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The house, built by skilled Finnish shipwrights, features square logs (as opposed to round ones used in “log cabins”) as well as insulation, wallpaper, paint, and fabrics.
The building was spared fire, but had fallen into disrepair and received a substantial renovation in the 1970s and ’80s.
There are ranger led tours from May 15–Sept 15 ( admission fee).
The ground floor includes exhibits dating from Russian America: sea otter pelts, samovar teapots, and a replica of a Russian possession plaque found in Old Sitka.
The Lehr Tabernacle, historically the site of fervent camp meetings, still operates as a religious center near the town of Lehr, and is an architectural feature of interest. The wrought iron crosses crafted as grave markers by German-Russian blacksmiths are fascinating works of folk art filling many German-Russian cemeteries.
Catholic Germans from Russia built churches of astonishing size and ornateness, such as St. Roadside shrines built by German-Russian faith communities, such as the Prairie Bells Grotto, are common.
After graduating from Harvard College, Fleming served as a field inspector for the American Relief Administration, established after World War I to combat hunger in war-torn Europe.
During this time he gathered and shipped home more than a hundred posters of the period. Hall donated 104 Russian and Ukrainian posters dating from 1917-1921 to the Slavic and Baltic Division, effectively doubling the Library's holding of early Soviet posters.
Because their settlements concentrated in particular localities, they formed strong ethnic communities that stubbornly preserved their culture, a culture characterized by two traits: the German-Russians are an agricultural people, and they are a religious people.The posters arrived with the donation of his papers to the Library's Manuscripts and Archives Division in the 1970s. The posters had belonged to a Hall relative, Benjamin Blattner (1890-1956), an investigative accountant who served with Governor Thomas E. Hogan combating racketeering and fraud in New York State.Like Fleming, Blattner had worked in famine relief in the early Soviet era, in his case, with the Joint Distribution Committee.The second floor houses the Chapel of the Annunciations, as well as guest rooms, a dining room, a formal reception room, and attendant quarters.The chapel has original icons, and the rooms include original pieces and reproductions.