NEW ULM – The village of Menzel returned to the Brown County Historical Society Museum on Friday.
The public was free to view the exhibit on Friday during the holiday open house. The display will remain until December 30.
The village was originally the collection of Louise Fritsche Menzel, originally from New Ulm. Louise and her husband Walter began collecting in 1937 while traveling and continued to add pieces for many years. They placed the village in their house under a tree and invited the neighborhood children every Christmas to see the display. The exhibit has also been featured at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and some of the largest banks in the Twin Cities area.
The display was given to BCHS in 1983. Menzel’s only claim is that 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, including a century-old clay village, three other village sets, small dolls dressed in crochet outfits, dolls with ceramic heads and legs and arms wrapped in wool, babies snow, angels, monks, wooden villagers. and animals, farmers, skiers, skaters, deer, cows, donkeys, geese, chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, lambs, dogs, pigs, horses, bears, elves, bridges, many different trees, traffic signs, mirrors for ponds , fences and even an outbuilding.
Due to the size of the exhibition, the BCHS only installed the Menzel Village once every two years.
After December 30, the village will not be seen again until 2023.