Parks, clubs, theaters, etc.
German Americans celebrated. There were Schützenfests, Turnfests, Sängerfests, Carnival parades, Mai celebrations, Johannis festivals (St. John the Baptist Day is celebrated with the summer solstice). ‘’These festivals afforded Germans in the company of their fellow countrymen the opportunity to indulge in the old time German style and therein acknowledge that their national traditions and moral fiber were valid even this far away from their original source”. The festivals also afforded “the German element the opportunity to depict itself to Americans from its most positive angle; German skills, German strength, German education and German happy ways”.
Directory of Baltimore published in 1796 contains 3240 names of which 98 are taverns.
Baltimore celebrated ‘German Day’, which was politically charged. The ‘German Day’ festivities were celebrated from 1883 to 1933.
Whit Monday Picnics-called ‘Dutch Fourth of July’ (all Germans were called Dutch in those days). They most often picnicked at the Schutzen Parks.
Big German Picnic-Defender’s Day September 12, which is the anniversary of the Battle of North Point. Picnic was usually held at Riverview Park. The picnic was usually held by the Independent Citizens Union which was composed of German residents. Years prior to 1901, German Day was celebrated on October 6 but about 1901 it was changed to September 12th to conform to the municipal holiday.
Germans are also responsible for the mask ball (Fasching).
In 1983, the celebration of the Tricentennial of German Immigration gave birth to ‘October 6’ as German-American Day.
Acton’s Park-opposite side of old Light Street Bridge or Long Bridge. A March 8, 1892 NY Times article announces a ‘shooting contest’ that will take place at Acton’s Park, sponsored by the Interstate Manufacturers and Dealers Association to benefit the Baltimore Gun club, with prizes of $1000 and three classes, beginner to professional.
Blob's Park-Founded in 1933; PURPOSE: To provide a bit of the homeland for all to enjoy. http://blobspark.net/
The building was located on the southwest corner of Eutaw and German (Redwood) Streets. It was erected by the Concordia German Association. The cornerstone was laid on September 5, 1864 by G.W. Noedel, president of the association. The cornerstone dedication was a big event with poetry readings and musical presentations by the German Männerchor Singing Association. The first meeting was held on September 10, 1865 at which time it was formally opened. The building cost about $150,000. In February 1868, Charles Dickens gave a course of readings in the saloon of the building. This reading drew a huge crowd.
The Concordia Club had a library located at 8, 10, 12 South Eutaw Street. This Library was founded in 1852 by Dr. George Fein, of Germany. It was supported by the Club by appropriating a certain part of the regular dues.
There were in 1876, about 3,000 volumes in the Library, and a constant circulation of over 400 volumes. Nearly all of the books werein the German language, and included all classes of works, especially in the department of literature. The Library was open daily. Mr. G. Schweckendick was the Librarian.
In 1876 catalog of rental halls: *Concordia Hall, Eutaw Street, near German. Seating capacity 1300. Rents per single night for Concerts or Lectures for $8o.
*George L.] [from old catalog] [Smith. Baltimore hand book of colleges, schools, libraries, museums, halls, &c. 1876.
Darley Park- (terminal for the Baltimore and Hall Springs Railroad horse car lines). It was a picnic park and had flying horses (today’s carousels), bowling alleys, swings, a shooting gallery and game tables. Service was furnished by white apron waiters and a glass of beer and ham sandwich cost 10 cents.
The name of the park was found in the 1900 and 1901 issues of ‘The Music Trade Review’. In both issues there were articles relating to Stieff’s Annual Picnic (the 58th and 59th Annual in these cases). Meetings were held during the day and in the evening ‘nearly every German singing society in Baltimore attended and made the groves sweet with tuneful song’ [The 1900 issue lists the Germania Maennerchor, Harmonie, Arion, Metzger, Gesenagverein, Frohsinn, Baltimore Saengerrunde, Eichenkranze, Musical Art Club, Verdi, Young Liederkranz, ArbeiterMaennerchor, Arbeiter Liedertafel, Thalia, Orpheus and Mozart Maennerchor.
Germania Männerchor Hall-The architects were Lupus and Robey.192 and 194 West Lombard Street, has a seating capacity of 890 and a fully equipped stage. The rental per single night for Concerts or Lectures is $60. Apply at the Hall or to E. L. Witthaus, 181 West Pratt Street.
Lehmann Hall (around 850-856 N. Howard St.) was the site of theatrical and musical events including performances of a Männerchor, a JungerMännerchor, and a Kinderchor (children’s choir). Lehmann Hall also housed a German movie theater, ratskeller, bowling alleys, and a dance floor, and was the meeting place of a club known as the Deutsches Ring.
*Lehmann's Hall, 277 North Howard Street, between Madison and Richmond Streets, has a seating capacity of 800 and rents per single night, for a Concert or Lecture, at $35. Apply to Edward G. Lehmann, at the Hall.
Meeter’s Park(later Kirby’s Shadyside)- In the early 1800’s a resort known as Spring Gardens was opened on the location now containing the BGE Spring Gardens gas storage facility on the northeastern shore of the Middle Branch. By 1815, an elegant resort known as Fletcher’s Fish House operated on the south shore of the River, with a marina, restaurant and other facilities for recreation.
