Pinecrest Historical Village

“Someone had a dream and today we see partial fulfillment of that dream,” declared Armond Kueter in opening remarks of the dedication of Pinecrest Historical Village on June 26, 1977

The man who had that dream was the late Joseph J. Rappel, who had been a Manitowoc school teacher, and Mrs. Hugo Vetting and her husband, who wanted her girlhood home preserved and donated the 40-acre site to the Manitowoc County Historical Society for the village.

Kueter said “this village is dedicated to the citizens of Manitowoc County”.


Sorenson House, Dedication Day, 1977

Sorenson House, Dedication Day, 1977

On November 13, 1969 the Board of Directors met to consider a generous offer from Hugo and Eleanor Vetting for the donation of their 40-acre homestead for the purpose of creating a historical village.

At the annual meeting on November 25, 1969 a motion was made by Ruhl Kluczinske, seconded by Francis Blahnik, and unanimously carried by voice vote to accept the donation of the 40-acre Vetting property. 

The Board of Directors supported the wish of the Vetting’s that Eleanor’s childhood home, the Sorenson Family house, be moved to the site as soon as legal transactions were completed.  Action was taken immediately to move the Sorenson home to its new location to begin Pinecrest Historical Village.



An appreciation banquet was held at the Manitowoc Motor Hotel on Sunday night, January 11, 1970 for the generous donation from the Vetting family. 

St. Thomas More was the master of ceremonies. She said, “History is rooted in the past and focused on the future.  There are sociological and political reasons for this Village.  The Society can now preserve evidence of the roots of people in the American way.”

The idea of building a historical village had been discussed for many years and the dream was finally being realized.

A policy making board of five members were named to be the Village governing board.  Members on this board were Vining Ihlenfeld, Harvey Stangel, Armond Keuter, Atty. Leslie Valleskey, president and secretary ex-officio members and Ruhl Kluoczinske.

The Historical Society voted to borrow $5,000.  This loan helped to begin moving structures, do needed construction work, and other expenses relating to the Sorenson home, Niles Church, and Collins Depot. The Kiwanis Club donated $3,500 towards the relocation of the Niles Church.