Those who attended a special German Night event at the Betsey Mills Club in Marietta Friday were treated to not only German food, but also a lesson about the influence German people had on Marietta.
"The German history in Marietta is something that has not been written about a great deal," said Linda Lewis, director of the Betsey Mills Club.
That means Marietta resident Jann Adams, who made a presentation called "Germans - A Major Influence in Marietta History" during the event Friday evening, has had to do a lot of research.
ASHLEY RITTENHOUSE The Marietta Times
Attendees of a German Night event are served German food Friday evening at the Betsey Mills Club in Marietta. About 30 people attended the event, during which they ate German food and learned about the impact the Germans had on Marietta.
"Mostly I do research at the Local History and Genealogy department of the Washington County Library," Adams said. "You have to really dig - you can't Google this stuff - you have to go through old information (and) it's really a search."
About 30 people attended the event at the Betsey Mills Club. They enjoyed German potato salad, pumpernickel and rye bread, sauerkraut and bratwurst, pretzels and a variety of mustard, black walnut cake and of course, German chocolate cake. They also had German beer and wine.
Adams said the event was held at the Betsey Mills Club for the first time last year. She said she has been doing extensive research about the influence the Germans had on Marietta for almost three years and she may eventually write a book about it.
She said she first became interested in the topic after learning her grandfather, August Victor Kuehn, who was a German immigrant, at one point owned and operated the Marietta Brewing Company.
Adams said it was around the 1830s when Germans first started coming to Marietta and by 1850, half of the immigrants in the state of Ohio were Germans.
"They came with skills - they were farmers, they were canners, they were brewers and they were leather workers," she said. "The block on Front Street between Butler and Putnam Streets was known as Dutch row because many German businesses were in that area."
Adams said some of the businesses that were once in Marietta that were started by Germans included the John Albright Tannery, Weber and Hess Slaughter House, Wendelken's Grocery, Schmidt Grocery and the Cisler Brick Company.
"Many of our brick streets are made by Cisler bricks," she said.
"They were very involved musically," Adams added. "In fact, the Marietta High School song "Hail, Marietta" was written by Germans."
A number of churches were also started in Marietta by Germans, Adams said, including Highland Ridge Community Church, St. Luke's Luthern Church and St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church.
In 1896, a German mayor was elected for the City of Marietta, according to Adams.
Marietta resident Dede Martin said she learned "quite a bit" from Adams' presentation.
"She's very interesting," Martin said.
Like Adams, Marietta resident William Marshall, 73, said he, too, has German roots.
"I'm the great grandson of one of the founders of the Marietta Brewing Company, Jacob Epple," he said. "I don't think a lot of people realize the influence the Germans had (in Marietta)."