Germanfest patrons’ dinner remembers Germanic influences on Rowan County – Reuters

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Germanfest patrons’ dinner remembers Germanic influences on Rowan County

Posted at 12:05 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2022

GRANITE QUARRY — Rowan County’s German History Weekend celebration kicked off with the Patron’s Dinner Friday night from 6-8 p.m. In the field, participants were served with a buffet of Germanic cuisine prepared by Buttercup Café. In addition. New Sarum served their classic honey and persimmon beer, a festival tradition since 2016.

“We were fetching the persimmons ourselves like they would in Germany,” said Kay Hurst, former Germanfest manager and descendant of Old Stone House founder Michael Braun. New Sarum staff used to brew the beer on the grounds in a large copper pot before taking it out to store it for the shelf life. It was a copper cooking pot similar to the one found in the kitchen of the Old Stone House, which was buried under the kitchen floor until historians discovered it.

“You know pulled pork here in North Carolina,” Hurst continued. “The Germans separated pork shoulders and it was considered a delicacy. They brought that to Rowan County as well. In Germany, pulled pork is a dish called schäufele.

Another treasure kept in the house is a candle wheel, which is one of two that still exist in the state. Dipped candles would be suspended from hoops suspended from a wooden device to be set up.

House volunteers still take part in events as well as tours, including Robert Cochran who has been volunteering for over 40 years and Theresa Pierce, who has been there for 22 years after approaching the Rowan Museum about opportunities for volunteering for her and her children. She is now involved in the Old Stone House with her grandchildren.

Aaron Kepley, former director of the Rowan Museum and descendant of Michael Braun, shared the importance of religion to the German people in the 1600s, leading them to migrate to Pennsylvania to walk the Yadkin River Trail to establish the Lutheran religion when Catholicism was the main faith. He said that children brought to the United States are primarily taught to read in order to understand the Bible.

“They (the German settlers) left this house here as a legacy,” he said.

The house was threatened with demolition by the state in the late 1950s for gravel roads, but the Braun-Fisher Family Foundation worked to save the house. Now, with logs from the original cabins in the grounds and plenty of space, the Rowan Museum plans to rebuild those cabins in addition to having a cultural arts center for the Braun and Fisher families to research genealogy and organize indoor events.

The festival honors Rowan County’s Germanic settlement, welcoming people of German descent or not, as many house volunteers remembered their families were from Scotland or England. Nevertheless, they deeply valued their home in Rowan County which had been established by the Germans.

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