of the Park and we will continue to stabilize and maintain it. My personal goal is to have a barn dance in the haymow of the barn before I leave this post. You have to have goals, you know. Once again, if this project touches you, you can donate to help finish it with the Donate button on the web site or sending us a check earmarked for that.

Grants Lead to the Rock

The Freedom Rock is finished. By finished, I mean that Bubba Sorensen II, who paints the Freedom Rock at Greenfield, has painted it. And it has been sealed. However, we are now looking at landscaping and hope to have the landscaping professionally designed very soon. We will still need to seek funding for that. We’re delighted to have people stopping to see it and also it has increased traffic to the Hausbarn somewhat. It’s quite an art project! We’re having a “Rock the Rock” party on July 18. Black Diamond, a band from Carroll will entertain at 7:30 and our local ceremonial team, along with their parade Jeep, will be at the Rock to answer questions. Come on out. Free will donation will get you a night of fun and celebration.

The Rock and Tyler Jensen’s Work Leads to More Visitation

We were surprised to receive an e-mail from a tour operator in San Diego, CA, who requested a tour for 50 people here at the Park next May. The tour is being sold in Minneapolis. This helps us understand that patience is a virtue. We’ve been hoping for more tours for five years now and it’s beginning to happen. We’ve had 9 tours since the 1st of May and we are so appreciative of the people who have helped with them – Dorothy Knudson, Cory Arp, Gladys Schmidt, Esther Williams and Marsha Clausen. Jan’s Catering from Audubon has fixed a 6:15 German meal for two of the tours and local Church ladies continue to do noon lunches when asked.

Visitation Leads to Cultural Events and Heritage

As I said in the last newsletter, one of our priorities is to increase our attention to our German heritage and, to that point, we’ve had our program on the Wars of 1848 and 1864, which dramatically changed the border between Denmark and Germany and increased immigration to the US. We also had a fun program on German wedding traditions with a German Wedding Tea. We dis- played wedding gowns from the early 1900’s on and even had German wedding cake. The Manning Public Library had a play called Vang, which was written by Mary Swander about immigration, at the Conference Center in May. We have some more ideas that we will implement this year and next. The office receives two magazines from two Heritage centers in Dav- enport, the American/Schleswig-Holstein Heritage Society and the Ger- man American Heritage Center. Both always have some history and events pertinent to German heritage. We got our German Weddings Tea program by reading about it in the magazine. The magazine also told about a pro- gram they are having called the Ostfriesen Family Conference in August of 2014. Ostfriesland is a small area of northern Germany, bordered by the Netherlands on the west, south to Papenburg, east to Oldenburg and the North Sea. The other magazine has an article on the History of Emigrating to America. The main reason was poverty, but a wish to own land, the industrial revolution, military service, fear of the police and a bad reputation were some of the other reasons. It’s very interesting reading.