Heritage, Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1990 Page: 34
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A Success Story
Jeanne R Blocker
By Janna Johnson Hill
n May 26, the Texas Historical
O J Foundation auction of the assets
of the Jeanne and John Blocker
Foundation for Historical Preservation
and Restoration raised almost $190,000.
The auction consisted of the buildings and
antiques collected by the late Jeanne R.
Blocker from 1975 to 1982. Her dream was
to restore and furnish the buildings and to
create a working museum reflecting the
German pioneer heritage of the immigrants
who settled the New Ulm area in
the mid-1800s. This project was at its beginning
when the oil bust hit Texas. Work
ceased with few structures restored.
Jeanne's untimely death in 1988 halted the
project. John Blocker, Jeanne's husband,
strongly supported the New Ulm preservation
project, but in January of 1990, he
regretfully decided to sell the Blocker
Foundation properties and to donate the
proceeds from the sale to the Jeanne R.
Blocker Memorial Fund that he had established
with the Texas Historical Foundation
(THF). The THF enlisted the help of
the Center for Historic Resources (CHR)
at Texas A&M University to auction the
Blocker Foundation properties.
Jeanne Blocker had purchased twentyeight
old buildings in the New Ulm area.
Some were in town and others had been
moved in from an area encompassing a
fifty mile radius. The New Ulm buildings
were sold with the land; the buildings that
Blocker moved into New Ulm were sold to
be removed and restored elsewhere.
The auctioned furniture and implements
covered a large range of items. The
unique sale was a success and set new appraisal
values for some items. It was given
much publicity, which in turn generated
public interest and attracted many people.
Approximately 2,000 people attended,
and over 500 people registered to buy.
Three auctions were held beginning at
10:00 a.m. and lasting until after dark.
The buildings restored by Jeanne
Blocker were the high bid items. Of the
nine log structures in the sale, the Skalitsky
Log Kitchen sold for $8,800 and all but two
buildings sold for more than $ 1,000 each.
Funding for preservation projects has
been difficult to get. The THF appreciates
John Blocker for making this large
donation to the Jeanne R. Blocker
Memorial Fund which will contribute to
Jeanne Blocker's dream of preservation
and will link her name to rural preservation
for years to come.
JannaJohnson Hill received a master of architecture
from Texas A&M University and is a research
assistant for the Center for Historic Resources at
34 HERITAGE * FALL 1990
the Foundation, at the auction.
the Foundation, at the auction.
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1990, periodical, Autumn 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45429/m1/34/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.