26 June 2017

New Mount Ida Cemetery,Troy, Looking for Volunteers

A friend, Alysia, passed this note on to me. The group that is restoring the New Mount Ida Cemetery on Pinewoods Avenue in Troy is looking for help/volunteers with gravestone restoration in July. Details are below:

We are looking for volunteers again for our annual stone repair workshop in the New Mount Ida Cemetery, on Pinewoods Avenue in Troy. It will be held Saturday, July 8th and Sunday, July 9th from 8am-5pm. Joe Ferrannini will be here again for our annual event, and we are looking for help with cleaning stones with soft brushes. Joe will be doing the actual repair work on the markers. Its always very rewarding and always a great time to hang out with other volunteers. Plus its so great to see the stones once they are all repaired. Please feel free to pass this along to anyone that you know of that may be interested!

Genealogy Help

Here is an upcoming genealogy session that I found last night in the Rensselaer County Advertiser newspaper.


The Troy Irish Genealogy Society is sponsoring a Free Genealogy Look up Session at the North Greenbush Public Library on Wednesday, June 28. Bring your questions about how to trace your family tree or what you are trying to find out about a specific ancestor. Let the Society's experienced members help you to discover more! Please make an appointment by calling the library at 283-0303. Thirty minute appointments are available from 5:30 to 7:00. Don't miss this chance to have your family genealogy questions answered. The library is located at 141 Main Avenue in the North Greenbush Municipal Building.

Eintracht Gesängverein

On November 22, 1868, at 242 South Pearl Street- the Lokale of John Wass, Albany’s newest Gesängvereine or singing society came into existence as the Eintracht Singing Society.  Eintracht had eighteen founding members.  The group strove to cultivate German song and music becoming the largest and most respected singing society in Albany.  They met every Wednesday evening at 371 South Pearl Street, known as Andes’ Halle circa 1875 and later the location became known as Eintracht Halle.  
Eintracht also participated in numerous singing competitions in Albany and in surrounding locales.  They won first prize at many music festivals, including the gala sponsored by the Utica Maenner Chor in July 1874, at the event promoted by the Schenectady, New York Quartett Club in 1879, and also at the June 21, 1880 competition of the Troy Maenner Chor held at Troy Music Hall.  The Troy Männerchor welcomed and escorted the visiting societies to the music hall, and then treated them to a picnic at Young’s Grove.  Professor Peter Schneider, organist for the Irish Saint Mary’s Church in Albany, was one of the judges. Eintracht took third prize on August 24, 1880 at the Sängerfest of the Rondout, New York Social Maenner Chor.  Notably, in July 1882 Eintracht took home a prize at the Thirteenth National Sängerfest in Philadelphia.  Before leaving for the Sängerfest, Eintracht made a short parade through the streets, preceded by the Albany City Band to the steamboat landing where they embarked.  After the singing competition, Eintracht headed a grand parade of visiting societies and proceeded to Schuetzenpark in Philadelphia where judges awarded prizes.  
The society arranged and held a successful Saengerfest in Albany in 1878, and again on June 25, 1883 with a Grand Sängerfest held in Colling’s Grove.  Visiting societies came from Rondout, Schenectady, Hudson, and Troy.  There was no competition or awards surprisingly but much singing with “the woods r[i]ng[ing] with the merry shouts as the numerous tales of the Fatherland were related over beer glasses and pretzels.”[i]  Before the affair the Albany Argus reported- “the event is being looked forward to with much pleasurable anticipation, and will, no doubt, be one of an extreme social nature.”[ii]  
On July 23, 1883, both Eintracht and Cäcilia traveled to Rondout to attend the festival of its sister society.  The Twentieth Anniversary of the Beethoven Männerchor from New York City brought seventy-five members of Eintracht, the Rochester Männerchor, and the Utica Männerchor to the metropolis by train on July 20, 1884.  The Albany Argus detailed the return of the Eintrachts as royally received and banqueted by sister societies when,
At 7:45, last night, the Eintracht Singing society [sic] returned from their trip to New York city [sic].  They were met at the depot by the Mozart society and the Albany Maenner Quartette, headed by the Albany City band and escorted to Eintracht hall, on South Pearl street [sic].  …The Mozart club …and the MaennerQuartette … turned out about fifty members each.  The entire route of march was illuminated by colored fires, Roman candles and other pyrotechnic display, in honor of the old and favorite society.  …All three societies then sat down to an elaborate banquet and several hours were spent in a pleasant manner.[iii]

