German immigrants who fought in the Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War established the Deutscher Kriegerverein, or the German Veterans Society, on December 1, 1889. Members paid dues amounting to $.10 per month.
|Albany Times, 3 December 1889|
Gustav Zinserling, the proprietor of the Hotel Columbia, was the leader of the veterans’ group for many years.
|Gustav Zinserling in uniform|
They met monthly at the Hotel Columbia until 1901, then they met at the Grand Army Hall, located at 31 Green Street.
|1893 Albany City Directory ad|
In 1908 the society moved to its final meeting place- the German Hall.
|German Hall, 48 Beaver Street, Albany|
The Veterans’ Society celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary at Shafer’s Grove. The group had 150 members in its heyday; by 1897 membership included seventy-two members and two honorary members, but by March 1918, membership had dwindled to twenty-nine individuals, and the society dissolved itself after twenty-nine years.