Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Memorial Day in Altamont

 Altamont hosted its annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26. It's a nice little parade that starts at the High School and ends at Union Cemetary, where there is a ceremony to mark the day.

 Along with the obligatory firetrucks and ambulances, tractors and horses, there was also the color guard, church groups and Shriners.

And of course, lots of candy for the kids!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Come Celebrate Altamont's Heritage!

Altamont German Heritage Day
Come to Altamont the first Saturday in June

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 with the fantastic hanging baskets provided by the Garden Club. The large flowering pots on the sidewalks are thanks to businesses and the Altamont Chamber of Commerce. 

The June 7th festivities begin in Klitzing Heritage Park on North Main Street at 10 a.m. with displays telling about the German settlers who came in the 1860’s. They farmed, opened businesses, and organized churches that continue today. These creative Germans made many items and today residents continue that tradition.  Altamont craftsmen will sell their handmade items until 2 p.m.

Activities for children begin at 10:30 a.m. They will enjoy the old fashioned games played by the German settlers. Leading the games will be the Big Brother/Big Sister board members. Children can listen to German stories from the Altamont Library.

German plate lunches, bratwurst, wieners, potato chips, soft drinks, and German desserts and other baked goods will be for sale from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Families will listen to recorded German music during lunch time. Bring a lawn chair and join the fun.

At 1 p.m. Elaine Becker Fletemeyer will tell about “The Rich Heritage of Being Bilingual: Speaking Plattdeutsch and English”. Elaine spent her childhood in the Altamont community. Concluding the event at 1:45 p.m., the Altamont Community Choir will sing German songs.

Klitzing /Heritage Park was named for a descendent of the early German settlers. In 1873 a school was built on the site of the park and the first Altamont High School class graduated in 1892. That school was replaced in 1904 with a school for first grade through 12th.   When a new high school was built in 1954, this was the Altamont Grade School.  In 1976 the building was torn down and the block became a city park. The Altamont High School 2014 graduation class includes descendants of the German settlers.

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 2 – 4 p.m. Admission for a tour 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 the trails through the timber and prairie found by the German settlers.

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 Klitzing/Heritage Park.

The Family Friendly Committee invites all ages to Altamont on June 7st to celebrate German Heritage Day. The rain location is the First United Methodist Church. Find Developing Altamont’s Future on Facebook or phone Linda Schmidt at 618-483-6397. 

info provided by the Family Friendly Committee