NEW KNOXVILLE – The New Knoxville Historical Society’s dedication of a new historical marker Saturday, Sept. 11 is the next step in the society’s work to preserve the stories and artifacts from the past.
President Todd Spieles said that they decided to hold the dedication at the same time as the village garage sales. “That way people will be out and can stop by the complex at the corner of German and Mill streets to see the new sign and the recent improvements at the complex,” he explained.
From 8 a.m. to noon, Historical Society members will be participating in the garage sale then at 1 p.m., the Society will officially dedicate its newly acquired historical marker. At 1:30 p.m., the New Knoxville Band under the direction of Abby Smith will host a concert on the yard of the Heritage Center. More information can be found on their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/newknoxvillehistoricalsociety/
The historical marker honors the three buildings placed on the National Registry of Historical Buildings. The marker was funded by the Pomeroy Foundation which makes grants to support preservation of community history.
Rusty Elsass, exhibit curator, said between 1 and 4 pm that day, docents will be on hand to explain the significance of what the visitor sees and the stories the artifacts tell.
One story involves a lintel found over an entry door during a house renovation. It had a poignant carved message about life and death.
Elsass said, “Roughly translated from the German, it says ‘Since we go in and go out here, the world is indeed is a pleasant room however it is a borrowed house even as we make ourselves most comfortable here, death shows us the door,’ and dated April 4, 1846.”
The carver was Henry Herman Fledderjohann, who had lost family members during a cholera epidemic.
The curator also said the original office for Dr. H.E. Fledderjohann has many other stories in the abundant original equipment and supplies, including books where the doctor recorded the births of the many newborn babies he delivered.
The Fledderjohann property is a complex of five historic buildings. Three of these structures, a house, a doctor’s office, and a stand-alone kitchen building, were owned and used by Fledderjohann, a prominent New Knoxville physician in the late nineteenth and early 20th centuries.
Another exhibit with familiar local names are the senior class books from 1917 to 1937, which were laboriously compiled by historic society members, led by Larry Niemeyer. “The most rare and interesting books are where pictures of sporting events were found,” said Elsass.
The Historical Society began an improvement campaign in the early spring of 2021, raising money to restore the logs of the cabin, bricks on the doctor’s office and foundation work at the doctor’s house
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.