Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum

Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum SGHM is dedicated to public understanding of Germanic Heritage of the Shenandoah Valley. We• exhibit original Germanic homestead• show artifacts of daily life • share stories of Germanic life• collect genealogical data of local Germans
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Hottel-Keller Memorial, Inc. operates the Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum in Mount Olive, Virginia. The museum is located on the original Keller Homestead, purchased in 1750 via land grant from Lord Thomas Fairfax. HKMI also owns the adjacent George Hottel homestead.

Mission: We are dedicated to public understanding of the Germanic Heritage of the Great Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. We - • maintain and exhibit our original Germanic homestead, • collect, demonstrate, and document artifacts of everyday life, • collect and share stories of the Germanic lifestyle, and • continue to expand our genealogical data of Germanic settlers in the Valley.

Photos from Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum's post
08/15/2020

Photos from Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum's post

Photos from Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum's post
07/08/2020

Photos from Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum's post

In late winter new windows were installed on the side porch and alterations, including insulation, were made on the porc...
06/30/2020

In late winter new windows were installed on the side porch and alterations, including insulation, were made on the porch's interior walls. Of course, these made the shabby floor look even worse! New flooring, baseboard trim and new light fixtures complete the decor. It now houses the spinning equipment as part of our museum textile display.

In late winter new windows were installed on the side porch and alterations, including insulation, were made on the porch's interior walls. Of course, these made the shabby floor look even worse! New flooring, baseboard trim and new light fixtures complete the decor. It now houses the spinning equipment as part of our museum textile display.

March has been a busy  month:  new windows, new outside paint on the house; repaired lattice and railing on the front po...
04/01/2020

March has been a busy month: new windows, new outside paint on the house; repaired lattice and railing on the front porch; and renovated side porch.

March has been a busy month: new windows, new outside paint on the house; repaired lattice and railing on the front porch; and renovated side porch.

March has been a busy  month:  new windows, new outside paint on the house; repaired lattice and railing on the front po...
03/31/2020

March has been a busy month: new windows, new outside paint on the house; repaired lattice and railing on the front porch; and renovated side porch.

March has been a busy month: new windows, new outside paint on the house; repaired lattice and railing on the front porch; and renovated side porch.

Ten people came to work on the property --cutting and trimming trees, limbs, and brush along the roadways and stream bed...
03/16/2020

Ten people came to work on the property --cutting and trimming trees, limbs, and brush along the roadways and stream bed and hauling limbs and sticks away from the Keller barn foundation.

Ten people came to work on the property --cutting and trimming trees, limbs, and brush along the roadways and stream bed and hauling limbs and sticks away from the Keller barn foundation.

We have no evidence to prove that this foundation was the location of George and Barbara Hottel Keller's house, but some...
03/15/2020

We have no evidence to prove that this foundation was the location of George and Barbara Hottel Keller's house, but some people think that it is. It is located on the mountainside southwest of the Henry Keller house

We have no evidence to prove that this foundation was the location of George and Barbara Hottel Keller's house, but some people think that it is. It is located on the mountainside southwest of the Henry Keller house

We need a wide path along the stream between the Keller House and the Hottel Meadow.
03/13/2020

We need a wide path along the stream between the Keller House and the Hottel Meadow.

We need a wide path along the stream between the Keller House and the Hottel Meadow.

Flooding had damaged or destroyed culverts and roadway on the Hottel Keller property.  A few days of good weather have a...
03/07/2020

Flooding had damaged or destroyed culverts and roadway on the Hottel Keller property. A few days of good weather have allowed them to be restored. Repairing infrastructure such as this isn't glamorous, but is a necessary cost to make the property safe for visitors. No donation is too small to help HKMI meet this need.

Flooding had damaged or destroyed culverts and roadway on the Hottel Keller property. A few days of good weather have allowed them to be restored. Repairing infrastructure such as this isn't glamorous, but is a necessary cost to make the property safe for visitors. No donation is too small to help HKMI meet this need.

