Minster Dedicates Heritage Park

Ready with their scissors for the ribbon-cutting to officially open Heritage Park are Minster Mayor Dennis Kitzmiller, Jim Thieman, Fr. Rick Nieberding, Police Chief David Friend and Sylvia Lehmkuhl.
Staff Writer

The ancestral town fathers  (and mothers, sons and daughters) were again smiling upon Minster Sunday afternoon (so did the weather) as the Minster Historical Society officially cut the ribbon in the dedication of its Heritage Park alongside the museum in Minster. This labor of love shepherded by Mary Oldiges as well as all the members, donors and friends of shared Minster history could now be enjoyed at this time of recognition of all things held dear by Minsterites.

On hand with remarks for the dedication and celebration were Minster Mayor Dennis Kitzmiller, State Senator Keith Faber, Auglaize Republican Chairman Wes Farno,  mural artist Kate Puthoff and Father Rick Nieberding. Mary Oldiges welcomed the gathering and shared background on the inspiration for the park and gave credit for all the donations which made the park possible, now added among many delightful reasons for a visit to Minster.

The ribbon cutting ceremony proceeded as the St. Augustine Men’s Choir sang a medley of patriotic and inspirational hymns, led by “God Bless America.”

Inspiration for the outside addendum to the museum rests squarely at the feet of the ancestors whose labors and common bonds are depicted in the three murals painted by Puthoff as well as the collected objects displayed around the park. Artifacts donated by Minster residents include a 19th century well pump and a millstone centered in the middle of the park.

Signs and plaques by the murals and objects help tell the story and allow for a self-guided tour A bench for reflection is also provided. The first mural speaks to agrarian beginnings of the community with a farmer working to till the soil, the second shows Minster’s first Catholic church circa 1834, and the third depicts Minster’s Fourth Street busy with activity  around the turn of the 19th century.

Oldiges, true to her mission, expects this historical display to only continue to grow, as much as the community it depicts does surely.