Sunday, May 12, 2013

German Heritage Day Update

German Heritage Day           
Come to Altamont the first Saturday in June for German Heritage Day at the Klitzing Heritage City Park.
Developing Altamont’s Future celebrates Altamont’s German roots with a fun day for children, parents, and grandparents. The German love of flowers is shown downtown with the fantastic hanging baskets provided by the Garden Club and the large flowering pots thanks to businesses and the Altamont Chamber of Commerce.
June 1st festivities begin in Klitzing Heritage Park at 10 a.m. where the Altamont Public Library will present “Tales of the Black Forest”.  A display will tell about the German settlers who came in the 1860’s. They organized five Lutheran churches that continue today.

Starting at 10:30 a.m. children will enjoy old fashioned games played by the German settlers. Leading the games will be the Recreation and Parks Committee. Bratwurst, sauerkraut, wieners, soft drinks, and German desserts will be for sale starting at 11 a.m.  Families can listen to recorded German music during lunch time. Bring a lawn chair and join the fun.

Klitzing Heritage Park is named for one descendent of the early German settlers. In 1873 a school was built on the site of the park. It was replaced in 1904 with a school for first grade through 12th. That was the Altamont High School until 1954 and Altamont Grade School until 1976.  The three park pavilions symbolize the three railroads that connected the German settlers to the rest of the country.

Two blocks north of the park is the home of Dr. Charles M. Wright, doctor to the German settlers. The house museum will be open from noon to 2 p.m. Admission for tours is $5 for adults and $1 for students.

Then travel east of Altamont on the old National Road or US Route 40 to Ballard Nature Center and walk trails through the timber and prairie found by the German settlers. “Traveling the Prairie” will be presented from 1 to 2 p.m. at the center.  

While in Altamont, select plants at the three garden centers and find treasures in the antique stores. The churches will not be open, but a map will show their locations. Several members of the German families have served in the US Armed Services. Many of them are listed on the Veterans Memorial in Altamont Union Cemetery, located north of the park on Main Street.

The Family Friendly Committee invites all ages to Altamont on June 1st to celebrate German Heritage Day. Find Developing Altamont’s Future on Facebook or phone Christy Seidel, 217-690-8082.

info submitted by Linda Schmidt

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