Impressive new Low German Memorial in Cole Camp, Missouri
PS: June 11, 2016, our keynote address in Cole Camp: (please start at 18:50)
Cole Camp (Missouri): New Memorial
Commemorates North German Immigrants
Preserving Low German language and customs - US Americans are increasingly interested in their German roots
A few dozen families from northern Germany settled a tract of land in western Missouri from 1830 onward. Here, in 1834, the German pioneers founded Cole Camp, a community of about 1,100 residents today. About 15 percent of these residents can still communicate with each other in Low German, or "op Platt schnacken," even in the 21st century.
The Low German Club in Cole Camp ensures that this cultural and linguistic heritage of the town's German founders is not lost. Now, moreover, a new, attractively designed memorial commemorates the immigration of the people who, some 180 years ago, found their way across the Great Pond from the lowlands of northern Germany between Hamburg and Bremen to settle in what are now the Missouri counties of Benton, Morgan, and Pattis.
Neil and Marilyn Heimsoth, direct descendants of the early Cole Camp settlers, took the initiative in 2009 to create the magnificent memorial. Neil Heimsoth was inspired by an impressive immigrant memorial in Sterling Heights, Michigan, which also commemorates the German settlers as founders of this place. Many individual donations and the sale of signed bricks made this major German-American project possible.
The Low German Immigrant Memorial in Cole Camp was dedicated on June 11, 2016. "It is more than a historical monument, it is also a monument to freedom," said Neil Heimsoth, who is known far beyond the borders of Cole Camp as a gifted landscape painter, welcoming the participants to the impressive ceremony. Almost all German-born residents as well as guests from the U.S. homeland and some from Germany had come to this, among them the historian Dr. Joachim Reppmann, who is well-known in wide circles of German-American emigration research, and his wife Gitta. "Over six million German-speaking Europeans, about one million of them Plattschnacker, came to America between 1830 and 1930. A mass movement! There is no larger ethnic group that ever came to the United States." (Reppmann in his keynote address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brb9LTWJZ-M ).
At the beginning of the dedication ceremony, the German national anthem ("Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland") was played - movingly intoned by a brass band, and everyone joined in the song lyrics - followed immediately by the Star-Spangled Banner, the legendary U.S. anthem. The Low German singing group interpreted the popular North German folk song „Wor de Nordseewellen trecken an de Strand, wor de geelen Blöme bleuhn int gröne Land, wor de Möwen schrieen gell int Stormgebrus, dor is mine Heimat, do bin ick to hus ...“.
A large rectangular stele in the center of the semicircular memorial informatively explains that this plaque "honors all the brave souls who emigrated to Missouri from the German-speaking countries of Europe." Named here are primarily Austrians, Bohemians, and Prussians, but especially the Low German speakers from the German-speaking Lower Saxon and East Frisian provinces of what was then the Kingdom of Hanover. The back of the stele geographically represents all 38 North German districts from which the families emigrated in the 19th century. In addition, the semicircle of the monument contains square porcelain plaques with the names of the settler families and individuals, as well as their descendants. Brick No. 12, for example, immortalizes Neil's great-grandfather as an ancestor of the Heimsoth immigrant family.
Sources for this on the Internet:
https://www.sedaliademocrat.com/stories/immigrants-sacrifice-freedom-honored,18449 — Immigrants sacrifice, freedom honored By Sedalia Democrat Posted 6/12/16
COLE CAMP — Nearly 200 people gathered Saturday afternoon for the dedication Cole Camp’s German Immigrant Memorial that recognized the sacrifice of families who came to America to find a better …
German Immigrant Memorial
by Neil Heimsoth, Cole Camp, MO
(My friend Neil Heimsoth is explaining how the German Immigrant Memorial came to be at Cole Camp, Missouri.)
“Several years ago, my wife Marilyn and I attended a conference of the Nord-Amerikanischer Saengerbund in Sterling Heights, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. On the grounds of the Carpathian Clubhouse, there was a beautiful memorial to the German settlers of that area. I was so impressed with it that I began thinking of our own situation. I also remembered that Loose Creek, Missouri had also erected a memorial about 20 years earlier. In 2009, we purchased an old house in the downtown area to use for my art gallery. Adjacent to the house was a vacant lot. I began making sketches for an immigrant memorial and shared these ideas with my good friend, Bob Owens. Immediately following WW ll, Bob was hired by the State Department to work in Berlin. The city was cleaning up the rubble from the devastation of the war, and Bob salvaged two magnificent icons which where were originally ornaments on some old building. He had these shipped home, and now they were sitting in his backyard. He suggested that if I could use them as part of the design, he would donate them. Today they are located at each end of the circular wall of our memorial.
A committee was assembled from members of our Low German club, and the club agreed to sponsor this memorial project, making all contributions tax-deductible. To finance this, we sold engraved bricks. The design contains a circular masonry wall, four feet tall, which encompasses the immigrant area containing gray 8”x8” engraved bricks with a number, name of immigrant, hometown, Missouri county of settlement, and year. (This is limited to those who settled in Benton, Morgan, and Pettis counties.) In front and center in this area is a large red granite memorial stone, containing a dedicatory statement on the front, and on the back, a small map of Germany with provinces outlined and Lower Saxony highlighted, because the vast majority of our immigrants came from there. The largest feature on the back is an enlarged map of Lower Saxony with all 38 districts outlined and the names abbreviated. These 38 districts are each represented by a small porcelain plaque containing the coat-of-arms in color and mounted on the circular masonry wall. In the front area is the descendant area, made up of engraved bricks with the names of descendants and descendency numbers from the
immigrants. This is the feature that most of our people really appreciate. This is how it works: My great-grandfather is shown on immigrant brick 12. My brick in the descendant area has my name and the numbers 3-12, indicating that I am the third generation from immigrant number 12. My children are 4-12.
This project has been very enthusiastically accepted by the public and makes a very attractive addition to our town, and will be formally dedicated on June 11, 2016.”
Yogi Reppmann's Keynote Address beings at timestamp: 19:00 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brb9LTWJZ-M
Or Watch on YouTube via below: