Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Dietrich Cabin logs fresh history lesson this weekend

By KATE SHELTON, Herald Staff Writer | 8/8/2014

An Ottawa landmark is expected to come to life this weekend at City Park.

“It’s important to keep our history alive,” Annette Moraless, Dietrich Cabin coordinator, said. “[The event] is a good way to pass [history] on to our children and families.”

An Ottawa landmark is expected to come to life this weekend at City Park.

“It’s important to keep our history alive,” Annette Moraless, Dietrich Cabin coordinator, said. “[The event] is a good way to pass [history] on to our children and families.”

With Ottawa’s sesquicentennial celebration coming Sept. 6, another free event — “Living History” — is set 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Dietrich Cabin in City Park, Fifth and Main streets, Ottawa, to help community members learn more about the area’s history, organizers said.

Susan Geiss, Franklin County Historical Society archivist, plans to discuss historic local photographers, as well as photo techniques and different types of pictures such as sketches, stereocards and modern photography. Geiss also expects to display an entire notebook full of late-19th century photos, drawings, and paintings of places in Ottawa for both adults and children to view, Morales said.

A craft table and art contest for children, as well as live entertainment from Larry Linter, a local musician, also are planned. The Arts Council is set for an open house at the Carnegie Cultural Center, 515 S. Main, Ottawa, which currently is housing an exhibit, “Motion,” featuring watercolors, oils, metal design and other types of art.

“We try to make it exciting, not just for young kids, but adults, too,” Morales said.

In addition to the Living History event in City Park, the Old Depot Museum, 135 W. Tecumseh St., is set for its own activities. Youths, pre-school through sixth grade, can pick up a photo history hunt at Dietrich Cabin, then head to the museum for a photo hunt to search for pictures throughout the museum, Morales said.

Dietrich Cabin originally was built in 1859 on Douglas Road, southwest of Ottawa, and near the Santa Fe Trail, by Jacob Dietrich and his wife, Catherine, German settlers. Jacob Dietrich died in 1863, leaving Catherine Dietrich to maintain the cabin and raise the sons by herself. To support her family, she walked six miles to do laundry for the county officials in Ohio City, Kansas, a now-defunct city, according to the Kansas Historical Society. She later remarried another man, Jacob Puderbaugh, according to the Illustrated History of the State of Idaho by Lewis Publishing Company.

“She was a pretty amazing lady,” Morales said.

The cabin was moved in 1961 to its current location at City Park as a gift from Elsie Gault for the Kansas Centennial, according to the Franklin County Historical Society.

Dietrich’s sons became prominent citizens in the country. One son, Frank Sigel Dietrich, went on to be an attorney for the Union Pacific Railroad. In 1907, he was appointed by Theodore Roosevelt as a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho. Dietrich was then appointed a higher seat in 1926 by Calvin Coolidge — to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, according to UScourts.gov. Another son, John Dietrich, was the superintendent for public schools in Colorado Springs, Colorado, according to historical documents.

The next two living history events in City Park are set for Sept. 14, focusing on the Kansas Frontier, and Oct. 12, with games and music from the past, Morales said. Like Sunday’s event, both are free. During the activities, the Old Depot Museum also is open for free admission 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

“These are great events,” Morales said. “We would really like the public to get to know local history.”

comments powered by Disqus