Rowan Museum packages German history lesson into to-go dinner

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 14, 2020

SALISBURY — In lieu of the Germanfest event it has held in recent years, the Rowan Museum is still offering a taste of Germany and a slice of history to go with it.

This year, it’ll be packaged in a to-go container.

In September, the museum typically highlights Salisbury’s connection to German culture by holding an in-person celebration of Oktoberfest at the Old Stone House. While the event was canceled this year, Rowan Museum is hosting a German dinner fundraiser Friday night.

“It’s a COVID-19 replacement for our Germanfest event,” Kepley said. “It celebrates the German ancestry of many people in eastern Rowan County.”

Not only does the dinner allow Rowan Museum to celebrate the area’s German heritage in a socially-distanced way, but it will serve as a critical fundraiser during a year in which the non-profit museum has had to close its doors for several months. Money raised through the German dinner will help supplement the museum’s budget, which Kepley said has been cut back by about 30% this year.

“We do need this type of event to be very successful so that we can continue to provide our education services,” Kepley said. “… This event could help us close out the year strong.”

The Rowan Museum recently began welcoming the public back into its doors, but only from 1-4 p.m. on Saturdays. Kepley said that he’s been pleased with the number of visitors who have walked through the museum over the course of the past few weekends.

“The first day we were open, it was only people from out of town. We had our sign out and people came in,” Kepley said. “There were people here from Louisiana who stopped in because our sign was there and they didn’t know what else they could do in town. Then last weekend, it was all people from inside the county who were looking to have something to do on a rainy day.

The cost of a German dinner plate is $20 and will include the customer’s choice of pork wiener schnitzel or chicken breast with Jaeger sauce, green beans sautéed with bacon, sauerkraut, German potato salad, apple crumb and the choice of a beer from New Sarum or Cheerwine.

Along with the meal, Kepley is creating a video in which he explains Salisbury’s ties to German heritage that people can watch while dining on traditional Bavarian fare.

“It’s something that a lot of people don’t think about anymore, but a lot of our traditions in Rowan County do go back to those early German settlers who came from the Rhineland area of Germany to Pennsylvania,” Kepley said. “There they became the Pennsylvania Dutch, then they came down here and a lot of our traditions we have, all the way down to the food we eat in our county, have those connections going back.”

Kepley said that reservations for a German dinner plate need to be made by the end of Wednesday and that curbside pickup on Friday night will be on Council Street. For more info, call the museum at 704-633-5946.

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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