Nutcracker Museum

Bavarian Leavenworth, Washington

Grand Opening of Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum -  June 10, 1995

George played the organ in front of the building from 9:30 to 10:00 as people gathered for the ribbon cutting ceremony. At 10:00, Bob Johnson played the Alpen Horn, ending with a fanfare, at which time Mayor Mel Wile gave a greeting. He in turn introduced the Chamber of Commerce president, Ed Rutledge who spoke a bit about our town and the importance of have the Nutcracker Museum. After this Arlene introduced special guests: Ken Althoff, Chairman of the Board of Midwest Importers; Alan Davis, Northwest Rep for Midwest Importers; Ann Wargo, representative of Ulbricht, USA; Mary Barthel of Neuhausen , Germany, representing the first all nutcracker museum in Europe; Dr. Barbara Sharon, Pacific Lutheran University, now writing a book on German nutcrackers; Pat and Andew Daly of New jersey, collectors from the East Coast; and Claudia Davis of Idaho, owner of the world's largest collection of nutcrackers.

After the Mayor cut the ribbon, all were invited up the stairs to the museum. Coffee and cookies were served as guests toured the museum and watched a 15 minute video. Ken Althoff autographed his book "The Nutcracker Collector's Guide", and during the day gave away several books and nutcrackers for door prizes. Ulbricht posters were also given away.

At noon a champagne toast was given, and a catered buffet luncheon was served. Approximately 100 invited guests participated in the festivities. At 2:00pm on June 10, 1995, the museum was open to the public for the first time, and approximately 60-75 additional people came through.

Several unique gifts were received for the opening. Midwest Importers presented a carved brown bear nutcracker. Adrian Taron & Sons sent the prototype of the Steinbach Clara and Melchoir. Christian Steinbach sent one of the first Clara's produced after all the changes were made. Christian Ulbricht sent a Miner limited edition nutcracker and a nutcracker hand-carved by a Russian living in New York. A miniature nutcracker pyramid inside a walnut shell was given by the Loechners of Europe's first all nutcracker museum in Neuhausen. Mary Barthel gave a commemorative coin made by the Sparkasse Bank of Germany,  the only one to honor the nutcracker makers of Erzgebirge. Gitta Barthel sent a German Stamp with a nutcracker on it. Lovely bouquets were sent by the Barthel family, Ulbricht family, Sharon family, Dance Arts Theater and Irene Miller. George gave a lovely bouquet of roses and Beverly Ellis brought room decorations. Jacquie Cowan resided at the refreshment tables.

In the evening, 39 joined for dinner at the Icicle Inn, with entertainment by the local vocal group, Mixed Company, and dancers from the Alpenhupfer folk dance group. Participating in short talks about the collections etc. were Pat Daly, Ken Pape, Barbara Sharon, John Price, and Ken Althoff.

Sunday at 10:00 28 people headed for the 4 hour drive to Hayden Lake to visit the collection of the late Hal Davis, now owned by Claudia Davis. It is a marvelous collection, with many many old carved pieces, a lot of metal, and also the toy soldier type. Especially enjoying the collection was Ken Pape who said "I've waited 25 years to see his collection."

In the evening, a traditional Idaho spud bake was served by Claudia.





Quick Links

Federal ID #91-2143303

A Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization

Contact Us

735 Front Street
P.O. Box 2212
Leavenworth, WA 98826

(509) 548-4573

7 Days a Week: 1PM - 5PM
May 1st thru December 31st

Days open will vary in the winter months.

Nutcracker Museum Mission Statement:

"To foster and encourage the interest of the general public of the importance of nuts in the diets of humans throughout history and in the evolution of the nutcracker. No other tool or collectible has shown such a wide diversity of material and design as the implements used to crack the hard shell of a nut".

Museum Admission:

Adults  - $5.00  (Ages 17 - 64yrs)
Seniors - $3.50  (Age 65yrs +)
Youth   - $2.00  (Ages 6 - 16yrs)
Child    - FREE   (Ages 0 - 5yrs)
Military & Families - FREE