Growing Corn: Early Tools and Equipment  

This exhibit includes more than one hundred hand corn planters plus husking pegs and related equipment used by pioneers.  From the collection of Ted Sommer.




Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance


Pennsylvania Dutch Foods and Foodways in the Midwest

The 55th Annual Illinois Mennonite Relief Sale and

Anabaptist Culinary Traditions


Friday, March 15th and Saturday, March 16th, Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance is hosting a learning tour on “Pennsylvania Dutch Foods and Foodways in the Midwest,” a program featuring Anabaptist culinary traditions.

Pennsylvania Dutch cooking originally developed as an accommodation of rural German traditions to the foods of the American frontier. It is a cuisine that has undergone remarkable changes. Yet over the years it has continued to find favor in the kitchens of Mennonite, Apostolic Christian, Amish and other Anabaptist communities.

On Friday, March 15th, Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance visits the Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center near Metamora to learn about Pennsylvania Dutch in Illinois and the foodways of the Anabaptists of west central Illinois. There will be presentations on “Early Anabaptists in Illinois and the Evolution of Pennsylvania Dutch,” by Robert Dirks, Professor Emeritus from Illinois State University; “Our Daily Bread: Traditional Mennonite Food and Food Customs; and “Extending the Table: A History of Mennonite Central Committee and the Illinois Mennonite Relief Sale” by Maurice Yordy, president of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Mennonite Historical & Genealogical Society.

GMFA will then continue on to Bloomington to the Interstate Center at 1106 Interstate Drive in Bloomington, where they will enjoy the foods and appreciate the craft items offered at the 55th Annual Mennonite Relief Sale, an event that in many ways amounts to a grand celebration of Pennsylvania Dutch for a very worthy cause.

GMFA returns to the Relief Sale on Saturday morning, March 16th for a tour of the Sale, including the Dutch Market, given by Julie Hendricks, administrative coordinator of the Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center. The final presentation will be “Eat My Words: ‘Uncovering’ Mennonite Women’s History Through their Cookbooks,” given by Julie Hendricks.

This learning tour will commence Friday, March 15th at the Illinois Mennonite Heritage Center, 675 State Route 116, Metamora, Illinois. For further information, please contact Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance: 312-380-1665 and website: Admission for this event is $40, paid to Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance, 280 Laurel Avenue, Highland Park, IL 60035 or by credit card online at

Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance is dedicated to celebrating, exploring and preserving unique food traditions and their cultural contexts in the American Midwest. By hosting public events, developing archival resources and generating publications, the GMFA uncovers the distinctiveness of a region that is as varied in tastes and traditions as it is in its geography from the Great Lakes to the Great Plains. Whether indigenous foods like Wisconsin cranberries and Minnesota walleye, iconographic flavors like the wheat and corn from across the prairies, immigrant cuisines from early Europeans to 21st-century newcomers, or fish boils and fine dining in small towns and big cities, the Greater Midwest Foodways promotes and chronicles the diversity of the region’s culinary character.




2013 IMHGS Spring Program

Saturday, April 27, 10:00 a.m.

Our Speaker:  James L. Fyke,

President of Woodford County Historical Society

  “Effects of the Frontier on American Character”




This is where we’ll announce the most recent additions to our web site. If you’ve visited us before and want to know what’s changed, look here first.


4/27/2005 Illinois Mennonite Heritage Quarterly Twenty-Five Year Index 1974-1998 linked to Publications page





C. Henry Smith Speech at the first homecoming celebration of the old Partridge congregation near Metamora on August 20, 1940. Published by Ken Ulrich. 32 pp. $3.50.


C. Henry Smith Revisited, Session 1, “Always an Amish-Mennonite Farm Boy,” and Session 2, “Premier Mennonite Historian”Master Story Teller,” Dr. Robert Kreider’s addresses to IMHGS on September 15, 2002, on DVD. $10 (our cost).


These and other books may be ordered from our Publications page.







The Ulrich Foundation Stor y by Linda Nussbaum.

