SYNOPSIS OF GERMAN-AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM PROJECT
DATED: February 15, 1991
The Community of Manning Iowa through Manning Heritage Foundation an Iowa Nonprofit Corporation which is qualified under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code has established as one of its goals and is presently working on a plan whereby Manning will become the site for a national museum devoted to German history and culture the immigration of the Germanic people to the United State of America and the impact these people and their offspring have had on the development of the United States.
One of the Foundation's initial projects will be to acquire a traditional house barn in German disassemble the structure transport it to Manning, Iowa and then reassemble it in Manning. It is contemplated that the house barn will be but one segment of the entire project.
Manning Development Corporation of Manning, Iowa has committed a site for this project which will be adequate for the project's needs for the immediately foreseeable future. Paved road and utility services are available to the boundary of the site.
Many of the business people and farmers who initially populated the Manning area more than 100 years ago were either immigrants from Germany or of Germanic descent. Well into the 1950's it was not uncommon to hear the German language spoken at farm places business establishments and social gatherings.
Manning's strong German heritage is attested to by its Kinderfest (children's festival) celebration which is held during June of each year and is more than 107 years old. More recently Manning has inaugurated a Weihnachtsfest (festival of Christmas) which is held from the later part of November into December of each year. Manning is also currently developing plans for a Maifest (May fest) which will be held in May of each year and Deutschen Tage (German Days) which will be held in September or October of each year. The ancestral roots for Deutschen Tage go back to the early days of this century when Deutschen Tage was celebrated as one of the community's major social and cultural events.
A men's singing organization known as Der Manning Liederkranz was organized in December of 1891 by a group of young businessmen all of whom were of German descent. This group despite interruptions cause by two world wars is still active and in existence today.
The Foundation is in the process of seeking endorsements for the project. Organizations that have endorsed the project to date include but are not limited to the Iowa Departments of Economic Development; Manning City Council; Manning Chamber of Commerce; Carroll County Iowa Board of Supervisors; Audubon County Iowa.
Board of Supervisors; Crawford County Iowa Board of Supervisors; Shelby County Iowa Board of Supervisors; Carroll County Area Development Corporation; Staunton Virginia Chamber of Commerce; Coon Rapids Iowa City Council; Denison Iowa City Council; Manilla Iowa City Council; Halbur Iowa City Council; Audubon Iowa City Council; Carroll Iowa City Council; and Irwin Iowa City Council.
The project is an outgrowth of a series of community betterment meeting sponsored by the Manning Area Betterment Project. This project on a public community-wide basis solicited and received input from all segments of the Manning community on various matters including the types of projects the community should undertake. In areas dealing with heritage tourism and culture the overwhelming sentiment was expressed that this type of project should be strongly developed supported and encouraged by the community.
The Foundation's Board of Directors has adopted the following statement of purpose for the Foundation's German House Barn Project:
The purpose of the German Haus Barn shall be to provide an attraction and focal point around which the Manning Community will preserve and promote its German heritage. The unique authenticity of this building will give focus to the many efforts being made to develop and direct activities related with but not limited to items of German cultural social and economic heritage.