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Menzel Village open for viewing

Cora and Krater Ruschmeyer examine the Menzel village closely at the Brown County Museum. Cora’s points out the different animals in the village.

NEW ULM — The Menzel Village was back at the Brown County Historical Society Museum, Friday.

The public was free to view the display Friday during the Holiday Open House. The display will remain up until Dec. 30.

The village was originally the collection of Louise Fritsche Menzel, a New Ulm native. Louise and her husband Walter started collecting in 1937 while traveling and continued to add pieces for many years. They would place the village in their home under a tree and invite the neighborhood children in every Christmas to see the display. The exhibit has also been on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and some of the larger banks in the Twin Cities area.

The display was donated to BCHS in 1983. Menzel’s only request is BCHS always set up the miniatures to show a horse-drawn sled with a dog following and a goose chasing the dog.

The collection has over 1,000 pieces which includes a 100-year-old clay 91village, three other village sets, small dolls dressed in crocheted outfits, dolls with ceramic heads and wool wrapped legs and arms, snow babies, angels, monks, wood village people and animals, farm people, skiers, skaters, deer, cows, donkeys, geese, chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, lambs, dogs, pigs, horses, bears, elves, bridges, many different trees, street signs, mirrors for ponds, fences and even an outhouse.

Due to the size of the exhibit, the BCHS only set up the Menzel Village once every two years.

After Dec. 30, the village will not be seen again until 2023.

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