Saturday, October 19, 2013

German celebration in Sandusky, 1883

On Sunday, October 7, 1883, Sandusky residents celebrated the bicentennial anniversary of the first permanent German settlement in the United States. Accounts of the gala event were featured in the October 8, 1883 issue of the Sandusky Register and the October 8, 1883 issue of the Sandusky Demokrat.

Adam Bauer was the president of the day, while Constantine Zipfel served as the Marshall. They were assisted by M. Osterman, William Koch, John Weideman and Alex Motry. Over one thousand people took part in the procession, which started at West Market Street, and ended at the Erie County Fairgrounds. The Great Western Band provided music for the parade.

All the German societies of Sandusky were represented, including the Active Turn Verein, pioneer German citizens, the Harmonie and Frohsinn Societies, Workingmen’s Association, German Knights of Labor, Cigar Makers’ Union, the Platte Deutsch Verein, Union Benevolent Society, Odd Fellows, Druids, along with delegations from local factories and fire departments. A large delegation of German Americans from Kelleys Island, Middle Bass Island, and Put in Bay also participated in the procession. Gottlieb Epple led a cavalry troop of one hundred men. Thousands of area residents lined the streets along the parade route. After arriving at the Erie County Fair Grounds, the Great Western Band played an overture, and Dr. Von Schulenburg spoke about the mission of the German element in America. Herman Ruess gave an elegant address. Gymnastic exercises were performed by both the Active and Social Turnverein. According to the Sandusky Demokrat, the German celebration was “the most imposing demonstration ever witnessed in Erie County.”

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