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During the holiday season I had the wonderful experience of accompanying my young granddaughter on a visit to Milwaukee’s historic Pabst Mansion. The home of beer baron Captain and Mrs. Frederick Pabst is always decked out for the season and provides a small glimpse into how those other generations celebrated the holidays and family.
The mansion rooms are filled with Christmas trees and other festive decorations but the most moving item for me personally was the letter that Captain Pabst left for his children as the end of his life neared. The original letter, written in the Captain’s own scrawling hand, is on display in his study which also features the family values intricately carved into the room’s heavy wood beams. The letter has been replicated to make it easier for visitors to read, and the message is moving and poignant. In it’s simplicity, it captures the life legacy Captain Pabst wanted to share with his children–a personal reminder of the family values and of his final wishes for them.
As we begin a new year, let’s all remember the things that are most important in our lives and the personal legacy we wish to leave behind.
Here’s a copy of Captain Pabst’s letter to his children, courtesy of the Pabst Mansion.