About the program:
Barns have fascinated Midwestern city folks for decades; local periodic barn tours tend to draw hundreds, sometimes thousands of visitors. Iowa has been blessed with citizen initiatives in two small towns to develop tourism opportunities by bringing existing historic German barns from the Schleswig-Holstein region to their towns: in 1996, Manning brought a large 1660 Hallenhaus barn (Hausbarn) from Klein Offenseth to Manning and reconstructed it as part of a Heritage Park. A decade later, DeWitt obtained a similar, but smaller, 1727 Hallenhaus from the village of Niebull and rebuilt it in the town center. Both barns had been slated for demolition at their original German locations prior to disassembly and shipment to this country, followed by renovations and reassembly by local volunteers led by German craftsmen. In addition to the two original German Hausbarns located in Iowa, an extensive collection of reconstructed early immigrant farmsteads, adapted to local conditions, are located at the Wisconsin Historical Society's Old World Wisconsin open air museum in Eagle, Wisconsin.
This presentation will provide a short overview of the farmstead and construction in various parts of Germany and concentrate on the specific Hausbarns found in northern Germany and Denmark, the Hallenhaus and Haubarg farmsteads. While both the Manning and DeWitt barns are Hallenhäuser, (plural of Hallenhaus), there are no Haubarg type barns in this country -- in fact, there are only about 100 of these very large barns left in Germany and Denmark. The presentation will explore these traditional European farmsteads and compare them to those built later by German and Scandinavian immigrants here in the Midwest.
About the presenter:
Wolf Koch grew up in Oberwinter, a small town dating back to 886, located in Germany's Rhine Valley halfway between Cologne and Koblenz. He arrived in this country some 60 years ago; a decade later, he was back in Germany for five years as an officer in the US Air Force and has been back on business and family visits almost annually. During his childhood, Wolf spent most school vacations on farms owned by siblings of both his grandfathers and became quite familiar with everyday life on small German farms. He and his wife have been frequent visitors to both Iowa Hallenhäuser as well as Old World Wisconsin since 1978. Four years ago, they spent part of a vacation living in a Hallenhaus close to Husum, Germany, as well as a day visiting and photographing the Rote Haubarg, one of the largest, operating now as a restaurant and museum.
Wolf's previous presentations include capturing the Remagen Bridge and commemorating the end of World War II; how a mapping mistake resulted in a new republic in the middle of Rhine Valley in 1919; the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation; the life of Hildegard von Bingen, as well as various local historic and photography topics. He and his wife Linnea travel extensively; their interest in history has taken them to many European historical sites. Locally, they have given many talks on the Hopewell civilization in the Rock River Valley. Dr. Koch, a Sterling resident, is a consultant to the oil and petrochemical industries; he has been a professor of chemical engineering and lectures on energy related topics and historical events. Linnea Koch, a graphic designer specializing in exhibit design and interpretive signage is an accomplished photographer who has documented a decade of local barn tours via multimedia presentations. Together, they teach photography seminars and give presentations on wildlife photography.
Cost of Attendance:
Non-Member - $5 per person
Member - FREE
Tickets at eventbrite.com
Note: This program will occur in-person at the German American Heritage Center in downtown Davenport. There is no virtual option at this time.