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Wednesday, March 12, 2014 ~ Vol. 108 No. 36
THE FRANKENMUTH WOMEN’S CLUB . . . sponsored the Frankenmuth Historical Association’s annual dinner meeting at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth March 6. Following the event, the past club presidents who attended gathered for a News photo. They are, front row (l-r): Sally Hovis, Marie Creger, Mary Ellen Simon and current President Linda Woodle. Row two: Kathy Fisk, Karen Van Hine, Judy Jeffers and Eileen Rodammer. Row three: Heidi Enge, Ruth Abraham Baker, and Sue Piesko. Row four: Gretna Van Fleet, current Vice-President Kathryn Nuechterlein, Lenore Gottleber, Margie Ellis and Judy Vanderhaar. Row five: Mary McEwen, Sally Van Ness and Carol McClellan. (News photo)
Museum creates Women's Wall of Fame exhibit
While the Frankenmuth Historical Museum continues to “preserve, communicate and celebrate” the community’s unique history within its doors, it is the temporary exhibits that have been drawing in new persons to the museum.
Frankenmuth Historical Association Director Jon Webb and staff have been taking more ownership in the creation of the exhibits in recent years, including the one chronicling the Sinking of the Titanic (set up two years ago) to the recent Michigan and War of 1812 and most recently, Kennedy, which marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy November 22, 1963.
“We used to rely on outside groups or renting traveling exhibits to fill our temporary gallery space,” Webb said of the Leona Geyer Gallery. “Gradually, I’ve assumed those duties and find it really enjoyable selecting the topics, designing and developing the exhibits and it allows us to personalize the exhibits a bit more for Frankenmuth . . . to relate the topic of the exhibit more closely with our own history.”
For example, Frankenmuth’s Chad Audinet had several artifacts for the Titanic exhibit, including locating a survivor who was from nearby Birch Run and Millington area. The Kennedy exhibit also featured local pieces.
Webb spoke of the exhibit work at the association’s annual dinner meeting at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth March 6. The meeting was sponsored by the Frankenmuth Women’s Club, who presented their unique history.
Ironically, the newest museum exhibit will be dedicated to females and their place in the workplace. The exhibit will be entitled 𠇏rom Bread Bakers to Bread Winners: The Changing Roles of Women in the Last Century.”
The exhibit will explore women’s suffrage, the Great Depression, women in advertising and women at war, among other values. It will be set up through at least summer 2014, depending on its popularity.
“We’ve selected several topics which we feel were instrumental in bringing about the ‘Modern Woman.’” Webb said.
The special feature will be twofold. One, a Frankenmuth Women’s Wall of Fame will be established and two, a special panel will be created called “The Zehnder Ladies.”
Webb said the Women’s Club and the museum are collaborating on the Women’s Wall of Fame.
“When I was meeting with the Women’s Club about sponsoring the annual meeting, I was describing this idea I had for a Wall of Fame. They had incredible ideas for how we can make it happen and who we can include,” Webb recalled.
Webb showed the first vertical Wall panel, featuring the first honoree, Irene Zeilinger and her contributions to the community. The Wall will include all the past and future Edelweiss Award winners. Every May, the Women’s Club selects and honors a deserving female from the community for recognition.
New Wall of Fame recipients will be added, as deemed worthy.
The community is invited to suggest nominees. Webb has a short, one-page nomination form available at the museum, 613 South Main Street. Nominating persons should fill out the forms and turn them back into Webb. A committee will review the information.
Linda Woodle, the current Women’s Club president, is assisting Webb with “The Zehnder Ladies” panel. Information on this panel will date back to Zehnder’s co-founder Emilie Zehnder. It will be a female family tree of direct bloodline descendents of the Zehnder family.
In other 2013 FHA events, the association applied for and received a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs in the amount of $14,000. This will be used for operation expenses. Further, Webb noted the association has positive cash flow from its financial report.
The annual Fall Auction, held the first Friday in November each year at the Bavarian Inn Lodge, raised a record $68,000 to support the museum’s efforts.
The association’s buildings were spruced up, the museum replacing its weather-worn murals on the south side of the building, the Lager Mill Beer Museum receiving new roofline LED lighting and the local Herb Society Chapter adding a tall wind chime, fashioned by local metallurgist Dave Holtslander.
Over 1,200 persons participated in the museum’s educational programming, led by Education Director Rachel Ramirez. Many schools participated in the Time Traveler program, which had students, teachers and parents traveling to the Wolkensdoerfer Log House to experience pioneer living, take in math or reading lessons at the Hart One-Room Schoolhouse, cross the turn-of-the-19th century iron trestle over the Dead Creek and tour the Eischer House.
The 2015 FHA annual dinner meeting sponsor will be the Frankenmuth Credit Union, which will be wrapping up its 50th anniversary (1964-2014).