Below is a portion of a map from the City Atlas of Albany, New York, 1876 showing picnic grounds off Second Avenue in the center of the photo.
The area west of Second Avenue and Garden Street extending out to the Delaware Turnpike, now Avenue, was known as Blackman’s Farm and also Blackman’s Bush. The name eventually changed to Colling’s Grove after Leonard Colling purchased 25.9 acres for $5,000 in 1868. Still, later came another name change to Dobler Park, after the Dobler Brewing Company purchased the land in 1899. The park became an enormously popular picnic ground for the German element until the land was sold in 1909 and sub-divided into building lots. In 1903 and 1904, Fritz Erhardt operated a saloon on the premises of Dobler Park before becoming the proprietor of Shafer’s Grove in 1905. According to city historian Virginia Bowers, parades and picnics were common in the “South End” of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; many would start at the bottom of Second Avenue and South Pearl Street and proceed up Second Avenue to Colling’s Grove, where food, drink, music, and dance was enjoyed by all. The annual German “Schwabenfest” of the Schwabenverein was also held each summer on these picnic grounds.
On September 19, 1904, Albany’s first annual Deutsch Tag or German Day was held at Dobler Park and was “an unqualified success.” The night before, the German Hall Association arranged an enormous vocal and instrumental concert at the Harmanus Bleecker Hall to inaugurate the first Deutsch Tag. A children’s chorus of 250 voices, a male chorus of 120, and a mixed chorus of 250 entertained the German citizens of Albany throughout the night. The Albany Argus praised the German concert, stating, “…yet it was nevertheless distinctively an Albany audience, the Germans have become so thoroughly assimilated in the civilization of the new world that all, whether born here or in the Fatherland, are Americans.” German Day celebrated the arrival of the “German Mayflower,” the Concord, and the subsequent establishment of the first German colony in America at Germantown, Pennsylvania. The colony was established on October 6, 1683 by Franz Daniel Pastorius and was composed of mainly religious refugees from the Palatinate. On August 28, 1905 and August 13, 1906, German Day celebrations were also held at Dobler Park. The third annual German Day of 1906 saw over four thousand people attend the festivities. The celebrations included a parade in the morning, a picnic, and a field day at the park, both in the afternoon and evening. At the fest, confirming the importance and industriousness of the German people, the Times Union proclaimed; “There is no city in this broad land which owes more to the sturdy descendants of the land of the Rhine than does Albany.”
Another picnic area popular among the Germans was the vicinity south of Dobler Park, known as Schaller’s Grove. The grove was established in 1903 and was used until the early 1950s when New York State procured the land for the New York State Thruway. A smaller recreational area east of Dobler Park was Grandview Park, off lower Second Avenue, circa 1912. Around 1914, northwest of Dobler Park another picnic ground popular with the German element was Marshall’s Grove, located on Delaware Avenue. The German Holy Cross parish held picnics and field days at this locale.
 Times Union, September 17, 1904, 6:2; September 19, 1904, 1:2. Albany Argus, September 19, 1904, 8:1; September 20, 1904, 3:3.
 Albany Argus, September 19, 1904, 2:4.
 Times Union, August 13, 1906, 1:6; July 21, 1906, 2:3.
 Knickerbocker News, July 25, 1960, 9A:1. Bowers, “The Texture of a Neighborhood,” p. 208.
 Times Union, July 20, 1914, 6:3.