15 April 2017

Saturday's Society :

The society profile this week is on the Deutscher Order von Harugari; an obscure German fraternal and benevolent society from Albany's past. A brief history on the Verein is below

Deutscher Orden von Harugari

The Deutscher Orden von Harugari, or the German Order of Harugari, hereafter DOH, was founded in New York City in 1847 to help maintain and preserve the German language. Soon DOH lodges appeared in Albany; the first was the Harmonia Lodge, No. 11 of the German Order of Harugari. The lodge was founded in 1848 with fifteen members. 

The lodge served as a literary and social society that sponsored lectures, debates, and musicals. In 1876 they met weekly at the Commercial Building located at 395 Broadway. As of 1897 the lodge still numbered fifteen members.[1] The Freie Brüder, or Free Brothers Lodge, No. 45 of the DOH was established on February 24, 1854, and met weekly at the Commercial Building in 1876. By 1872 the lodge counted 120 members. The lodge’s capital amounted to $6,597.49 in 1897. [2] In 1910 the group met in the saloon of Anton Hafner & Son, at 121 Madison Avenue. 

On November 23, 1873, another DOH lodge was established- the Deutsch Hoffnungs, or German Hope Lodge, No. 324. The lodge numbered ninety-four members in 1897, and its treasury amounted to $5,266.38.[3] Surprisingly, the lodge met at the same location, 206 Washington Avenue, from its inception till at least 1919. 

A women’s DOH lodge, the Columbia Frauen Lodge, No. 45 was established on January 12, 1893. Four years later membership totaled sixty-five women. The lodge acted a benevolent society that paid a benefit of $3.00 per week to sick members and a death benefit of $50. Its treasury totaled $1,200.[4] Other DOH lodges included the Morning Star Lodge, No. 105, which met at Liederkranz Halle in 1910. This lodge also had a ladies auxiliary. The Ex. Barden Society was the last DOH lodge organized. They met twice a month at 206 Washington Avenue between 1914 and 1919.

Another branch of the DOH was the D. R. of D. O. H. (Deutsche Ritter Deutscher Orden von Harugari), or the German Knights of the German Order of Harugari. They formed the Walliroth Commandry, No. 11, German Knights. The group met twice a month at German Hall in 1914 and then at 206 Washington Avenue in 1919. 

The DOH formed a Gesangverein, the Harugari Saengerbund, founded on March 9, 1884. Their mission was to promote German song and language. The entourage met at the Hotel Columbia until 1890, when they changed their practice venue to Eintracht Halle

On August 2-4, 1891, a Harugari Saengerfest was held in Albany. The headquarters for the Saengerfest were located at The Bavaria hotel at 38 Beaver Street. Harugari Gesangvereine traveled from New Haven, Philadelphia, Saint Louis, Buffalo, Syracuse, and Utica to compete at the Leland Opera House.[5] Sadly, a fire in 1893 destroyed most of the club’s possessions; therefore, the Gesangverein Caecilia held a fair and donated $1,400 for the Harugari Saengerbund. In 1897 sixteen active and thirty-six passive members paid a monthly dues of $.25.[6] The singing group disappeared from Albany’s city directories the following year.

[1] n. a., Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, pp. 71, 213-215.
[2] Ibid., pp. 133, 215.
[3] Ibid., pp. 215-217.
[4] Ibid., p. 217.
[5] The Albany Evening Union, August 3, 1891, 1:4, August 4, 1891, 4:2.
[6] n. a., Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, pp. 81, 169-177.