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Sister Cities of Jasper Activities


  • Jasper Partnership Meeting lead by Mayor Bill Schmitt took place January 23 and Sister Cities of Jasper Board Meeting was held on January 21 at the Schnitzelbank.
  • Jasper's first full time student in the Sister Cities' Exchange Program to attend her senior year at JHS was back in Jasper for a week in January. Jutta Eisenring and her nine month old son, Luca, were the guests of Martina Eckert. Jutta is a graduate of the Class of 1987 and lives in Staufen. During her school year, Claude Eckert taught her to drive so she could obtain her Indiana driver's license. She attended her 10 year class reunion in 1997. While in the US , Jutta visited friends in Indianapolis, Louisville, and Florida .
  • Pfaffenweiler's Buergermeister Dieter Hahn announced his visit to the Strassenfest in Jasper in August with 18 more people, arriving 7/29 and departing 8/6.
  • In February, the Jasper Partnership Commission began the process of planning with monthly meetings in reference to theannounced visit by Buergermeister Dieter Hahn. Included in it is a media roll out to lead into the 25th anniversary celebration in Pfaffenweiler in 2010.
  • Patti Goepfrich was in Pfaffenweiler March 26th until April 3rd visiting relatives and friends; while there she also visited Buergermeister Dieter Hahn at the Rathaus.
  • From the Pfaffenweiler Newsletter: And that's especially for you Patti: My dear Patti, it was very nice, to meet you this week in Pfaffenweiler. We all here look forward to visit Jasper and to see you again.
  • May 8th through May 10, Jim Gutgsell from Jasper visited his relatives, Fritz and Brigitte Gutgsell, in Pfaffenweiler while on a business trip in Europe .
  • On May 24, Kathy Hilger, Jeanie Kuntz, Amanda Hilger, Drew Kluemper, Grant Gordon and Chase Stenftenagel left Jasper to tour Europe for more than three weeks. They made Pfaffenweiler their hub. They stopped in Pfaffenweiler four times; leaving for Jasper on June 17.
  • On May 27, eleven students from JHS traveled to Germany for a four week exchange. They flew to Berlin and traveled to Poessneck, Munich and on to Pfaffenweiler/Staufen.
  • Annika Marschall left Jasper going back to Pfaffenweiler after one year at JHS. She was hosted by Jim and Louise Gutgsell and traveled back go Pfaffenweiler with the exchange students.
  • On May 29 and May 30, Si and Marge Stenftenagel, together with their friend Carmen Evans, visited Pfaffenweiler and the Stenftenagel home place. They stayed two nights. They really liked the vineyards all around the little town. "It was amazing how nice the people where to all of us. In one of the restaurants we ate at, the people that will come to Jasper sang for us; it was just awesome. Si and Marge were really moved by all that," per Carmen Evans.
  • May 31 through June 8, Mark and Marlene Schroeder together with their daughter, Kelly, visited Aileen Ehrhardt in the neighbor town of Pfaffenweiler , Ehrenkirchen. Kelly and Aileen became close friends when Aileen spent a year at JHS - 2007-2008 staying with Michelle and Mark Bramlett. The Schroeders visited the community of Pfaffenweiler and the Rathaus on Thursday, June 4.
  • On June 8, Sebastian Loeffler left Jasper returning to Heitersheim close to Pfaffenweiler. After one year at the JHS, he took his host brother, Drew Belk, along who spent three weeks with Sebastian at his home.
  • On June 12, eleven students from JHS arrived in the Pfaffenweiler/Staufen area and stayed there until June 24.
  • "Pfaffenweiler-Day" with the students from the Jasper High School on Tuesday June 16, 2009
  • On June 24, eight of the eleven exchange students returned to Jasper from Staufen/Pfaffenweiler; Brittney Mann, Olivia Gutgsell and Alexander Hilger stayed in Pfaffenweiler with family and friends for another week.
  • Sara Guenter left Jasper on July 1 after a one semester stay at JHS. She was hosted by Mark and Sandy Fierst.
  • Brittney Mann, Olivia Gutgsell and Alexander Hilger returned to Jasper on July 2 from Pfaffenweiler after visiting with family and friends.
  • An official letter was received by Mayor Bill Schmitt written by Buergermeister Dieter Hahn inviting the community of Jasper to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Partnership on June 18th, 2010 .
  • Pfaffenweiler newsletter 7/15/09 : Bürgermeister Dieter Hahn welcomed guests from Jasper last week Chris and Wynn Stenftenagel were guests at the Rathaus.

Note from Chris and Wynn afterwards, "Thanks so much for helping arrange our visit to Pfaffenweiler.  We had a great time meeting Diana Treyer and Dieter Hahn and greatly appreciated their hospitality.  Dieter spoke very good English and we didn't have any communication problems. Wynn and I did see The Stenftenagel home but we didn't get a chance to go inside it since it was closed the day we were there.  The town is really pretty and we loved the Black Forest area of Germany in general.  It was probably our favorite part of the trip." 

