Minot State University Gallery, Minot, North Dakota
Rag rugs covered many families' cold floors here on the Dakota prairie. Women saved scraps of fabric and would trade them with their neighbors for an attractive color array.
Strips were braided and stitched together with strong thread to form the rug. Carol remembered it only being used on Sundays. On other days, the rug was in a closet where she found it long after the home had been abandoned.
This shawl was brought from the Kutschurgan colonies of South Russia (today near Odessa, Ukraine) in 1914 by Katherina Deringer Mack of Karlsruhe, North Dakota.
These shawls were used for dress, when riding in the sled on Sundays or to go visiting. This black fringed double-weave woolen winter shoulder shawl or lap shawl, has rust and dark green plaid patterns.
This was given to the collection by Theresa Mack Wald of Grand Forks, North Dakota.
This quilt was made especially for Ralph Ruff of Vacaville, California, by his grandmother Katharina (Rieker) Kiesz in 1934. Katharina was born in the village of Bergdorf and was married to Wilhlem Kiesz. Ralph's mother was six months old when her family came to America on the ship Red Star. Katharina's family first settled at Bowdle, SD. They later moved to Ritzville, south of Spokane, Washington, in the early 1900s.
After the death of Ralph's mother, Christina (Kiesz) Ruff, he was raised by Grandmother and Grandfather Kiesz. Grandmother Kiesz wanted Ralph to have a blanket that was just for him, so she saved scraps of material, perhaps from old clothing, feed and flour sacks. She sewed every stitch and Ralph, at age 9, helped to thread most of the needles. It was her special gift to him. He presented the quilt to the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection in February of 1996.
Lillian crocheted this doily with size 10 crochet thread in 1996 from a pattern called "Spider Doily".
She learned to crochet when she was 11 years old by watching over her mother's shoulder. She was born eight miles south of Goodrich and was raised near Wing and Arena, North Dakota. Lillian lived in Esmond, North Dakota; Pinehurst, Idaho; and Santa Clara, California, before returning to live in Harvey in 1981.
During the nineteenth century, these black woolen shawls with elegantly knotted silk-fringe were highly cherished by all fashionable German ladies, especially for dress to church worship.
This particular silk-fringed black woolen shawl was purchased by Karl Kusler in 1910 when revisiting his birth village of Worms [Beresan District], Ukraine (South Russia) located about 80 miles northeast of the city of Odessa. Karl's youngest daughter Hilda Kusler Hodgins of Glückstal heritage and formerly of Beulah, North Dakota, donated this family textile treasure in 1994.
Ethnic Bessarabian costumed-dolls made by Elvera Reuer, native of Arzis, Bessarabia, living in Mesa, Arizona.
Vi Schielke of Beulah, North Dakota, presented her grandmother Salomina's canapee blanket to the collection on March 31, 1996. Salomina was born in 1888 at the Bessarabian German village of Paris, South Russia. As a newlywed, she immigrated to America in 1908 and raised seven children.
The blanket was passed down through the maternal side of the family from Salomia to her youngest daughter, Clara Unrath Kruckenberg. Clara presented the blanket to her daughter, Vi Kruckenberg Schielke. Vi remembers seeing the blanket carefully preserved in the family trunk.
Linen and cotton embossed floral embroidered pillow shams with exquisite crocheted lace feature the handwork of Christina Zweigle Schmidt Schieve, native of Alexanderhilf near Odessa, Ukraine who settled at Harvey, North Dakota. Christina's daughters are "family keepers" - Elsie Gimse, author/historian Edna Schieve Boardman, and Vivian Berg, founding members of the Landsleute Chapter of the Germans from Russia Heritage Society, Minot, North Dakota.