German Culture Museum closed for remainder of 2020

German Culture Museum closed for remainder of 2020
Arlan Heiser

The German Culture Museum in Walnut Creek recently announced it will remain closed for the rest of 2020.


The 10th anniversary of the new home for Amish Country’s 232-year-old founder, Jonas “Der Weiss” Stutzman, will be a very quiet event, not for lack of interest, but for safety in the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The German Culture Museum, which moved into newly built facilities in Walnut Creek’s Community Building on Aug. 14, 2010, and houses the area’s most extensive collection of historical artifacts, records and special displays chronicling the years before and since “Der Weiss” arrived in 1809, will be closed for the remainder of 2020.

Members of the museum board of directors unanimously voted Monday to continue the suspension of services until pandemic conditions can be re-evaluated in early 2021.

“All of our volunteers and many of our visitors are senior citizens, and out of concern for them, we agreed to play it safe,” said John Hochstetler, board chairman.

Hochstetler said board members have been busy (one or two at a time) cleaning, itemizing, and photographing displays and artifacts, as well as updating records and designing new displays and projects.

New projects under development include interactive video displays, designed for the “new normal” of social distancing and COVID-avoidance protocols. The museum’s featured display, a showing of rare Coleman lamps, stoves and one-of-a-kind items, will continue for next year, Hochstetler said.

Hochstetler also said local collector Ed Erb allowed them to keep the display through the next season. Coleman artifacts are the first items to greet visitors as they step through the museum’s massive maple entry doors.

The centerpiece of the museum is a display focusing on The Father of Ohio’s Amish Country, Jonas “Der Weiss” Stutzman. The museum is less than one-half mile from the site of Stutzman’s 1809 pioneer cabin, the first in what today is known as Amish Country.

Among displays in the museum are a log cabin depicting the founder’s first home, three examples of his hand-made chairs and the only known existing original copy of his published book. A “reincarnated” Der Weiss makes occasional, unannounced visits to the museum during regular operating hours.

Loading next article...

End of content

No more pages to load