The fields of the former Didwize former manor farm looked west to Sudava, our next stop. It was the village of our guide and location of the Sudavos Krasto Muziejus, the Sudava District Museum. Our local guide was also the curator. The museum is housed in a large hip roofed structure similar to the barns and workers’ buildings we had seen at Rumsekis and in Szugen/Zukai.
Displays in various rooms included:
Several spinning wheels for flax and wool.
Two bricks from the Dydwize Manor Farm. The LG initials on one stand for Leonas Geistaras, the original owner of the manor farm. He also authorized the building of the Dydwize St. Pope Leo II brick church, which was rebuilt after WWII. The discovery of these bricks was the source for knowing that brick making was a part of the manor farm.
Folk art was attractively displayed.
A roomful of displays about all the notable Lithuanian men and women from Sudava, including Vincase Zemaitis, a forester, whose memorial we visited shortly afterward.
Colored eggs and trinkets for children.
After touring the museum, we came to the final room where our guide had prepared a cold lunch of ham, fresh vegetables, bread, and tea. She graciously served us while much of the conversation continued in Lithuanian between her and Vilius.
She showed us a book she had recently written. Sudavos Kaimas 1922 to 2012, a history of the last 80 years of this village, starting with the time of Lithuanian independence. It includes many old photographs, newspapers, certificates, a 1942 and 1998 censuses (with a representation of the Lithuanian surnames ending in -aitis which in German are spelled –at), biographies of famous people, including the poetry of Aleksandras Arminas. A large 1933 fold out map of the village and surrounding area and listing of the residents’ names is included. I offered to buy this book and contact Lithuanian Heritage to see if they were interested in writing an article about this book.