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Old-fashioned Christmas

The approaching holiday season will be in the air on Saturday, Nov. 23, in Fremont.

The Fremont Area Historical Society will hold an open house at the Beaver Dam School Museum from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day.

The museum is located on State Highway 96 in the old Fremont Town Hall, and the open house will be held the same Neuschafer Community Library’s annual holiday basket and bake sale is held at the village hall.

The museum will include a display of old Weyauwega Chronicle Christmas and Thanksgiving ads, articles and pictures dating from 1877 to the 1960s, which were rescued from being destroyed.

Area businesses will be featured.

The historical society will also have a tree in the museum, decorated with ornaments made by students from Fremont Elementary School and other area schools for past tree lightings.

There will be ornaments from the first tree lighting in 2000 through 2011.

Another tree of old decorations and artifacts will also be on display.

Items will be for sale, and guests who register that day will be eligible for three drawings.

Those wishing to display old decorations or gifts given to them when they were young students may bring those items to the museum.

Items may be dropped off at the museum between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. The person’s name, address and year and school attended should be included.

The items may then be picked up after 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23 or bertween 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25.

The 14th annual Christmas tree lighting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at Wolf River Crossing Park.

A short program will take place by the bandstand before all in attendance walk in a candlelight vigil to light the community Christmas tree.

Being honored this year is the Sasse family, and the oldest member of the ancestors of August and Wilhelmina Sasse will light the tree.

August Sasse was born in Prussia, Germany in 1816. He married Wilhelmina Rach and in 1850, they went to the United States with their two sons, Ernest and Herman.

The family settled in Marquette County, where Gustave and August were born.

Following Wilhelmina’s death, August remarried. He and his second wife, Christina, had four children: Emeilia, Julius, Mary and Heinrich.

They moved to the Town of Wolf River in 1863 and bought a farm.

August and Christina later moved their family to Blue Earth, Minn., but son Herman remained in the town of Wolf River.

He married Kathryn Theby. They farmed and had four children: Carrie, George, Henry and Fred.

Herman was a logger, farmer and blacksmith.

When he died in 1908, his son Fred inherited the farm.

Fred married Alma Gehrke in 1915, and they had three children: David and Gertrude, who both died in infancy, and Raymond.

Raymond married Angela Wendt in 1945, and they, too, had three children: Kathryn, Patricia and John.

Ray farmed with Fred for many years, with both of them enjoying farming, logging, trapping, hunting and fishing. They were both blacksmiths.

It was in 1961 that Ray and Angie bought the farm. Later, in 1922, John took over the farm.

In 1997, John bought 28 acres of the adjoining farm on which his great-great-grandfather had once lived and owned.

Fred was born in the log house on the farm and remembered the new house which was built on the farm in 1890.

Herman and Kate’s sone, George, married Louise Gehrke in 1898, and they had three children: Freddie, who died in infancy, Frank and Isabel.

George worked on the family farm as a youth, but after marrying Louise, owned the Tustin Hotel. Later, he bought the farm next to his brother, Fred.

George died in 1923, and his son, Frank, then took over the farm.

Frank married Rhea Regel in 1927, and they farmed there together until 1952. He worked in construction, served as a deputy sheriff and was in the 1940s, was authorized to test and issue driver’s licenses to many 16 year olds.

Frank died in 1968, and Rhea died in 1986.

Their three children – Robert, Vera and George – all pursued other careers and moved out of the area.

Herman and Kate’s son, Henry, married Clara Fink. They bought a farm on Arrowhead Road.

They had one son, Elmer, who married Nina Kester and lived in Fremont.

Herman and Kate’s daughter, Carrie, married Magnus Otto and lived on a farm on Arrowhead Road.

After the Nov. 23 Christmas tree lighting, the Sasse family, historical society members and invited guests will have dinner at Hahn-A-Lula.

The public who wishes to visit any of the Sasse family may do so after the dinner.

Those attending the historical society’s open house at its museum or the Christmas tree lighting are encouraged to bring a can of food for the Weymont Food Pantry.

Baskets will be at the entrance of the museum and by the bandstand in the park.

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