  • On July 13, Jon Eckerle from Jasper visited his distant relatives in Pfaffenweiler for the first time after a business trip for his employer Kimball International. Jon, on the left, is shown with Stefan Eckerle in Pfaffenweiler.

Note from Jon Eckerle after his return to Jasper to his distant cousin Marco Eckerle - Marco, I just wanted to take this time to tell you what a great experience I had visiting Pfaffenweiler last week. I never thought I would have had the opportunity to see the home place that my great, great grandpa came from. It was a very emotional visit for me. Please tell your mother and father and your sister-in-law how much I enjoyed my short stay and that the next time I will bring my wife Miriam and stay a while longer. Please tell your mother her soup and all the food she prepared was really, really good. I also want to thank you for adjusting your schedule to accommodate my stay and for showing me all of the places in town; that meant a lot to me. If you and your wife ever decide to come to Jasper you know you have a place to stay with us. Again thank you so much for your hospitality and take care. Your cousin in America , Jon.

Pictured are from left: Thomas and Patricia Lehmann, Buergermeister Dieter Hahn, Janet and Dave Kluemper, Albert Keller and Eddy Weeger in the foreground.
  • July 17 - This past Friday, Dave and Janet Kluemper from Jasper visited the Pfaffenweiler Rathaus. They were guests of the Albert and Sonja Keller family.
  • July 18 - Patricia Keller & Thomas Lehmann wedding in Pfaffenweiler attended by Janet & Dave Kluemper from Jasper.
  • On Tuesday, July 21, Jim Beachy and his wife made an unannounced visit to the Rathaus of Pfaffenweiler. Unfortunately nobody was able to welcome them, due to the Rathaus being closed the time they stopped. However, they left a sticky note on the door of the Rathaus: In response to the note, Buergermeister Dieter Hahn and his team placed the following note into the Pfaffenweiler Newsletter:

"Welcome Mr. and Mrs. Beachy, we are so sorry, we hope we can have a next chance to welcome you here in our City Hall."

  • Jim Beachy is employed by Kimball International, lives in Paoli, a close friend to many people here in Jasper, spent a school year in Germany many, many years ago and loves to practice his language knowledge any chance he can.
Bösch, Markus
Hüppe, Heinrich
Eckert, Michael Hüppe, Gisela
Ehrath, Emil Gebhard Stefan Kiefer, Ingeborg
Gehle, Bernd Müller-Hauss, Cornelia
Gehler geb. Ullmann, Ingeborg   Schenkel, Angelika
Hahn, Angela Schmid, Amalie
Hahn, Dieter Sori, Doris
Hahn, Julian Sori, Janez
Hilger, Franz Weeger, Edmund
Hilger, Baerbel  
  • July 29 - The Jasper Partnership Commission hosted nineteen visitors from Jasper's Sister City , Pfaffenweiler, Germany . This Commission, formed by Mayor Bill Schmitt, serves as the official liaison between the two communities. Jasper was honored to have Mayor Dieter Hahn, the newly elected Mayor of Pfaffenweiler, make the trip to Jasper along with his wife Angela and son Julian.
  • The visitors were picked up at the Cincinnati Airport on July 29th and arrived in Jasper around 8:00 pm . They were greeted by their host families and many Jasper citizens. St. Joseph 's Choir sang several songs and a champagne toast was given by Mayor Schmitt and Mayor Hahn. New visitors were shown the bricks on the boardwalk on which their names were etched. It was the start of a fun filled 10 day visit in Jasper.
  • The Pfaffenweiler guests enjoyed and participated in many of the events of the Strassenfest including the Opening Ceremonies. Mayor Hahn, Michael Eckert and Markus Bosch helped judge the Homebrew Contest. Mayor Hahn and guests were on hand for the opening of the new Jasper City Mill and presented Jasper with a framed flour mill lid from the original Jasper City Mill. The guests also road on the German Club Float in Sunday's parade.
  • Mayor Schmitt and the Partnership Commission hosted a Partnership meeting/luncheon at City Hall. Mayor Hahn and Mayor Schmitt exchanged information on their respective community's progress, downfalls and new projects. Attendees found that there are similar challenges in both communities. Mayor Hahn was a guest speaker on media programs on WITZ, WBDC and WJTS tv.
  • A Farewell Dinner was enjoyed by all the guests and their host families and other citizens. The Pfaffenweiler men received a Strassenfest mug and the women received a wooden cutting board with the Strassenfest logo etched. They were hand made by Jasper Desk. Mayor Hahn was given a beautifully framed photo of the Clydesdales coming across the Patoka bridge with the new Jasper City Mill in the background.
  • The guests departed for Pfaffenweiler on Friday, August 7.
  • Annika Marschall returned to Jasper on August 24 for a couple weeks of vacation to visit her former host family Louise and Jim Gutgsell and all the friends she made during her full school year stay at JHS during school year 2008/09.