Lots of work being done at the Keller House! Twelve windows are next in line to be replaced. Estimate is $250.00 per win...
02/27/2020

Lots of work being done at the Keller House! Twelve windows are next in line to be replaced. Estimate is $250.00 per window and does not include installation. HKMI encourages members and friends to help us meet our goal of $3000 to purchase these windows. No donation is too small! (P.O. Box 33, Toms Brook, VA 22660)

Lots of work being done at the Keller House! Twelve windows are next in line to be replaced. Estimate is $250.00 per window and does not include installation. HKMI encourages members and friends to help us meet our goal of $3000 to purchase these windows. No donation is too small! (P.O. Box 33, Toms Brook, VA 22660)

02/16/2020

Feb. 15 was sunny and cold, but 8 people came to the farm to clear limbs and sticks so generously deposited on the ground by autumn and winter winds. After removing 3 pickup truck loads of debris, the area around the Keller house looks great again!
We hope to have another workday on Mar. 14 or 21 (weather permitting) to clean up debris in the Hottel Meadow. We always have a good time and a good lunch. We welcome anyone who is willing to help.

01/17/2020

Please remember that if you want to visit the Hottel-Keller Farm which is the home of the Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum, call Karen Cooper at 540-459-5199. The Hottel-Keller group is a 501-c-3 and is located on a 394 acre farm in Shenandoah County, Virginia west of the Toms Brook exit off interstate #81. The farm is part of the two parcels of land amassed by George Hottel and his brother-in-law, George Keller. The two men, along with George Hottel's brother Charles, came to Virginia in 1737, and obtained their first land from Jost Hite. The property is a working farm, with beautiful woods above and streams, wild flowers and beautiful views. The museum is housed in two buildings dated in the early 1800's. The farm was part of the western wing of the Battle of Tom's Brook, and General Custer and his United States soldiers were on the farm during the battle. They also burned barns. The Keller House suffered from a fire in the kitchen when flames from the barn reached the house. Fortunately the log house survived..
We do not have an art collection per say, but we do have pictures and objects produced by Hottels and Kellers and their neighbors. There are some beautiful coverlets and quilts! There are also home made tools and many other items you might see around a farm. See a typical German Bible and hold a early rifle. Watch the barn loom or the spinning wheel. Enjoy watching and listening to the spring water in our refrigerator.

09/02/2019

The museum hosted the Shenandoah Longrifles, a living history club concentrating on the 18th and early 19th century. They camped on the property over the Labor Day weekend, wearing period clothing, sleeping in tents and leantos, cooking over open fires, and participating in target contests of shooting muzzleloading rifles, throwing knives and tomahawks, and archery. Karen Cooper and Vicki Mongold, wearing their Germanic clothing, opened the museum and visited with them, This was a wonderful event which will be held on the property again in 2020. Plan now to visit!

2019 Annual Meeting: Guest speaker John Adamson talked about barns of Shenandoah County. Silent auction items were a big...
08/08/2019

2019 Annual Meeting: Guest speaker John Adamson talked about barns of Shenandoah County. Silent auction items were a big hit as were the four special items (bread box, clock , collapsible basket/trivet, two handwoven rag rugs) which were openly bid on.

07/13/2019

We are working hard to prepare for the Annual Meeting on August 2 & 3. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how bright the newly-painted room is. The mantle is scheduled to be installed soon and we hope to mount the donated
circa 1856 muzzleloading rifle above it. If you haven't registered yet for the meeting, there is still time!

The rug is ready to come off the Hottel loom at the Keller  House!   We will auction this at the Annual Meeting.  Should...
07/10/2019

The rug is ready to come off the Hottel loom at the Keller
House! We will auction this at the Annual Meeting. Should we take absentee bids? HKMI also has the dismantled Keller loom....sure wish we had the space to assemble it for use also!

