• Historic Timeline

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    Each month, the Historic Timeline is written by Gerald Neath, and examines important events that happened 10, 25, 50, and 100 years ago.

    Do you have kids or grandkids going to the Prom this year? It's a big deal! Here's a photo from the 1969 Prom...
    read more
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  • Historic Timeline

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    Each month, the Historic Timeline is written by Gerald Neath, and examines important events that happened 10, 25, 50, and 100 years ago.

    50 years ago, the Oregon Chamber Booster Band entertained at the ABC National Bowling Tourney.
    read more
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  • Historic March Madness

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    Let's get Ready for March Madness!

    Shown here, the 1906 Girls' Basketball Team
    is Dressed in Full Attire.
    See more Oregon Basketball Team Photos
    on the School History Page
    read more
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Do you shop on Amazon?

You can help the Oregon Area Historical Society!
When you make a purchase, a percentage goes directly to the OAHS!

It’s Easy!  Here’s How:

Just go to smile.amazon.com

 

    1. Log into your Amazon account.
    2. Directly under the Search Bar, it says “Supporting:”
    3. Hover over that, and another window will pop up
    4. Click on “Change” and on the next page,
    5. Go down to “Or pick your own charitable organization:
    6. In the space provided, begin typing “Oregon Area Historical Society”
    7. and the OAHS will show up in the list of Charities
    8. Select Oregon Area Historical Society from the list of charities provided

Thank you for making us your Charitable Organization
while you shop on Amazon!

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ALL-COLOR POWDER COATING, INC. – 298 N. Burr Oak Ave. Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-9118 – mmortensen@allcolorpowdercoating.com

BARRY STABLES – Mike and Pat Barry – 5556 Hwy M Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3840

BERGEY JEWELRY – Jill Hoff – 111 South Main Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3698 – Fax: 608-835-1538 – jbergey@gmail.com

BILL’S FOOD CENTER – 787 North Main Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3939

BREITBACH CHIROPRACTIC – Dr. John Breitbach – 167 North Main Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone: 608-835-5353 – Fax: 608-835-8990

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – Village Hall – 117 Spring Street P.O. Box 123 Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3697 – 608-835-2475 (fax) – director@oregonwi.com

THE CHOCOLATE CAPER – Elizabeth and Daniel Donoghue – 105 S. Man Street, Box 195 Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-9294 – chocolatecaper@verizon.net

ERFURTH’S BODY SHOP, INC. – Dennis Erfurth – 880 N. Main St. Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3601

EVERSON EXCAVATING – Robert & Karen Everson – 5825 Lincoln Road Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-7031

FOUR SEASONS HEATING & COOLING – 215 W. Netherwood Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3135

GERLACH WHOLESALE FLOORING, INC. – 112 Janesville St. Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-8276 – agerlach@gerflooring.com

GORMAN and CO. – 200 N. Main Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3900 – 608-835-3922 (fax) – info@GormanUSA.com

ED HEFTY CONSTRUCTION – 1036 Hillcrest Lane Oregon, WI  53575 – Phone 608-835-7804 – info@edhefty.com

DRS. JAMES & ENYART, OPTOMETRISTS – Dr. David James & Dr. Callie Enyart – 185 W. Netherwoood Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3579 – djamesod@frontier.com – Monona Office – 700 River Place Drive Monona, WI 53716 – Phone 608-223-0202

KOPKE’S FRUIT OF THE BLOOM – 1822 Sand Hill Road Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-7579

KRENZ ENGINEERING, LLC – Robert & Janice Krenz – 1140 Park Street Oregon, WI 53575 – 608-835-0400 – jan@krenzengineering.com

LA ROCCA’S RESTAURANT & PIZZERIA – 971 Janesville St. Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-291-0522

MARIA’S PIZZA – 134 S. Main Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-5455 – mariaspizza@charter.net

MID-CENTRAL ELECTRIC, INC – 880 Market Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3513 – dd8642@aol.com

CHAD T. MUELLER, D.D.S. – 152 Alpine Parkway Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-0900 – ctmrcm6@muellerdental.com

OFROYO-OREGON FROZEN YOGURT – 856 Janesville St. Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-291-2555 – info@ofroyo.com

OREGON COMMUNITY BANK & TRUST – 733 N. Main Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3168

OREGON LAUNDRY – Greg Curless – 2583 Richardson St. Fitchburg, WI 53711 – Phone 608-345-0850

OREGON PUBLIC LIBRARY – 256 Brook Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3656 – 608-835-2856 (fax) – orelib@oregonlibrary.org

OREGON VETERINARY CLINIC–OVC – 1145 S. Park St. Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-7323 – amyr@oregonvetclinic.com

PETERSON PEST MANAGEMENT – Bernie and Cynthia Peterson – 1031 Flint Rd. Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-225-9033

REISEN PC REPAIR – 813 Drumlin Drive Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-492-0214

RICHARDSON PROPERTIES – Dale Richardson – 4253 County Road A Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-0962 – dalonhol@frontier.com

SEARL ELECTRIC – 423 N. Burr Oak St. Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3940

SONNY’S KITCHEN RESTAURANT – 101 S. Main Street Oregon, WI  53575 – Phone 608-291-2266

STATE BANK of CROSS PLAINS – Oregon Office – 744 North Main Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-2750 – bridget.krueger@crossplainsbank.com

STOEHR AUTOMOTIVE CENTER – Tom and Laurie Stoehr – 320 N. Burr Oak Avenue Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-9611

