An Authentic German Experience in Freistadt, WI

Get a True Taste of Germany in Freistadt, WI

About five miles southwest of the Washington House Inn as the crow flies lies Freistadt. The name Freistadt means “free city” in German, and identifies a little community that was founded in 1839 by 20 families who fled from Pomerania, Germany, to escape religious persecution. The immigrants purchased 40 acres of land when they arrived, and the following spring they built the first Lutheran church in the state of Wisconsin, a 30’ x 20’ log building, that also served as a school for the children. In 1848, the church became a part of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and it has since been replaced by a handsome stone structure that currently serves the congregation.

 

Freistadt, WI festival

 

Because borders in Europe have shifted over the years, Pomerania no longer exists in Germany as a separate entity … however, Wisconsin’s Freistadt residents have never forgotten their heritage. The little burg is home to The Freistadt Alte Kameraden Band, talented musicians who are known throughout the state for entertaining audiences with rousing, authentic German-style music, and for wearing “Lederhosen.” The community is also home to the Pommersche Tanzdeel Freistadt, a troupe of dancers and musicians, from ages 5 to adulthood, who work very hard at preserving the folk culture of their forefathers by performing songs and dances from the Pomeranian regions.

Polka dance and music in Freistadt, WI

Anyone who happens to be staying at our Cedarburg inn on the last Sunday in June should definitely plan on carving out a few hours to spend at Pommerntag – a day-long ethnic celebration of Pomeranian culture held in Mequon just south of the inn. The two groups will be performing songs and dances from the Pomeranian regions and wearing authentic dress. It’s a great opportunity to learn about genealogy and sample delicious ethnic foods and drinks, while tapping your toes to some great Polka music.