The Turnverein, or gymnastic society, was a large societal group in German-American communities. The Turners sponsored outdoor athletic festivals that displayed the physical prowess of young German men. Albany did indeed have Turnvereine; however, most Turner groups in Albany appeared to be short-lived societies. The first Turnverein in Albany was the Social Turnverein. It was founded in May 1851 and incorporated in 1860, with approximately thirty men. August Tolle was the president of the society in 1866. The group met at 293 Washington Avenue- George Tolle’s lagerbeer garden and saloon- until Turn Halle at 83 Green Street was purchased. Inside Turn Halle was a saloon which was operated by Stephen Schreiber in 1866; William A. Schneider in 1869; Charles Seifferth in 1872; and Michael Tommaney in 1873. Turn Halle later became known as Adelphi Hall in 1876. In 1862, the Social Turnverein organized a Gesangverein- the Turner Liederkranz. The group utilized the talents of Johann Föhr as their conductor. However, according to historian Andrew Yox, most Turner singing societies “featured a large ensemble of men that impressed an audience more by their resolve than by their virtuosity.” Nevertheless, the entourage participated in the Tenth Northeastern Saengerfest at Philadelphia on July 13-18, 1867.
Albany’s second Turnverein, the Capitol Turnverein was incorporated on May 5, 1869, and consisted mainly of residents from the western section of the city. A Gesangverein was created in the Capitol Turnverein in 1877 but, was short-lived and lasted only eight months. However, the ill-fated Capitol Gesangverein hosted a Turner festival with a prize singing contest on July 20-22, 1878. Visiting societies from Utica and Troy were treated to a reception at 293 Washington Avenue- Ferdinand Lange’s saloon and Biergarten. The Capitol Turnverein disappeared from the city directories after 1883. Albany’s German population was not large enough and committed to support two separate Turnvereine; therefore the Albany Turnverein was incorporated on October 4, 1883, after the merger of the Social and Capitol Turnvereine. The union created a Turnverein with 126 members. The membership met at the Maenner-Quartett Halle. The Albany Turnverein vanished from city directories after the 1899 directory. Another Turnverein, the Teutonia Turnverein, appeared in the city directories only one year- 1893. In 1911, the Schenectady Herold-Journal announced that the Turners of the South End were preparing for a rebirth of the organization. Unfortunately this desire never materialized.
 n. a., Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, pp. 91-95.
 Yox, “Bonds of Community: Buffalo’s German Element,” New York History 66(2): 146.
 n. a., Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, p. 77.
 Ibid., p. 95.
 Albany Evening Times, July 22, 1878, 3:4.
 n. a., Geschichte der Deutschen in Albany und Troy, pp. 95-97, 179.
 Schenectady Herold-Journal, June 16, 1911, 4:2.