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Germans from Russia continue fundraising project

By Staff | May 11, 2018

Submitted photo Rugby resident Nick Schall gives a check in the amount of $10,000 to Monica Houim, a local representative of the Heart of America Germans from Russia group.  Nick supports the need for the construction of a building that will house memorabilia and artifacts for the Germans from Russia immigrants to this area. 

The Heart of America Germans from Russia organization is continuing the fundraising project that will result in a new building on the grounds of the Prairie Village Museum. There was a typical German house, called the Stumpp Exhibition Hall, on the grounds of Prairie Village Museum that had to be removed due to structural issues. The project’s goals are to have a new building to display the artifacts previously housed in the Stumpp Exhibition Hall and to provide an appropriate place to tell the story of this ethnic group.

The history of the Germans from Russia is interesting. They were enticed by Catherine the Great to come to Russia from their homes in Germany. Russia needed craftsmen and farmers and the Germans were willing to leave their homeland to take advantage of this opportunity. They were promised a place to live and a way of life that allowed them to keep their language, customs and religion. When the Russian government began to back out of these promises, life became increasingly difficult. Many opted to travel to the United States and other regions that offered them opportunities to again practice their own way of life.

A large number of Germans from Russia settled in this part of North Dakota. They came to make a better life for themselves and their families. The Heart of America Germans from Russia organization is committed to telling this story to visitors in our community as well as reminding the local citizens of the history of their ancestors. The pride of ownership of these early settlers by homesteading in their new country and tilling the soil to raise their families, needs to be recorded and preserved.

The Heart of America Germans from Russia group is enthusiastic about the construction of a new building that will house and display the artifacts that have been donated by local families and also preserving the history of these early settlers to this area with writings and displays.

This group now needs your financial assistance for this construction to begin. Architectural design and costs are in the planning stages with the desire to begin construction this fall. Anyone may help this group by donating to this cause. Some have already donated money or pledged to do so. Donations of any amount are welcome and may be sent to Heart of America Germans from Russia, P. O. Box 221, Rugby, ND 58368 or by contacting any of the following: Monica Houim at 701-208-0461, Mary Ebach at 701-776-6095, Mary Schmaltz at 701-776-2249, Vicki Hoffart at 701-681-1823 and Robert Fritel at 701-208-0217.

– Submitted by Library Director Vicki Hoffart

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