Neighbors Past and Present, exhibit of Wisconsin German experience
From sauerkraut to schottisches, Wisconsinites can sense some German background in our state. That influence will be explored in a new traveling exhibit called Neighbors Past and Present: The Wisconsin German Experience.
It will be on view at the Marathon County Historical Society from July 16 through August 22. The exhibit will be augmented by displays of local Marathon County German history, plus two special events on August 17: A talk on Pomeranian immigration by DuWayne Zamzow and an outdoor concert by the Harold Schauer’s Brass Band.
The exhibit, a project of the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies at the UW-Madison, comprises 14 panels that explore German migration and settlement in Wisconsin, questions of ethnicity and identity in newly forged communities, and the cohesiveness of these communities over the decades, especially in times of economic crisis or war. Specific topics include the language, print culture, religion, Amish and Mennonites, traditions and social clubs, education, rural and urban life, business, political and civic engagement, times of war, and immigrants and their descendants in the global world, past and present.
On August 17, DuWayne Zamzow will present “The Pomeranian German Immigration to Central Wisconsin” at 2 p.m. at the Woodson History Center, 410 McIndoe St., Wausau. The Harold Schauer’s Brass Band will present an outdoor concert at 3:30 p.m. in the Yawkey House Museum Gardens.
Zamzow’s talk will address the story of how groups of people were “pushed” from Pomerania, their journey across the Atlantic Ocean, their arrival in America, their “pull” to Wisconsin, and how they established a life in this area. There will be information about the Pommerscher Verein of Central Wisconsin and its goals to preserve this German heritage.
DuWayne Zamzow became interested in genealogy as a teen, and fulfilled his dream of finding his ancestral home in Pomerania after 14 years of research. He is a founding member of the Pommerscher Verein of Central Wisconsin. He directs the club’s Pommerscher Danz Gruppe (German Dance group), writes for its newspaper, and assists at its library.
The concert will be held, weather permitting, in the Yawkey House Gardens across McIndoe Street. The Harold Schauer’s Brass Band plays music in the traditional, German style that was popular across Marathon County in the late 1800s. In case of rain, the concert will be cancelled.
There is no admission fee to view the exhibit or to attend the talk or concert. Donations are appreciated. For more information, please call the Marathon County Historical Society at 715-842-5750.
The Max Kade exhibit has been made possible by a major grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council.
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