WILLIAM R. TORHORST & ASSOCIATES – 104 N. Main Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-2828 – katelyn@torhorst.com

TRACHTE, INC. – 422 North Burr Oak Ave. Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-5707 – rich@trachteusa.com

THE UPS STORE – Owner: Dave Gasner – 2364 Jackson Street Stoughton, WI 53589-5404 – Phone 608-877-2679

U.S CELLULAR OF OREGON – 1015 North Main Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-2980 – hansend@chorus.net

OREGON-BROOKLYN-MCFARLAND VFW – P.O. Box 206 Oregon, WI 53575

VILLAGE OF OREGON – 117 Spring Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-3118 – 608-835-6503 (fax) – mgracz@vil.oregon.wi.us

WINTER LAW OFFICE – 602 Pleasant Oak Drive Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone 608-835-6441 – nwinter@lawcenterwisconsin.com

WINTERLAND NURSURY, INC. – 5655 Lincoln Road Oregon, WI 53575 – 608-835-6556

WISCO INDUSTRIES – Gary Kjellstrom, Pres. – 736 Janesville Street Oregon, WI 53575 – Phone: 608-835-3106 – Fax: 608-835-7399

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Your dues help to support our efforts to preserve local history.  We provide programs and events in the Oregon community and we also maintain the OAHS museum.  We would appreciate your membership!

 

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BIRGIT RENNENKAMPFF (1917-2007)

Birgit Rennenkampff made this beautiful dollhouse. This is her extraordinary story. Doll house display

Birgit was born in rural Estonia on July 24 1917. She was the oldest of seven children born to the Welding family. Her father over time was the manager of several large farms. The Weldings belonged to the German minority in Estonia, and Birgit attended the German high school.

In 1935, she married Andreas Rennenkampff, son of landowners in Wesenberg and a teacher of mathematics. In 1937, their first child, Ingetraud, was born, followed by her brother Jurgen in 1938.

In 1939, as a consequence of the Hitler-Stalin Pact, Estonia became part of the Soviet Union and most of the German population was moved to Western Poland, which became part of Nazi Germany. The family settled in a small Silesian town called Niesky, where Andreas found work as a mathematics teacher. Niesky is quite an unusual place; it is a settlement established in the 18th century by the pietistic sect that called itself ‘Moravian Brotherhood’, and the school where Andreas taught was a boarding school for the sons of the Moravian missionaries.

Brigit Rennenkampff In January 1945 Silesia was conquered by Russian troops, and most of the population fled. Birgit’s family, five children and several other relatives, spent three days on a freight train that ultimately took them to Helmbrechts, a small town in Bavaria, where they stayed for several months. These months, just before and just after the end of the war, were perhaps the hardest period for the surviving civilian population—there was not enough food, nor fuel, nor medical supplies and many people died of commonplace diseases. Birgit lost her husband and the three youngest children. She also lost her parents, who perished during the flight from the East, and two brothers.

In the Summer of 1945 Birgit and her two remaining children traveled North to Bueckeburg, near Hanover, where a number of relatives, all of whom had fled from the East, were settling.

During the post-war years many Americans decided to help destitute Europeans, and three Madison families began sending packages to Birgit. Sometimes these were the famous CARE packages, which had standardized content, and sometimes these were packages containing more personal items, mostly clothing and food. As a result a correspondence started and soon the Madison families decided that they would sponsor Birgit’s immigration. And so it was in 1951 that Birgit, 14-year-old Ingetraud, and 13-year old Jurgen came to Wisconsin. A furnished apartment awaited them, with rent paid for three months. Birgit started working at Madison General Hospital as a housekeeper, and eventually became supervisor. She subsequently had other jobs at the Martin Luther Children’s Home and later at the Wisconsin State Hospital.

In 1961 she bought a building lot on Sand Hill Road, in the town of Dunn, and had a modest one-bedroom home built, every detail of which she designed herself. Here she expressed her love for flowers and gardening, creating and constantly expanding a lush perennial garden, as well a large vegetable plot. She was always on the lookout for interesting wildflowers, which she transplanted into her garden and the wood lot. Birgit loved animals. For many years she maintained a kennel of huskies and many stray or injured animals found a home with her. Over the years uncounted dogs, cats, raccoons, goats, sheep, and even a horse could be found at Birgit’s. She was an accomplished craftsperson and particularly adept at knitting and wood-carving.

Through these activities, as well as her active membership in the Oregon Senior Center, she made many friends. At the Center, she was well known for her hobby—making miniature scenes and dollhouses. She donated several works to the Sr. Center for raffle prizes. She also donated many items to the Center’s gift shop.

Birgit was also an amazing volunteer. For over twenty years, she delivered Meals on Wheels, her last delivery being just two days before her peaceful death at 89.

She leaves behind two children, Ingetraud (Gottfried), and Jurgen; 3 grandchildren, Kirsten Brieger (Michael Rothenberg), Michael Brieger (Lenore), and Julia Rennenkampff, and two great-grandchildren, Jake Rothenberg and Nicholas Brieger, 2 sisters, Dagny Paulsdottir and Elske Schwartz, and a brother, Ben Welding.

Birgit was know to be an outspoken person and sometimes had strong opinions on current events. She came from a sturdy tradition of self-sufficiency and was a model of voluntary simplicity in her life.

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