OHIO MEET OCTOBER 1st
German Village Columbus, Ohio
WHERE: German Village at Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant
240 Kossuth Street. Stage cars in their parking lot.
WHEN: Saturday, October 1st
Around 10:00 A.M.
ACTIVITIES: German Village Oktoberfest held in the streets with lots of entertainment, German music, food and beer.
Brewery District. Once a bustling area of micro breweries
now the home to many taverns, restaurants and businesses.
Scioto River Front Parks. Nice grassy areas along the nearby downtown Scioto river complex.
German Village Shops, antiques, books, food and more.
ACCOMADATIONS: There are a couple of Bed & Breakfast rooms in the Village. There are also some chain hotels in downtown Columbus which is near by.
Please confirm your intent to attend and how many in your party.
German Village History The area known as German Village today was laid out as South Columbus in 1841. The name German Village is due to the significant German immigrant population that settled in South Columbus, the largest arriving between 1840 - 1860.
The immigrants came to the United States to escape oppression in their country and to enjoy the blessings of liberty and the rights of citizenship. This they accomplished and at the same time their ways, customs and characteristics were preserved. This close knit group of German immigrants, not unlike many American immigrants of the time, kept their culture intact by speaking German in the schools and churches they built as well as publishing German newspapers.
The men working mostly as stone masons, tradesmen and brewery workers also ran businesses out of their homes, mixing business and residential areas. Wedged into living spaces of the tiny houses were areas where cigars were rolled, feathers cleaned and fluffed for sale to hausfraus to make their own pillows, tiny front room saloons were operated and, most often, where bakeries thrived (German Village Society, 1992).
With the advent of the 20th Century three significant events contributed to the dissolution of the German Community in South Columbus as well as German Communities throughout the U.S. The first of these events was the onset of WWI. Even though the U.S. did not get involved until late in the war, vicious campaigns against citizens of German origin took place. These campaigns resulted in German Americans suppressing their heritage and strong community bonds. The Depression, another contributing factor to German Village's demise, crippled the American economy and with prohibition 10 years earlier devastated the German American work force by closing breweries, one of the main sources of income for German Immigrants.
These events took their toll on the German Village Community and in time neglect and urban plight caused many proud German Americans to move out of the area.
The 1950s almost saw the end of German Village. Urban renewal efforts at one time considered leveling the residential area in favor of extending downtown Columbus business district south of I 70.
The 1960s marks the resurgence of German Village interest. Led by Frank Fetch, a small group of neighbors worked to designate German Village as a protected Historic Preservation District. Also chartered in 1960 was The German Village Commission. This commission was established to monitor the rehabilitation of the community. German Village was officially designated on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.