Today was my first day as one of “The Village People” at Old World Wisconsin. I interpret St. Peter’s Church, built in 1839 as Milwaukee’s very first Roman Catholic chapel and cathedral. Only 7 years after the cornerstone was laid, the parish had grown from 20 members to 100 families and they began to construct a new cathedral to accommodate the growing population of Catholic immigrants. St. Peter’s was preserved and used for Sunday school, meetings, and a boys’ school (in the basement). It was also moved around (3 times), added to, and then restored to its original design. We acquired it in 1975 and restored it to its 1889 appearance. The wood stove is no longer used for heat; since we store some of our collections artifacts in the basement, we’ve updated to central heating. Still, it was chilly and damp today. Here’s the interior and a close up of the altar. The framed pieces are the Missal (service prayers) in Latin.
I hang out at the back of the church, stitching my pin cushion for the Christmas Bazaar or playing the pump organ. I am getting used to pumping with my feet, adding volume and overtones with my knees, and keeping all ten fingers busy on the keyboard. The organ is placed underneath one of fourteen Stations of the Cross displaying the German woodwork of that time.
Of course, I sit on that little chair and play while in costume, complete with corset and bustle.
Tomorrow is the 5K Bustle Hustle, a run/walk event for all ages (children can do a 1K route). I will be cheering the participants on before taking my place in the church. So tonight, I am turning in early! Before I close, though, I have to share a photo of the most handsome man of The Village People standing outside The Wagon Shop.
I said, “Young man! There’s a place you can go…”