What a beautiful day it was on Sunday, September 24th for the Maryhill Historical Society to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. The celebration began at 10 a.m. with Mass at St. Boniface Church with Father Ron Voisin. Gift Bearers were president Tom Schell and wife Charlene. Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors and Readers were all members of the society. The song “The Cross on the Hill” which was composed by a former member Helen Moyer was sung at the beginning of the Mass.
Following Mass 15 cars formed a cavalcade with John Zettel and Bob Kennedy in a 1931 Victoria vintage car visiting where the first Mass was said. In the early days of New Germany, Mass was celebrated in the settlers homes. The first Mass was said at the home of Christian & Barbara (Allgeier) Rich in 1832. In 1997 a special stone was erected at the end of the land which is the home now of Fred Drexler. Historical Society president Tom Schell gave the history of the stone.
Next stop was the Klein cross just outside of Maryhill which was erected in 1844 by Andrew Klein and his brothers. Ken Kurtz a direct descendant gave a brief history of this cross. A new cross has been erected, Thank you to Carl Zettel who donated the wood from a hydro pole for the new cross and to Doug Keller who worked on the cross and varnished the wood and to Ken Kurtz who donated the Corpus. The very first cross was made of peeled cedar and was about 14 feet high.
The second cross was Robert McNanny and his brothers of Irish descent who lived on this farm until 1860 and it is thought they may have erected the cross is about 1832 again in gratitude for a safe arrival after a stormy Atlantic crossing. This original cross was also made of cedar and was about 15 feet high. The original cross was donated to Doon Heritage Village in Kitchener. The Sebastian Drexler family purchased the farm in 1876 and took the responsibility for the care and maintenance of this cross for several generations. Helen Peacock a direct descendant of the Sebastian Drexler family gave the history of the Drexler-McNanny cross. This new cross has been constructed as closely as possible to the original. In 2010 the cross was reconstructed and replaced with the wood from a hydro pole.
The third cross was erected by James Keleher in 1908 as a memorial to his parents in thanksgiving for the prosperity the family enjoyed in the new land. The farm was purchased in 1869. George Isley gave the history of this cross.
All the plots of land that the crosses are located on are owned and cared for by the Maryhill Historical Society. Thank you to Doug Keller who had done grass cutting, trimming, and maintenance and decorated the areas around the crosses as a reminder of our pioneers.
Pat Weiler, son Mark and granddaughter Hayden were dressed in period costume to represent their ancestors. Pat portrayed Johanna (Allgeier) Weiler with son Mark as son Conrad Weiler and little Hayden Weiler was granddaughter Magdalena Weiler. What a beautiful addition to the celebration.
This year’s lunch consisted of ham, mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables, relishes and all the fixing along with several varieties of pies. coffee, tea, punch and water.
Honoured this year were Ron & Judy Zettel and Danny & Diane Strickler on their 50th Wedding Anniversary and Neil & Shirley Prior and Gerry & Nellie Brohman on their 60th Anniversary. Bob & Sally Brohman also celebrated their 60th anniversary but were unable to attend. 80th Birthday honorees were Helen Wilhelm, Joe Rider and Joan Brohman.
Also honored this year was the “New Horizon’s group”. Joan Haid who is the leader for this group and Sandra Hachborn who supplies all the desserts for organization were in attendance. Heather Trakalo who welcomes the people was not able to be present.
There was also a silent auction consisting of many items, several door prizes and of course the main draw. The set of 8 hockey sculptures was won by Joe Rider from Guelph, Art Eby of Breslau won the EB games gift card, the Kuerig coffee brewer was won by Ron Zettel of Breslau, and Bryan Leva won the 4th prize with Paul Kraemer of Maryhill winning an EB games gift card.
Publications and Historical Society displays were set up in the front foyer with the Society banner in the main hall.
It was nice to have Murray Martin our councillor for Woolwich Township Ward 3 in attendance.