What can unite a small town in Wisconsin with one across the globe in the Czech Republic? Letterpress printing at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum.
The relationship between Two Rivers and Domažlice goes back to the second World War, when Lt. Col. Matt Konop in 1945 was put in charge of a party sent to liberate cities in western Czech Republic. He soon realized that one of the towns under his liberation was Domažlice, the place where his family had emigrated in the 1860s. The locals in the town welcomed him in and hailed him a hero- a story that has been celebrated ever since. A memorial plaque stands in Domažlice, with a line stating, "We are liberated by one of our own."
In more recent times, the city mayor, Miroslav Mach, began expressing interest in forming a sister city relationship with Two Rivers. The proclamation confirming the link to Domažlice was signed April 27th, 2017. The pride the city feels in Matt Konop is evident, and the Sister City proclamation ensures a relationship with Two Rivers to continue on and honor his service and memory.
Ten delegates from the Czech Republic traveled to Two Rivers on June 29th for festivities celebrating the Sister City relationship. On July 3rd they made their way to Hamilton, to tour the museum and participate in printing demonstrations on a Vandercook press. Stephanie Carpenter, Museum Assistant Director, designed and set the poster to commemorate their visit. Then each attendee got to print their own poster.
Their excitement and awe of the material on display and in getting to print was evident. We were honored to have them visit the museum and hope they hurry back soon!