The Dubois County Museum was recently honored by the Indiana Bicentennial Commission when it named the upcoming exhibit, “A Bicentennial Remembrance: The Story of German Immigration to Dubois County” a Bicentennial Legacy project.  By naming this exhibit as a Legacy project, the Indiana Bicentennial Commission is endorsing projects that “highlight the best of Indiana”.

On Sunday, May 1, the museum will host the opening of this Bicentennial Legacy exhibit.  The Museum will be open for its normal hours from 1-4pm EST.

Museum members holding a 2016 membership will be given a special Sneak Peek of the opening of this exhibit on Saturday, April 30, beginning at 6:00pm.  Schnitz Brewery and Pub will set up a Cash Bar to feature their craft beer and the museum will feature appetizers of sauerkraut, hot dogs, and pretzels.

This Legacy project turns the spotlight on Dubois County and its large population of German immigrants and its strong German heritage.  The Dubois County Museum plans to showcase its gallery on German Immigration exhibits which include: “The Long, Long Trip”, “Germans Come Flying like Snowflakes”, “A Scene from the Early Days”, “County Tecklenburg”, and “Flourishing Religious Faith and Service”.

Why did so many Germans flee to America two hundred years ago? What was their voyage like? What happens when so many immigrants come to the same area? This exhibit addresses the ship’s voyage, the manifest (list of passengers), the ports where they left and the ports where they landed. Much of the information is based on the doctoral work of Elfrieda Lang who was one of the first to study Dubois County’s heavy German population. Many stories of the immigrants are included with an aim of enticing visitors to study their own ancestry.

A scene from the 1900’s demonstrates what the hard work has brought to the family. The love of music and art has been carried on in their new home in Dubois County.

The new settlers established in Dubois County commune-type German-speaking schools, churches, clubs, and even a militia formed during the Civil War. There is a section that spotlights one of the “communes” developed on the land around Holland and Huntingburg where several villages from Hanover—Tecklenburg and Osnabruck—almost emptied out and came to America.

One family’s set of four documents can be viewed—documents needed to emigrate from Germany, show exemption from military duty, then to become a citizen in America, and the main reason most of these Germans came–to own land.

Research on the early churches in Dubois County and the services they brought is ongoing. The history of Memorial Hospital stands as a prime example of such services. The influence of these religions is still the integral source of a unique culture found in Dubois County.

In addition to the displays, there will be programs scheduled this summer and fall that include the history of immigration, the influx of Catholics and Lutherans, translations of old German script and Germans in the Civil War. Mark these dates on your calendars: Bicentennial programs over Strassenfest weekend is planned on August 6. On October 11, a German program for the Indiana Bicentennial with poet and native son, Norb Krapf, is planned.  On November 4 all are invited to come view the permanent exhibit of Opening of the Grand Army of the Republic Exhibit featuring the GAR veterans of the Civil War with a display of their badges, regalia, and photos as they celebrated the end of the Civil War with the guns, etc.

The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00-2:00pm, Saturday from 10:00-4:00pm and Sunday 1:00-4:00pm.  It is closed on Monday. The Dubois County Museum is a local non profit organization committed to the collection, preservation and interpretation of historical artifacts and information important to the citizens of the county.  Museum operations are funded by annual memberships, admission charges, donations and gifts from visitors, area residents and businesses.   The DCM staff consists entirely of volunteers.  The Dubois County Museum is located in Jasper at 2704 N. Newton Street (US231).  Call (812) 634-7733.  Please allow two hours to view exhibits.   Visit the museum web site at Like us on Facebook.