Book Review: Transplanted German Farmer.

In Translation: Dr. Levine’s Exploration of Nineteenth-Century Notebooks by V. Gordon Oyer.

Christian Schertz’s Arrangement for a Hired Substitute by Neil Ann Stuckey Levine.

Update: Strubhar and Gerber by Neil Ann Stuckey Levine.

Afterward by Donna Schrock Birkey.


VOL. XXXVI, #3, FALL 2009

Two Letters in France: Miller Jean Lange (Johannes Engel) Writes to Relatives from St. Louis, Mo., in the 1850s by Neil Ann Stuckey Levine.

Book Review: Mennonite Women in Canada: A History. Marlene Epp by Gerlof D. Homan.

The Life and Legacy of a Farmer-Preacher: Harold A. Zehr (1903-1975) by John E. Zehr.



Murder and Halfmoon Township: The Little Known Story of the King Family by Joseph Peter Staker.

Old Iron and Steel Truss Bridges of Champaign County: Focusing on Bridges Near East Bend Mennonite Church by Kathryn Cender Martin.

Esch/Oesch/Eash DNA Project: The Process and Positive Results by Tom Esch.

The Story of the Little Mennonite Cemetery of Gosselming.



Better Cows, Stronger Community? Mennonites and the Production Revolution in the Corn Belt  by Debra Reid.

Developing the Esch Storyline: Organizing and Developing Information  by Tom Esch.

Book Review: Of This Earth: A Mennonite Boyhood in the Boreal Forest, Rudy (Henry) Wiebe. Reviewed by Gerlof D. Homan.

Photo Essays: Andrew Litwiller (1863-1891), Samuel Garber (1863=1930), Benjamin Ropp (1848-1919), Lydia Ropp (1852-1932)  by Walter Ropp.

Illinois Mennonite Heritage Quarterly 2009 Index.

Permission Policy.


VOL. XXXV, #4, WINTER 2008

The Ancestry and Ministry of the Bishop: Peter Zehr (1851-1922) by  Donna Schrock Birkey.

Baptisms at East Bend Amish Mennonite Church 1895-1919  Church Book of Peter Zehr.

Researching My Esch Family in Central Illinois and Europe  by Susan Esch Lees.

Daniel Esch Family Genealogy  by Susan Esch Lees.

Book Review: John D. Roth, Stories: How Mennonites Came to Be  by Gerlof D. Homan.


VOL. XXXV, #3, FALL 2008

Transplanted German Farmer: The Life of Christian Iutzi (1899-1857), Immigrant to Butler County, Ohio, in His Own Words by Neil Ann Stuckey Levine.

VOL. XXXV, #2, SUMMER 2008

A Letter Newly Discovered in France: Rodolophe Petter to Pierre Sommer by Neil Ann Stuckey Levine. Aunt Lulu’s Scrapbook: C.H. and Mary Imhoff Smith by Roger Ulrich and Joan Stohrer, editors The Bishop’s Furnishings: Four Side Chairs Belonging to Peter Zehr and Barbara Heiser by V. Gordon Oyer. “I Shall Not Pass This Way Again” Memories of my Father, Peter Zehr (1851-1922) by Amelia Zehr Birkey. Book Review by Rosalee Otto. Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy by Don B. Kraybill, Steven M. Nolt, and David L. Weaver-Zuercher.

VOL. XXXV, #1, SPRING 2008

Moody, Fundamentalism and Mennonites: The Struggle for Particularity and Engagement in Illinois Mennonite Churches, 1900-1955, Part 2 by Elizabeth Miller. Amos and Bertha: A Tribute by a Niece by Ruth Hieser Oyer. Book Review Gerlof B. Homan. A History of the Amish by Steven M. Nolt. Yordy Addendum: French Birth Records and Ancestory of Peter Yordy by Gary L. Yordy. God’s Back Pastures: Rural Evangelism and the Metamora Mennonite Church by Steven R. Estes. 2007 Index Illinois Mennonite Heritage Quarterly