German-Bohemian Immigrants Monument

German-Bohemian Immigrants Monument (HM19ME)

Location: New Ulm, MN 56073 Brown County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 18.963', W 94° 27.562'

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This monument was erected in 1991 by the German-Bohemian Heritage Society to commemorate the immigrants to this region from the German speaking western rim of present-day Czechoslovakia. They emigrated from the counties of Bischofteinitz, Mies and Taus in the province of Pilsen, as shown on the European map and settled in the townships sketched on the U.S. map. Around the base in the granite slabs are inscribed the over 350 immigrant family names as they were approximately spelled when the families departed their old homeland. Known at the time of their departure as Bohemia, a crown colony in the Austro-Hungarian empire, this region in the 20th century was included in the larger periphery of the Czech nation designated as the Sudetenland, more locally it was called the Bohmerwald Bohemian Forest, a ridge of high hills that forms a natural border with Germany.

The immigrants came mostly from small villages with the largest numbers from the village centers of Hostau, Muttersdorf and Ronsberg. These were farm communities where the people lived and housed their stock, going out daily to work their scattered non-contiguous fields. Most villages had Catholic churches or chapels and the residents spoke a Bohemian dialect of German. From New Years day to Christmas each year they observed special traditions spiced with large wedding celebrations and funerals attended by the entire communities. Music in every form—bands, singing societies, and choirs—permeated all the aspects of village life.

Many German-Bohemian traditions crossed the ocean to the New Ulm region. Some immigrants from Bohemia were among the earliest farm settlers arriving by ship on the Minnesota River within two years after German Turners founded the city. Beginning in 1856 they farmed in Cottonwood Township, then extended their settlement northward into St. George and westward into Sigel Township, Sleepy Eye and farther west. As more and more arrived (after 1872 by rail) they could no longer all farm. Beginning around 1880 they acquired homes especially in the southeast section of the city of New Ulm, an area they affectionately called the Ganseviertel, Goosetown. They also concentrated in the Wallachei (Low Land) region to the west. Farther north in the city, retired farmers built homes near Trinity Catholic Church. Younger city dwellers often labored in the roller mills, the breweries and as carpenters, masons and cigar makers. Among them in later years were also doctors, painters, musicians, butchers and blacksmiths. Many women eared extra money Klopping (making lace) and sewing feather-filled bedding. The Bohemian Heritage has been most strongly exhibited in the "Old Time" band traditions of Southern Minnesota.
HM NumberHM19ME
Year Placed1991
Placed ByThe German-Bohemian Heritage Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 9:09pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 383619 N 4908012
Decimal Degrees44.31605000, -94.45936667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 18.963', W 94° 27.562'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 18' 57.78" N, 94° 27' 33.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)507
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 200-298 N German St, New Ulm MN 56073, US
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