Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Germans on Ashley Street
Fred Wagner's blacksmith shop was one of many German-owned west-side businesses providing services for horse-drawn vehicles. Wagner repaired carriages and wagons and shoed horses. Nearby livery stables rented out horses and carriages. Around the corner on Liberty, at Christian Walker's Ann Arbor Carriage Works, skilled carpenters, blacksmiths, upholsterers, and painters took pride in producing custom carriages. At lunchtime, workmen bought beer by the bucket from nearby saloons. In 1914 the Wagner blacksmith shop was replaced by the new meeting "halle" of the Schwaben Verein, Ann Arbor's longest-lasting German organization. The Schwaben name is still on the sidewalk and windows. By the 1920s most neighborhood businesses were serving cars and trucks instead of horses and carriages.
Upper image caption:
Wagner blacksmith shop, 215 South Ashley Street, ca. 1880
Later site of Schwaben Halle
Top image left inset caption:
By 1930s Volz's, at 109 South Ashley Street, combined welding with blacksmithing. A & L Battery sold auto parts next door to the right.
Top image right inset caption:
Bottom left image caption:
Parade float in front of Hertler's Barn, Labor Day, 1916.
Bottom right image caption:
George Gottlob, and Herman Hertler, with their sister Emma, catered to the farming community from 1906 to 1975. From their store at 210 South Ashley Street they sold feed and seed, tools and equipment, dispensed agricultural advice and information, and hosted euchre games. For ten cents, farmers could leave their horses with hay and water while doing business downtown.
Sponsored by the owners of Downtown Home and Garden and the owners of the Schwaben Building
Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
Erected by Ann Arbor Historical Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 42° 16.825′ N, 83° 44.982′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of South Ashley Street and West Washington Street, on the left when traveling south on South Ashley Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 121 West Washington Street, Ann Arbor MI 48104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Staeblers and the Germania/American Hotel (here, next to this marker); Three Generations of Metzgers on Washington Street (within shouting distance of this marker); From Horses to Cars: Early Autos, Service and Parts (within shouting distance of this marker); Industry and Recreation on Allen Creek (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ann Arbor Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Allen Creek Valley Shapes the Town (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); From Interurbans to Buses (about 400 feet away); Ann Arbor's New "Streamlined" Bus Depot (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 20, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 49 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of 210 South Ashley Street, the former Schwaben building. • Can you help?