Bernhard Bartels leaves lasting legacy in Snyder

KCBD 2020 CCT Snyder - Heritage Village

SNYDER, Texas (KCBD) - Tonight we pay tribute to a long-time Snyder resident, who is no longer here, but will continue to inspire generations to come.

Every kid in Scurry County has likely seen what he built for Snyder when he was 92 years old.

When you open this gate, you open the door to Snyder's history

Edward Barkowsky is among many in Snyder trying to preserve the past, so future generations can learn from it

"We want people to understand the first people who came to Scurry County," Barkowsky said.

Until COVID changed the course of history, every 4th grader in the county had the opportunity to take this field trip through a time machine.

"We had them make butter. They were amazed."

The Heritage Village in Snyder is a free outdoor history museum featuring a collection of old buildings and worn out treasures that have been carefully moved to create this imaginary neighborhood that gets better with age.

The windmill, a focal point, was a rare find. The church, on the other hand, was impossible to find.

"One of our members said if you can't find a church, I'll design one for you."

He went to his farm, tore down two old houses, separated the lumber, even saved the nails, brought it here, put it in a foundation and designed the chapel.

This was Mr. Bartels, Bernhard Bartels is a legendary person around here.

Bernhard Bartels is a legend in Snyder, and for more reasons than building this centerpiece at the Heritage Village.

At 96, he wrote more than 200 pages in a book called 96 and going strong.

At 98, he was still competing and winning swim meets in the senior games.

He said he wanted to make it to 100 so he could compete against the really old guys.

Bernhard Bartels died in 2019, after reaching his 100th birthday.

And even though he didn’t get to compete against the 100-year age group, no one can compete with what he leaves Snyder - a church in a pioneer village that will only get better with age.

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