Rose House on Gay Street (established soon after the Revolutionary War by John Hart, a German resident) and at one time hosted many of Maryland’s prominent citizens. The second owner, William H. Rose gave it its’ reputation and many of the Holliday Street Theater actors would stop at the Rose House. Daniel Webster made the Rose House his headquarters when in Baltimore. Had an exclusive patronage between 1820 and 1850, when at that time seafaring men took the place of the local celebrities. The building was demolished to make room for Municipal Plaza.
Raine's Hall, Comer of Baltimore Street and Post Office Avenue, has a seating capacity of 600 and rents for Concerts, Lectures, &c., at $25 to $30 per night. Apply at Office of German Correspondent, Corner of Baltimore Street and Post Office Avenue.
Schlegel’s Orchestrion Halle
7-9 Frederick Street
Of ten years back, I built a dedicated Vergnuegungslocal Speciel German entertainment, which, as far as taste and elegance, cannot be surpassed. Carefully avoiding anything offensive, it is able to give me my establishment into a recreation space for families, and every night we find our Germans gathered in the company of woman and child in the juke-Hall.
(From Souvenir book, page 42, ad)
The Schützenfest was established in the early 1870’s primarily by ex-German soldiers (Franco Prussian War).
South-Western Schützen Park (where Carroll Park now stands)-Carroll Park, Baltimore's third country landscape park (after Druid Hill and Patterson Parks), is significant for its association with the early development of the park system in Baltimore. Located in southwest Baltimore, Carroll Park is 117 acres. Originally part of the Mount Clare estate of Charles Carroll, Barrister. The park includes one of the oldest Federal style mansions still standing in Baltimore City. In the 30 years prior to becoming a park, the area surrounding Mt. Clare was leased from the Carrolls and became Southwestern Schuetzen Park--a private recreation area used by German immigrants in Baltimore.
The park offered a pastoral setting with carriageways and pedestrian walks was planted with trees, shrubs, and flower beds and included a picturesque Victorian conservatory. Carroll Park also hosted the German festival each year until 2008.
Eastern Schützen Park–out Gay Street-German immigrants in Baltimore established a Schuetzenverein, or shooting club, in the 1850s. Shooting matches were often held between local and visiting individuals and teams, whose records of marksmanship were carefully preserved. In addition to a target range, the park's facilities included bowling alleys, a dining hall, ballroom, bar, billiard tables, and summertime accommodations for member families and their guests. There was a forty five acre park with numerous gardens. There were festivals held regularly and it has been reported that these festivals often drew crowds in excess of 50,000 for weekend events. The parks had multiple pavilions, tents, etc. The park was located on Belair Rd., which is now Gay Street in Baltimore City right near the city line. This was just blocks away from the Weissner, Rost’s and Bauernschmidt Breweries who were more than happy to provide refreshments and featured their own beer gardens and music pavilions. The architects of the park were Lupus &Roby and in 1871 there were 800 members.
Every year a Schützenfest was held here where a ‘König’ (King) and ‘Königin’ (Queen) were crowned for the year. The Königin did not shoot, but was chosen by the president of the Society. It was a great day of festivities.
Deer Park (George Reushling made his professional debut….’The Great Lafayette’).
George Kahl’s Ferry Bar Pavilion. Kahl built, in the early 1900s, a floating barroom out in the river and beyond the city limits. Kahl billed it as ‘the coolest spot in Maryland’. It was eventually industrialized and then in 1979 given back to Baltimore with the stipulation that it would always remain a park. The Kahl’s, George and his wife Elizabeth lived, according to the 1900 U.S. Census at 9 Ferry Street. George was born 2-1863 and Elizabeth 10-1862. His occupation was listed as a ‘resort owner’ and both he and Elizabeth’s parents were born in Germany. They, however, were born in Maryland. According to the 1920 US Census, the Kahl’s had retired to Vienna in Dorchester County.
This is a shallow part of the Patapsco River at the point between the Northwest and Middle branches. It is nearly a mile in width, and is crossed by a trestle bridge to Brooklyn, a settlement in Anne Arundel county. The bridge cost $42,000 and has a draw forty-two feet wide for the passage of vessels. Capital boating, fishing, crabbing and swimming, are all to be had here, in the midst of a beautiful scene of land and water. Opposite the City are several extensive and picturesque woodland shores, which are visited daily by families and social parties on picnics and fishing excursions. Street cars convey passengers to Ferry Bar, which is at the extreme end
of Light street. Boats are also to be had at the foot of Hanover, Eutaw and South Paca streets, at the base of Federal Hill and other points on the water side.
Source: Stranger in Baltimore 1896, John F. Weishampel, Printer and Bookseller (No 6 N. Greene Street)
Both the Ariels and Arundels had their own boat houses fronting the Patapsco. And nearby was a public bathing beach as well as George Kahl's pavilion and restaurant.
In the 1880s and 1890s, this part of South Baltimore functioned as Baltimore's Deep Creek Lake and Ocean City. Sunpaper 10-11-1990