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Christkindlesmarkt purchases to help repair, preserve New Ebenezer buildings
Claudia Christiansen
Claudia Christiansen discusses a nutcracker collection that will be displayed in the Salzburger Fall House on Dec. 4. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff

RINCON — Despite America’s rising inflation rate, a few dollars can still go a long way. They can even make a historic impact.

The Georgia Salzburger Society (GSS) is set to host Christkindlesmarkt on Dec. 4. It’s a fundraiser for repairs and preservation of the Old Salzburger Fall House and Parsonage at New Ebenezer.

The event, set from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., will feature a Market Platz, food, activities, entertainment, gifts, books, demonstrations, baked goods, plants, ornaments and more.

“We want to keep the  ‘fun’ in fundraising,” GSS President Claudia Christiansen said.

The Salzburger Fall House will feature a Christmas tree decorated with candles and hand-carved German decorations. A collection of old, elaborate nutcrackers and nativity sets will also be displayed.

“We are hoping that this cabin will be used as an exhibit hall-type concept because the whole focus of the festival is whole focus of the festival is fundraising,” Christiansen said. “One of our members has said, if we raise a certain amount, he will match it.”

The Salzburger Fall House offers a glimpse into what life was like in the 1700s when Salzburgers, a German-speaking group of Protestant colonists, founded the town of Ebenezer.

“People can come in here for free any day of the week but they won’t see the Christmas exhibit,” Christiansen said.

The house needs a few urgent repairs. Part of the kitchen ceiling is rotting because of roof leaks. Some window panes need to be replaced, too.

The GSS received a $13,000 estimate for window fixes alone.

“A whole window fell out and they replaced it with a (sheet) of glass so that’s kind of awkward,” Christiansen said. “It’s not (a critical fix) as far as weather coming in but it’s critical as far as presentation when people come and want to see what is happening.

“They are going to try to replace it with hand-blown, or mouth-blown, glass like what was authentic instead of the sheet of glass.”

Exterior wood at the base of the some of the windows is deteriorating.

“(Construction workers) probably wouldn’t take (the windows) out (to replace the damaged pieces),” Christiansen said. “What they will probably do is take some epoxy and mix some of the sawdust and chips with it, and make it look like natural wood and patch it back up so as much as possible they will preserve what we have here. They are not going to just rip things out and demolish things like you see on TV.

“They are going to repair, replace and restore.”

The Salzburger Fall House has one other problem that will have to be addressed.

“The joists and the timbers underneath, the supports, need to be replaced at some point because they have been patched with what people like to call ‘Band-Aid jobs,’” Christiansen said.

The parsonage also has areas of concern, including crumbling fascia boards under the roof line and rotting door trim.

“You don’t notice these things when you are here day by day but — over time, gosh — these things need attention and the longer we wait the more it is going to cost,” Christiansen said. “That’s critically the main point of having (Christkindlesmarkt) and asking people to please come and come realizing that we are not just putting on a show. We really want to sell these handmade things that we have — raisin bread, brownies, cookies, Brunswick stew, chicken and dumplings, chili, all those kinds of things — and crocheted items. We also have books on the history of Ebenezer and gift certificate opportunities.

“We are hoping with everybody frantic over the ships stuck out there in the channel, people will realize that gift certificates are a stocking stuffer and will be one thing you don’t have to worry about for Christmas.”

Christkindlesmarkt will be conducted at 980 Ebenezer Road, Rincon.