Das Haus German Heritage Museum will open at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19, for its 39th season.
Located at 2549 Niagara Road in Bergholz, the museum is the principal project of the Historical Society of North German Settlements in WNY, and tells the story of the people who left Northern Germany in 1843 to be able to teach their children their own religious beliefs. Villages in Bergholz, Walmore and Martinsville (now part of North Tonawanda) were settled that year, and St. Johnsburg followed soon after.
Within a few years Wolcottsville was organized along the same co-operative, but not communist, lines. Other settlements in Gratwick (North Tonawanda), LaSalle (Niagara Falls) and North Ridge (rural Lockport) maintained the North German heritage.
The house itself is an 1843 American style garrison log cabin, but the roof is German style. Exhibits tell about trips over the Atlantic Ocean, early self-sufficiency, and later accommodation to American ways. A research library in Der Stall, a modern building following a traditional design, helps people who are descended from this group trace their ancestors.
Das Haus and Der Stall are operated completely with volunteers. The museum will be open every Sunday afternoon from 2 to 4 until Oct. 20. Groups can be accommodated at other times by reservation. There is no charge, but donations are welcome. For more information, call 716-731-9905.