07/06/2019
Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum

Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum

Wow is it hot! The plants are drooping, and we are hiding in the Keller House, or better yet the summer kitchen! We are getting ready for annual meeting, so we are cleaning and painting. It is quite a mess, but we are making progress!
We were on the farm for the 4th. Vicki is weaving rugs on our old loom - the loom the Hottels made at the turn of the 18th Century. We are washing windows and watering plants, vacuuming floors and moving or improving exhibits. August 2. people will be gathering at the farm for a picnic. We hope we can fit all in the farmhouse, but if not, we will find a way to feed the crowd. Please come and join us. On August 3, meet with us for an annual meeting at the VFW in Edinburg. We have some fun items for the silent auction, and a good speaker for the afternoon. Take time that day to talk to the directors and tell us what you want us to do with the Hottel-Keller property. We know we need to perform some maintenance tasks. Consider volunteering to help with an activity or an event. We would like to host vollyball games and perhaps horseshoe tosses, croquet and other outside activities. If we could find a bit of help, we could star gaze.
We have been blessed to receive many wonderful items this year. The latest is a set of scrap books from a family in Shenandoah, Virginia. We are scouring the storage areas for more items including some blacksmith's tools.
The zinnias are getting ready to bloom. When they do, we should have wonderful butterflies on them! The four butterfly bushes just started to bloom, and they are usually full of monarchs and swallowtails. They peek over the stone wall, so you can sit just outside the back porch and watch the zinnias from one direction and the butterfly bushes from the other.
Come and enjoy the natural setting. Karen

07/06/2019

Wow is it hot! The plants are drooping, and we are hiding in the Keller House, or better yet the summer kitchen! We are getting ready for annual meeting, so we are cleaning and painting. It is quite a mess, but we are making progress!
We were on the farm for the 4th. Vicki is weaving rugs on our old loom - the loom the Hottels made at the turn of the 18th Century. We are washing windows and watering plants, vacuuming floors and moving or improving exhibits. August 2. people will be gathering at the farm for a picnic. We hope we can fit all in the farmhouse, but if not, we will find a way to feed the crowd. Please come and join us. On August 3, meet with us for an annual meeting at the VFW in Edinburg. We have some fun items for the silent auction, and a good speaker for the afternoon. Take time that day to talk to the directors and tell us what you want us to do with the Hottel-Keller property. We know we need to perform some maintenance tasks. Consider volunteering to help with an activity or an event. We would like to host vollyball games and perhaps horseshoe tosses, croquet and other outside activities. If we could find a bit of help, we could star gaze.
We have been blessed to receive many wonderful items this year. The latest is a set of scrap books from a family in Shenandoah, Virginia. We are scouring the storage areas for more items including some blacksmith's tools.
The zinnias are getting ready to bloom. When they do, we should have wonderful butterflies on them! The four butterfly bushes just started to bloom, and they are usually full of monarchs and swallowtails. They peek over the stone wall, so you can sit just outside the back porch and watch the zinnias from one direction and the butterfly bushes from the other.
Come and enjoy the natural setting. Karen

06/28/2019

Vicki Mongold and Karen Cooper will be at the museum on Saturday, June 29 from ten to two, at least. We are expecting at least one visitor.

06/26/2019

The museum will be open from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, June 29.

06/19/2019

Work Day at Hottel Saturday, June 22 from ten until we get tired! We will be clearing out brush around the Hottel Chimney and Spring House. Bring lots of drinking water. Wear long pants and outdoor shoes. A hat, bug spray and sun tan lotion may help. Plan to see some more people who like to work on and enjoy the farm. Power equipment will be available.
On Sunday, the Deutch Mess will bring in the fire wood for their event in September.
Tour coming in on Tuesday, June 25 at eleven. Karen will be the docent, so come over and get some info on the place and see the 1800's refrigerator and the 19th century heater.
This morning, (Wednesday, June 19) Mr. Miller came to have a private look at the western wing of the Battle of Toms Brook. (He is the author of a really good book on the battle.) As we pulled up by the Keller House to check out a map and plan to navigate the farm, we found a very determined lady pushing her oval shell toward the pond. The top of the shell was smeared with mud, and her thick legs had claws filled with mud and needing a manicure. A thick neck poked out of the front of the shell with a tapered head attached. This creature was at least a foot long. We think this gal had just laid her eggs, and she was on her way back to the pond to cool off. This farm is just too cool if you love wild life. After Mr. Miller left, I found a new wren's nest in front of the house in a shrub that housed wrens last year. I guess that means that at least one of last year's wrens came back to the old place to build a new nest? Turtle and wrens, what a neat combination?