Eintracht sent seventy-nine singers to Syracuse for the Seventh Sängerfest of the Central New York Sängerbund in 1913.  
Aside from hosting and participating in singing competitions, Eintracht also held annual summer picnics complete with parades to the picnic grounds.  In 1886, Eintracht had 38 active, 175 passive, and 4 honorary members.  Eleven years later, the group numbered 32 active and 160 passive members. [iv]

[i] Albany Argus, June 26, 1883, 6:2.
[ii] Albany Argus, June 21, 1883, 8:4.
[iii] Albany Argus, July 25, 1884, 8:4.
[iv] Albany Argus, June 23, 1880, 8:4; June 29, 1882, 8:4; July 4, 1884, 8:4. Howell and Tenney, eds., History of the County of Albany, N. Y., pp. 744-745. Albany Täglicher Herold, Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, pp. 77, 167.

16 June 2017

15 June 2017

Eintracht Halle

Eintracht Halle located at 371 South Pearl Street was for many years the headquarters for German-Americans in Albany's "South End" until it became a casualty of World War I. Numerous German societies or Verein called Eintracht Halle home. Today, the building is just a memory. It was torn down a few back along with other dilapidated buildings on South Pearl Street.

Eintracht Hall, right
Frederick Andes was the proprietor of Andes’ Hall, a lager-bier house, located at 371-373 South Pearl Street, circa 1875-1877. Andes was also first ward alderman in 1874. This locale soon became known as Eintracht Halle and was operated by Nicholas Wink from 1878 until his death on January 8, 1894. For decades, the Halle was the largest and most popular meeting place for the city’s numerous German-American societies.

On September 3, 1885, a fire that may have originated from children playing with matches started in the rear of Eintracht Halle. A strong breeze rapidly spread the fire to adjacent structures. In the end, the fire consumed and gutted one full city block bounded by Fourth Avenue, South Pearl, Alexander, and Broad Streets. Fortunately, there were no fatalities from the fire in the densely populated block.[1] All of the destroyed buildings were rebuilt.

The following was found in an Albany Evening Times newspaper dated, 18 September 1885:

The Eintracht singing society last evening appointed a committee consisting of Max Kurth, Peter Lasch and Frank Miller to prepare for the incorporation of the society. Trustees elected were: Active members, Peter Lasch, William Beyer, August Rapp and Chris. Frank; passive members, Joseph Belser, max Kurth, and John Zweers. They were instructed to purchase the former site of Eintracht hall, including a lot 23 by 66 feet on Broad street, for $5,100. L. Wink, Andrew Strube and William Hosebein were appointed to confer with the several singing societies of Albany relative to purchasing stock in the new hall. The original plans of the architect have been changed so as to provide for a three-storied instead of a two-storied building.

After Wink’s death, his wife operated the establishment for two years until relinquishing it to Gustav Wickert in 1896. Wickert was its proprietor until 1905, when Anthony F. Henzel took it over until his death on December 16, 1915. The final manager of Eintracht Halle was Joseph Van Wagner. He ran the Halle for only one year, 1916. Nevertheless, after America became a belligerent in the First World War, enough pressure for German-Americans to suppress their identity forced the popular spot to close. The building was vacant between 1917 and 1919, until Albany Knitting Company occupied the building in 1920.

Undated advertisement from an Albany City Directory

Eintracht Halle was home to numerous Gesangvereine or singing societies. One of which took the name Eintracht, which will be the focus of an upcoming article.

[1] Albany Argus, September 4, 1885, 8:2.

14 June 2017