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Ostfriesland Germany

February 2, 2014
Reinbeck Courier

Do you have family or friends in Ostfriesland, Germany who would like to visit Iowa?

Many Iowans have two things in common, on the one hand they live in Iowa and second, their ancestors emigrated from Ostfriesland, Germany many years ago.

Helmut Fischer from Norden, Germany is planning to bring a tour group from Ostfriesland to the local area between May 1 16, 2014. So if you have family or friends in Ostfriesland that would like to visit the Midwest, you should let them know about this tour.

Featured destinations of this tour are the residential areas of the U.S. East Frisians in Iowa (Grundy County, Dubuque, Des Moines, or Iowa City) and Minnesota (Minneapolis, Winona, St. Paul, and New Ulm).

The first destination of almost all emigrated East Frisians was in German Valley, Illinois, about two hours west of Chicago. The first stop on this tour will be in German Valley. The Silver Valley Creek Church and their large cemetery will be points of interest.

From German Valley, the group will travel on to Iowa to attend the Ostfriesen Heritage Society's German Ethnic Meal Event in Grundy Center, Iowa on May 3. The group will also visit other points of interest in the area, plus have time to join the local folks for a cup of tea and kluntje, and some Platt Duetsch conversations.

Then on to the "Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul", a big contrast from the flat farm land of Iowa. They will visit the East Frisian Genealogical Society of America (OGSA), as well as other interesting attractions in the area.

A relaxing return trip to Dubuque will follow along the Mississippi River on the "Great River Road". Endless shore line, ancient railway bridges, and a visit to the oldest pub in Iowa at Ball Town will be enjoyed on the trip to Dubuque. In Dubuque, the "East Frisian kusen plumber" (dentist) Dr. Heyo Tjarks who emigrated from Marcardsmoor, Germany will entertain the tour group.

Visits with family or friends are possible at any time during the tour, which is always a happy event on the tours led by Helmut Fischer.

Final itinerary will be completed in early March. Flights and bus routes are already in process. Booking deadline is February 28, 2014.

For information on how to get more details for the tour, please contact Mary Schmidt at 319-824-5502 or e-mail at



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