06/17/2019

We invite you to join Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum if you are not already a member! Membership is open to anyone who is interested in the Germanic heritage of our lovely Shenandoah Valley. You will receive seasonal newsletters. Your dues help to support ongoing activities at the museum as well as upkeep of the property. We also need docents at the museum to share our story!

06/12/2019

Thanks to all of you who liked our page! I hope you will continue to keep up with us. We are still waiting for our new tractor. It may seem silly to be excited about a tractor, but we really do care about the place, and we want it to look nice for visitors and our butterfly guests.
Plan to come and see the farm and the museum. Consider having an activity here. Call or email me at [email protected] a few days before you hope to visit. Bring your volleyball net, your crochet set, your bad mitten set or your horse shoes or such. Tour the museum, or just sit quietly and enjoy the views. Perhaps the wild life will show up.

05/25/2019

As May ends on the farm, the mowing season begins. Daryl Bowman's men are making hay, and Levi Pitcock is using his brush hog on areas that were neglected last year because of the constant rain. We are preparing the site for use! WE NEED PEOPLE TO COME AND HELP US KEEP THE PLACE MOWED! WE ALSO NEED VOLUNTEERS TO HELP DOCENT. YOU MIGHT WANT TO BECOME AN EXPERT ON AN 1820'S KITCHEN, OR THE PREPARATION OF CLOTH FROM A BIT OF SHEEP'S WOOL? WE HAVE TOOLS, AND WE NEED MEN TO HELP US LEARN HOW THEY WORK! MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR SOME EVENTS IN LATE SUMMER. Annual meeting weekend is August 2 and 3. Come over to the Keller House on Friday evening. The loom room, loom house and summer kitchen will open. Check out the old Bible, the 1850's era rifle, the huge logs in the walls of the Keller House, and such. We are working on the lawns and gardens, and we hope the butterflies will show off on the zinnias. Saturday, join us for a meal at the VFW in Edinburg. John Adamson will tell us the latest on the Shenandoah County Barn Survey. Bank barns are an important part of our Gemanic Heritage in the Shenandoah Valley. John even has Shenandoah Barn tee shirts.
On Labor Day Weekend, the farm will host the Long Rifles. They will be camping in period tents and using utensils and weapons to represent the age when the long rifle was the best weapon to have on the frontier. Come see their exhibits and stop in at the museum as well. The Dutch Mess will be camping on the farm later in September. Their camp will not be open to the public, but some of them might wander over to the museum and tell us about their costuming and the history of this group and their namesakes. Both these groups represent a part of our Germanic Heritage, and we are excited to have them around!


L
Y

04/03/2019

Recently we received a really beaten up Bible. The front and back are missing as are a few of the pages. It is difficult for us to tell when this big, German Bible was printed or where. Fortunately we found a very nice person in the Dutch Mess who looked over the Bible for us. She thinks it was published in America, and it isn't really, really old. But, she copied down the 23rd Psalm in German, and she translated it for us to English exactly as it was produced in German. Here is an example of how it sounds:
"The Lord is my shepherd (for) me will nothing (be) wanting
He pastured me in a green meadow,
And leads me to fresh (cool) water."

This gives you some idea of the difference in the German and the English. It sounds just a beautiful and moving in both languages, I think?
It is a welcome exhibit for us, and we hope you will come and see it.
Email me at [email protected],net for a date to come visit.. If you would like to help us at the Homestead west of Toms Brook and slightly south of Mt.Olive, Virginia - let me know.

Address

11523 Back Rd
Toms Brook, VA
22660

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Comments

I'm a 7th generation descendant of the Hottel-Keller clan.
I have just found information on my family history. Related to the Hottel/Huddle/Kap.. I recently moved to Toms Brook..not knowing this info. How exciting this is so close to me..
Friends make trying new things so much more fun!
I am the 11th Generation direct descendant of the Hottel-Keller clan ...