New Ulm in Brown County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
—Historic Downtown New Ulm —
The town gained a new venue for public events in 1873 with the opening of Arbeiter Hall. The local Arbeiterverein, or Workers' Association, organized in 1871, primarily as a workers' insurance association. The two-story brick building had a large hall on the first floor, meeting rooms upstairs, and a bar in the basement.
The hall became a financial burden to the society, which sold it in December 1877 to five local businessmen, who changed its name to Union Hall. Following a grand opening that featured a production of Uncle Tom's Cabin, the building hosted political rallies, dances, concerts, and theatrical productions over the next four decades.
One of the new owners, Joseph Bobleter, was the first president of the Minnesota National Guard. For many years, the local unit, Company A, Second Regiment, was headquartered in the building, using space for drills and target practice, while its well-known band turned the hall into a home for "musical and dancing entertainments."
After WWI, this building, located on a busy intersection, was converted into a service station and automobile repair shop by Herman Kretsch. He turned the main hall into a show room with large display windows and a drive-in central bay. In 1930, Kretsch made substantial renovations following a fire that gutted the building.
Location. 44° 18.818′ N, 94° 27.665′ W. Marker is in New Ulm, Minnesota, in Brown County. Marker is at the intersection of 1st North Street and North Broadway (Minnesota Highway 15 / 68) on 1st North Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 26 North Broadway, New Ulm MN 56073, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Two Battles of New Ulm (within shouting distance of this marker); New Ulm (within shouting distance of this marker); Somsen Hitching Post (within shouting distance of this marker); Guardians of the Past (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Forster Building (about 300 feet away); U.S. Post Office (about 400 feet away); Dacotah House (about 400 feet away); Jacob Nix Platz (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Ulm.
Also see . . .
1. Arbeiter Hall, New Ulm, Minnesota. YouTube. (Submitted on July 28, 2013.)
2. Property Record for 26 N Broadway Street. (Submitted on July 28, 2013.)
Categories. • Entertainment • Industry & Commerce • Labor Unions •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 28, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 439 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 28, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. 3. submitted on May 16, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.