History is all around us, sometimes hidden in plain sight and sometimes right under our feet while everyone goes about their daily business.
I have to be on a constant look-out to make sure when that history pops up in the open to make sure I'm there by constantly bugging people just about everything and anything, because most of the time they won't realize what they have is actually Manning history.

Here is some history that was "buried" in the Manning Library and came close to getting away from us.

Drei Meilen Haus

Because of the future move to their new location, I have been in contact with various people involved with the Manning Library.
Based on decades of experience, I know what happens when a business or organization moves - lots of history ends up getting thrown away, either intentionally or accidentally.
I also want to try to scan items in the library that I had not yet had the chance to do so over the last several decades, before things get boxed up for storage.
During one of the e-mails exchanged, out of a fluke it was mentioned that they discovered a Schuetzen Verein record book which they described as the 3 mile house...WELL the number 3 really caught my eye, but I figured it was a typo and they meant 5 instead.
Well after e-mailing back for confirmation I found out the it was indeed a record book for the Three Mile House which was 3 miles north of Manning on West Street.

I imediately hurried into town to pick up the book so I could look it over and scan it.

This is another Manning organization that I've been trying to find more pictures and information about BUT I NEVER dreamed that someday one of the record books would show up.

Fortunately there was a hand-written note stuck on the book which explained exactly how it got to the library.

Alvan Hansen, whose dad was Henry and a director of the 3 mile house, took the book to Claus Bunz for safe keeping in 2002.
Then when Claus ended his business, he took the book to the Manning Library, explaining the path it took without being thrown away.

After scanning the book and the official documents and newspaper articles, I discovered that the 3 mile committee donated any money left over after the sale to the Manning Library.
When they discovered this book during the inventory process at the library, it was thought the book really belonged to the Hayes Township 5 mile house northwest of Manning, but once I explained that the 3 Mile House was a different Verein and that the funds left over were donated to the Manning Library, I strongly encouraged them to make sure it stays with the library.

I have run into a number of inside pictures of the 3 mile house building and also know about a part that was used as a lean-to wing on the main building.

Remember that that Manning also had a Schuetzen Verein in the city limits...many of you will remember as the old Firemen's Hall - that structure was originally built by the Manning Verein.
The stone wording was saved by the Ohde family and John currently has it displayed on his lawn.

So here is the story about the Drei Meilen Haus that I've gathered over the last 40+ years.

inside the Three Mile House
Honored Schuetzen-Member,
By resolution the General membership meeting of the Three-Mile-House Schuetzen-Verein will take place on 14 January 1912.
Julius Rix, Secretary

Note the architechual shape of a present day Quonset.

1910 August Horn membership - secretary August Eikmeier

In Memoriam
Honorary Member of the Three Mile House Schützen Verein
From the Oeser family collection.

Wedding celebration held at 3 mile haus - Wilhelmine Holltorf & Herman Eikmeier

Lean-to shed from the 3 Mile Haus structure.

Harold Schroeder and Ray Vetter took down the 3 mile house and salvaged the lumber to use on their farms sometime after 1949.
This part of the 3 mile house was moved to the Schroeder farm and used as a workshop.
You can see the hinged door on the west side of this building.
I'm working with the current owners to cut out and save that hinged door as a piece of 3 mile house history.
There is also an original electric insulator I hope to preserve.
I assume this shed is where they shot their guns during the shooting tournaments and target practice, and also served food for events.

Because of all the custom combining and farming my Kusel family has done on most every farm in the area at one time or the other, starting with my dad and his brother who formed Kusel Brothers, I've had many situations where I was able to talk to a lot of old farmers over the decades who knew a lot of area history.
Case in point...we custom farmed the Karsten farm, owned by the Harold & Bernice (Karsten) Schroeder family.
One day while visiting with their son, Dave, and his parents, out of the blue the subject of an old shed came up (shown above).
As soon as I heard 3 mile house in the conversation I became ecstatic and walked over to the building with Dave.
It was interesting to see how it was built and once had a swinging overhead door that had been permanently nailed shut when they moved the shed to the Schroeder farm.

Sale of the property

First entry in this book 1928 was written in German - the rest was in English.
It is not known what happened to the original record book - maybe it will show up some day.

Last entry - the Verein disbanded in 1949 - all funds left over were donated to the Manning Library.

Controversies are nothing new and even back then there were challenges between Manningites.

Legal actions resolved

It's too bad that the individuals/entity that had this book in their possession didn't tell me about it. I would have immediately scanned it and discussed the controversy with Art Rix who was still living at that time to find out exactly what the scoop was about the legal challenges.
I'm constantly bugging people about Manning history and this is why more people need to get their old history to me so I can research it further...I'll know of possible contacts and sources who may still be living and can answer questions - BUT if you keep that old stuff to yourself, most if not all of the history behind it will eventually die out and then of course it will someday get thrown away by one of your descendants.

Besides the legal documents, there were also some interesting historical items kept in the book.

An amazing historical certificate!

Amazing little booklet that has the constitution and by-laws.

1st page

last page

Some other trivia I found out from various people in the past...
Elaine (Karsten) Struve's ---- grandparents - Bill Ruhde and his wife ran the 3-mile house.
The 3-mile house was on the Southwest corner of the Intersection (northwest corner of that section of land).
3 miles north of highway 141 on West Street in Manning.

Ed & Anna (Hell) Hinze ran the 3-Mile House at one point in time.

So if you have inherited an old record book that your grandfather/great-grandfather had and is connected to Manning - PLEASE contact me so I can scan it and do some background research on it.
It is NOW or NEVER - once I'm gone and all of the other older folks who might have information on a specific topic are gone - then all of that history will be gone forever, so let's preserve it NOW!!!

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