Nutcracker Museum

Bavarian Leavenworth, Washington

August 2016 Newsletter

The ingenuity of Matthias Freund...

My German friend, Mary, discovered a young carver while on a working tour in the Erzgebirge and was intrigued with his unusual works. She was always on alert for nutcrackers for the museum, so she asked the carver if he made any nutcrackers. He replied “No, but I could…what would you like?” Mary emailed this information to me while still in the carving shop, and immediately I said “A beer wagon”. At that time George always stood with the Leavenworth Beer Wagon on weekends.
With this information, Matthias set to work. We could hardly contain our curiosity as we wondered how he would turn a beer wagon into a nutcracker. When it arrived we saw that the top row of barrels lifts to reveal the cavity to place the nut.
We were so pleased with the beer wagon that we asked for more unusual creations. Next came a regal king, whose ermine-trimmed robe lifts in back to crack the nut.
Then we received a block of cheese being cut by a knife and at the same time cracking a nut. A little mouse watches, eagerly awaiting some tasty bits.
A pair of rams to crack a nut. When the handle is lifted a nut is placed between their heads, and the nut is cracked when the handle is pressed downward.
Matthias also made a Santa smoker-combination. Incense is inserted at the back and when lit, smoke swirls out of his mouth. Santa’s arm becomes a lever to crack a nut.
An elf places a nut on the shelf, then as the handle is turned, the nut ascends up the conveyor. When reaching the top it slides down a ramp and is struck open by a working lever nutcracker. Note the elf atop giving directions.
All those who knew George remember that he was always in Lederhosen and German hat, and always ready with a wave and a warm welcome to Leavenworth. He lifts his leg forward to create a place for the nut, and lowers it to crack the shell.
And here is the nutcracker lady with her award winning book. Lift the handle to insert the nut and the book opens. These last two nutcrackers were carved from pictures sent to Matthias. Yes, Matthias is indeed very clever!

Arlene Wagner, The Nutcracker Lady

Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum



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Federal ID #91-2143303

A Non-Profit 501(c)3 Organization


Contact Us

735 Front Street
P.O. Box 2212
Leavenworth, WA 98826

(509) 548-4573

Open 7 Days a Week
1:00PM - 5:00PM

Nutcracker Museum Mission Statement:

"To foster and encourage the interest of the general public of the importance of nuts in the diets of humans throughout history and in the evolution of the nutcracker. No other tool or collectible has shown such a wide diversity of material and design as the implements used to crack the hard shell of a nut"

Museum Admission:

Adults  - $5.00  (Ages 17 - 64yrs)
Seniors - $3.50  (Age 65yrs +)
Youth   - $2.00  (Ages 6 - 16yrs)
Child    - FREE   (Ages 0 - 5yrs)
Active Military - FREE (Spouse & Children Free with ID)