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History of the Marnach House

Note: The information below is excerpted from a brochure printed by the Luxembourg Heritage Society, Inc., of America (1993):

In 1857, Nicholas Majerus and John Marnach, who, along with their families, had emigrated from Rambrouch, Luxembourg, became the fifth owners of the land on which the Marnach House was built.  The land, which had originally belonged to the Dakota Indians, is located  near the town of Elba, MN, in the Whitewater Valley.  The families were stone masons and farmers by trade.  They began construction on the house in 1857 with the cellar; construction continued through four stages during 1857-1860.  A wooden addition was completed in 1914.  Built in the Luxembourg Quereinhuas style, the stone house has six rooms, each with a window facing south.  The walls are two feet thick; a curved staircase leads from the kitchen to the second floor.

Over the decades, the house had many residents;   eventually, it stood vacant and began showing signs of deterioration.  On Jan. 30, 1978, the Nicholas Marnach House was entered into the National Register of Historic places.  The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg became interested in restoring the structure, with George Calteux serving as director of the project.  During the summers of 1991-93, a group of stone masons and artisans, led by Guy Thomas, arrived from Luxembourg to work on restoration.  They replaced the roof, added a reinforced concrete beam around the attic walls, dismantled and reconstructed two-thirds of the west stone wall, installed new flooring on the first floor, replaced the doors, windows, and shutters, and added new plaster to inside walls.

On August 12, 1993, the Luxembourg Heritage Society, Inc., hosted the Marnach House Dedication.   A delegation from Luxembourg joined many area residents and descendants of Luxembourger immigrants, including Joseph Marnach, in a day of celebration in memory of all Luxembourg immigrants to the United States.

The restoration crew included Guy and Roberta (Kintzele) Thomas; Pierry Belhomme, Ferdinand Dumont, Rosch and Henriette (Close) Krieps, Fernando Marques dos Santos, Carlos Moreira Dias, Dominique Onraet, Alexandrino Neves Dias, Marc Cleury, Clemens Schmitz, Bernard Schmitz, Hans Juergen Muller, Guido Aloysuis Lentzen, Bernhard Rauschen, Fernand Fis (this list was cited in the brochure printed by the Luxembourg Heritage Society, Inc., of America).

The Marnach House is located on a hiking trail three miles north of Elba on Route 74.  For further information, please contact: Whitewater State Park, Rt. 1, Box 256, Altura MN 55910.

Nicholas Marnach und Barbra Georges-Marnach bauten im Jahr 1858 das Marnach-Haus. Es liegt in der Nähe des Linienverkehrs von Wells Fargo
(in Minnesota), seine Wände sind 3 Fuß (1m) dick (damit die Bewohner bei Indianer-Angriffen eine Zuflucht fanden) . 1978 wurde es in das US-Register der Historischen Stätten aufgenommen. Es ist das einzige Haus dieser Bauart in Minnesota, das noch existiert. 1991-93 wurde es restauriert, Einwohner von Luxemburg kamen über den Atlantik und halfen dabei. Luxemburger trugen auch zur Hälfte die Restaurierungskosten.