On the left, Jana and to the right, Anna Lisa.
  • On August 6, Jana Ortlieb and Anna-Lisa Weber arrived for a full school year at JHS; Anna Lisa Weber stayed with Michelle and Mark Bramlett. Jana Ortlieb stayed with and Dr. Terry and Betty Brown.
  • In September, Father John Boeglin was at the Schneckenfest during multi week travel through Germany (and other parts of Europe ) to visit friends (8/24 - 9/14).
  • Tom Kiefer was in Pfaffenweiler for the Schneckenfest.

Martina and Hubert Wacker
  • September 21 - September 24 - Note from an E-Mail sent to German Club Website in 2005: "My name is Martina Wacker. My grandfather Karl Sutter lived about 6 years in Jasper. He lived there from 1894 until 1900 and then worked in the Mill Eckert. In September, my husband and I are planning a trip to America ." Patti Goepfrich arranged an interesting visit for Hubert & Martina Wacker.

  • Thomas Eckerle, currently living in Wisconsin and Matthew Eckerle from Indianapolis , sons of Tim Eckerle, formerly from Jasper, visited the Rathaus on Tuesday, September 29. Also pictured: Eddie Weeger, Archivist in Pfaffenweiler and his Intern Lena.
  • October 7 and October 8 - Bernie Vogler and his sister, Joann, visited Poesneck, Kulmbach (hometown of the Voglers), Munich and Pfaffenweiler.
  • On October 19, Wolfgang Ehrhardt was in Pfaffenweiler to visit friends.
  • Wolfgang Erhardt, a close friend of Jasper, spent three weeks in Germany in October visiting relatives and friends. While in the Stuttgart area, Esslingen to be specific, he had dinner with Wolfgamg Joas, who worked as an intern at Moebel, Inc. in Ferdinand over twenty years ago.
  • Wolfgang Erhardt and his sister Inge Matt and her husband, Peter, and other family members also spent time in Pfaffenweiler where they had dinner with Franz and Baerbel Hilger, Walter Bosch, Gebhard Ehrath and Doris Sori at the Engle Hotel. The next day, following a tour of the winery in Pfaffenweiler, Walter Bosch took the visitors on a day trip across the Rhine to Alsace , France where they visited several picturesque small villages and the city of Colmar.
  • On November 2, plans were revealed at the City Hall Council Room for the anniversary trip to Pfaffenweiler in 2010. The community of Jasper and the County are invited to join Mayor Bill Schmitt on the trip departing 6/16/2010 and returning 6/28. The Jasper Partnership Commission along with Sister Cities of Jasper are organizing a Sister City Visit with coach tour through France and Switzerland this coming June.  Departure from Jasper will be on June 16th. 
  • We will celebrate our 25th Anniversary of our Partnership in the Snail Valley with a busy schedule for the next three days with the Pfaffenweiler community, your host family, including on Sunday the Steibickfescht (Stone Quarry Festival) in the historical quarry above the town.
  • On June 21st, the group will be transported to Mulhouse , France , for a journey on a High Speed train down through the Rhone River Valley to Avignon in Southern France . Multiple days will be spent around Avignon . We will be staying within the old medieval walled town in Avignon offering the opportunity to stroll the narrow cobblestoned village, shop the quaint shops, flea market and bars and restaurants in the shadow of the Palace of the Popes. 
  • A tour of this well known city is planned, a visit of the Palais des Papes (Palace of the Popes), where several popes and antipopes lived from the early 14th to early 15th centuries, a visit to Pont d'Avignon and Notre Dame des Domes. It is followed by Bus Excursions to the Pont du Gard (built around the year 19 BC. Designed to carry the water across the small Gardon river valley; it was part of a nearly 31 miles aqueduct bringing water from Uzès to Nimes . It was constructed entirely without mortar.  The Pont du Gard was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1985), the city of Nimes with the elliptical Roman Amphitheatre, the towns of Arles, Aix-en-Provence and L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (a town surrounded by water with 6 of the original 70 watermills still in place).
  • On June 25th, a tour bus will take the group into the French Alps, passing through Grenoble and Albertville into Chamonix , situated near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges. The town shares both the summit of highest mountain in the Alps , Mont Blanc , and the title of highest town of France .
  • We will take the cable car to Aiguille du Midi at about 9,759 feet, visiting a panoramic viewing platform, with a cafe and a gift shop.
  • From there the bus will take the group back to Zurich for one day, to fly back to the US on June 28th.
  • Stan Jochum, Board Member of the Jasper Partnership Commission, gave a presentation about Sister Cities of Jasper and Pfaffenweiler to the Ferdinand Kiwanis on November 17.
  • A Sister Cities of Jasper Board Meeting was held at the Schnitzelbank on December 9.
  • Louis Steinle, age 15, arrived in Jasper on December 31 and is staying with the Christine and Nick Ring family for the second semester of the JHS year 2009/10.

Memories of the visit to Jasper from
citizens of Pfaffenweiler