Manning's Authentic German Haus Barn Arrives

Manning Monitor
September 26, 1996
By: Becky Bothun

Two trucks pulled into Manning on Monday, September 23, 1996, carrying precious cargo. After seven years, Manning's German haus barn has arrived!

The haus barn was greeted by members of the haus barn committee, city workers, and other interested community members. As the back doors opened on the first truck the first glimpse of years of work were recognized.

Many doors, windows, bricks, timbers, and some old farm equipment were inside the forty and twenty foot cartons. Workers began immediately unloading the items. Smaller pieces were carried off while the large timbers were unloaded with a crane. The haus barn is being stored on the Sextro property that has been purchased as the future site of the project.

After being disassembled just short of a month ago, the haus barn began its journey to the United States. The structure was transported by ship, rail, and truck at a cost of $7,500.

When trucker Randy Joens picked the cartons up in Davenport, Iowa at 1:00 a.m. on September 23 and arrived in Manning to unload at 8 a.m., he said, "I have delivered just about anything and everything but this is by far the most interesting. Until this, the strangest thing I delivered were pipes to build a pipe organ. Until you open it up, you just don't know what it is. My dispatcher told me there would be a lot of people here. I figured it must be something special. The only other time my truck has been on film was when I delivered water tanks and CARE filled them with clothing."

Freda Dammann, co-chairperson of the haus barn committee, witnessed the arrival and unloading of the barn. She ex-claimed, "I am so excited I am going to have to go into the corn field and scream. I can hardly contain myself. We have waited so long. When you think about people working on these beams 250 years ago, you realize how in-significant we really are."

Ron Colling, haus barn committee co-chairperson, said while observing the items as they were being unloaded, "It has been a long time coming. I am glad to see that the structure finally came to town. It is actually exciting." Colling went on to say that in 1989 the original idea cropped up at a community betterment meeting. "I proposed the idea if Elk Horn could have a Danish windmill, Manning could have an authentic German haus barn. I contacted the son-in-law and daughter who were stationed in Beauf, Belgium, just outside of Amsterdam at that time. They in turn contacted Dr. Johannsen of the Kiel Museum. I went to visit the kids and the son-in-law and I drove up to Kiel to visit with Dr. Johannsen at the Open Air Museum. It was the first personal contact made with him by a Manning person. From there years of planning and correspondence followed which brought us to this day."

A tremendous amount of planning and work still lay before those involved in the project. It is unclear at this time when the actual re-erection of the structure will begin.

Fund raising efforts will continue for quite some time to raise the $750,000 needed to bring the project to completion. Those interested in contributing monetary donations or volunteering labor are more than welcome at anytime. Clean up and restoration will need to be done at the farm site prior to the reconstruction of the haus barn. If interested contact Freda Dammann, Ron Colling, or any other committee member.