The Mondeik family today

George Mondeiks ar sievu.

George Mondeik with his wife.

If not Mondeik himself, then his neighbours definitely called him the historian of Lincoln Latvian colony. Mondeik actively participated in the colony’s events and was a witness to them. He shared his stories both with the colony’s descendants, who were searching for signs of their forebears, and with Latvian historians who were interested in the colony. One researcher well remembers the afternoon 20 years ago, when he spent many hours with Mondeik and some of his contemporaries. These second generation “old Latvians” talked about their experiences growing up in the fields and forests of Wisconsin. The discussion took place in English, although a word or two in Latvian were also heard, for example, the Germanism ķēķis in place of virtuve [kitchen] and šūplāde in place of the word atvilktne [drawer].

The get-together at the Mondeik home was organized so that the researcher could, with his own eyes, finally see the church register of the Lincoln Latvian congregation, which was kept by Mondeik and from which he was able to glean information about those who had once lived here. Finally, Mondeik placed the church book in front of the researcher. Having looked at this item with some amazement, the researcher, holding out little hope, asked: “And do you, by any chance, have any other kinds of books of minutes from other organizations?” Nodding his head, Mondeik disappeared for a moment and returned with a cardboard box which was full of the minutes of the Neighbours Club and other documents. All of these historical materials are now accessible in microfilm format and are held at both the Latvian State Archives, as well as in the archives of the Immigration History Research Center at Minnesota University.

Unfortunately, in the next years Mondeik’s contemporaries passed away, and with the deterioration of his health, Mondeik too could no longer be as active assisting in the research of the history of the colony. However, he continued promoting Latvians and the other Baltic peoples, setting up a family company, “Baltic States Maple Syrup Company”. Mondeik’s wife Marian passed away in 2008, and he himself passed away in December 2010. Six children and many grandchildren carry on the family name.