Annual Picnic - Photo by Lorrie Novak
for the 2016 picnic is Sunday, August 7th. See
Moving forward . . .
Message from the President
With the closing of the Dawson Bethel United Methodist Church,
the Penn Colony has acquired from the church many artifacts connected
with family history, making the issues of display and storage now more
architect’s original conceptual drawing of the development of the
Henry Heim farm property included a multi-purpose building. This has
been downsized to a smaller version capable of being enlarged as
necessary. The now
proposed building would, among other uses, include a display area for
artifacts (we have a large quantity of display cases), a sheltered area
for the annual watermelon feed; the flexibility to convert an area to a
chapel to hold the picnic weekend Sunday memorial service; and the
eventual ability to host the Sunday reunion noon meal.
The Penn Colony has obtained preliminary bids for the
construction of this building. The building would be located just west
of the summer kitchen and connected to the Henry Heim House via the
summer kitchen. The present garage and attached shed would be relocated.
The bids indicate the cost for the building, including rough-ins for
plumbing for restrooms and a kitchen area, approximate $50,000. Based on
the preliminary bids, the Penn Colony is undertaking a fundraising
effort to secure funds or pledges of funds for at least 75 percent of
the estimated project cost. We have obtained a pledge for the structural
steel component of the building and for the cost of paving the covered
A donation of $25 equates to approximately one square foot of the
proposed building. Multiples of this amount would mean the Penn Colony
can move forward to a realization of a museum building and a location
for future memorial services.
The acquisition of the Henry Heim House and acreage provided a
rallying point for the Penn Colony organization. Your support of the
restoration of that house was tremendous—an accomplishment
all can be proud of. The recent setback with the
water and furnace problems
was overcome with your support. To keep moving forward, we are again
asking for your support.
memberships and memorial donations have helped the organization’s
efforts to accomplish its mission. We look forward to this continued
for info from past picnics.
This a picture
from the 2009 Picnic Weekend. There were more in
attendance, but not everybody stayed for this picture.
Photo courtesy of Shirley
Heim Pierce and Keith Heim....editors of the news
letter ...Colony Penn
Watch here for the date for
the 2013 Picnic! The dates are Saturday, August 10th and
Sunday, August 11th. See
See pictures of past picnics in the picture area!
-The Annual Pennsylvania Colony of Nebraska Picnic
is usually held in August. The event
will be a two day event. A typical Schedule of events is:
Friday, Saturday, and
Heim House Museum will be open for guests Friday, Saturday, Sunday for tours
The museum building open for visiting and
displaying of antiques, pictures, family artifacts.
free pick up sandwich and drink
Board Meeting (all welcome)
6:00pm water melon feed at
Heim House Museum north of Dawson
7:00pm More tours
9:30am coffee and rolls breakfast (free will offering)
basement of the Christian Church in
10:30am memorial church service at the museum building
1pm annual picnic catered dinner (tickets $10 at museum building)
Maps of old farmsteads in the
Dawson area may be picked up at the museum Building showing directions
for your touring pleasure.
in the 1890’s, this lovely Victorian is now a museum, the
Henry Heim House. It sits on a high ridge with a view of the
beautiful Nemaha Valley, and the town of Dawson a short
distance to the southeast. It is the fulfillment of a dream of
a few dedicated members of the Colony, and of Lloyd and Donna
(Heim) Epley, who made the home and acreage available to the
Colony for an affordable sum.
Colony members’ pledges and donations enabled the
purchase of the home in 2002 and the remodeling of the first
floor rooms. On display are furniture, dishes, clothing,
quilts, linens, tools, photographs, many handmade items, and
other treasures passed down from family to family through the
The museum will be open at convenient times during the
reunion weekend. While you are visiting, think about family
artifacts you might wish to donate for display in the museum.
For further information
contact museum co-directors:
Marilyn Ogle 402
855 4225 –
1021 Ridge St. – Dawson, Ne. 68337
Michelle Heim 402
855 2285 –
71329 638 Ave. – Dawson, Ne. 68337
Dan Pleiss ( firstname.lastname@example.org)
14721 Laurel Plaza., Omaha, Nebraska 68116 (402 431 9267)
Pictures of some picnics from past years
are on the picture pages.
How Did the Picnic Begin?
Many of us have been attending the annual Pennsylvania Colony Picnic
all of our lives. We look forward to lots of good food and to getting
reacquainted with our many cousins, who now come from a dozen or
so states each August.
We are indebted to the late Elma Heim Griffith for her account of
how the tradition of the picnic got started many years ago.
"Late in the summer of 1922 my parents (Jacob S. and Rebecca
Heim) and I made an extended visit to Pennsylvania. In October,
1922, when we returned home, we brought with us Tom and Ida (Waltz)
Ulmer, Tom's sister, Miss Louisa Ulmer, and Edgar Heim. Tom and
his sister were cousins of Israel, Emanuel, Sarah, and Martin Ulmer,
and Ida was a cousin to the John J. and Johnnie Heim families. Edgar
Heim was a nephew of Henry W. Heim and came to Dawson to make it
his home for a number of years.
"In order that these people from Pennsylvania might meet the
relatives here and get a good start on their visiting, my mother
planned a general gathering for Sunday, October 15. Each family
was notified to bring enough food and table service for their own
family. We made a large table under the big maple tree in our front
yard and all the food was set out on this table. Everyone enjoyed
the hours of visiting during the afternoon. The young people played
'Last Couple Out,' 'Three Deep,' 'Run, Sheep Run,' and 'Ruth and
Jacob' in the front yard.
"This gathering was so much enjoyed it was agreed to make it
an annual affair and to call it 'The Pennsylvania Colony in Nebraska
Reunion.' For several years it was held in our yard. Then others
of the group invited the Reunion to their homes. The attendance
grew from 78 in 1922 to 120 in 1955. The highest number present
at any time was 142 in 1949 (which celebrated the 75th anniversary
of the colony's founding)."
This account, we have edited, is taken from Elma' s Folklore
of a Pennsylvania Colony in Nebraska, 1955. (Note that the 1999
picnic, a two-day affair celebrating the 125th anniversary, was
attended by nearly 200 descendants.)
Picture of 125th Reunion in 1999. Are you in it??
Click on image to see larger picture