“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New Ulm in Brown County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Forster Building


— Historic Downtown New Ulm —

Forster Building Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 20, 2013
1. Forster Building Marker
Frederick Forster came to the United States in 1850 and taught school in New York. He moved to New Ulm in 1858, where he continued teaching, becoming the city's postmaster in 1861.

In 1860, Forster purchased this lot and the following year, with his partner, Friedrich Gommel, a Cincinnati potter, opened New Ulm's first pottery, selling "all sorts of fine and ordinary dishes."

During the Dakota Conflict, this building, located just outside the barricades, became an important defense outpost. On August 23, 1862, Henry Swift, a future Governor of Minnesota, and about twenty men were assigned to defend this structure. Charles Flandrau wrote, "A number of our men took possession of the brick Post Office . . . and loopholed it in all stories and through the roof, thus protecting quite a range of the rear of the town." After the Dakota withdrew, the town was evacuated. Upon his return, Forster wrote that he "found all the buildings that hadn't been burned had all been broken into, with chests and crates opened and their contents stolen." The pottery closed shortly after the Civil War. Gommel served several terms
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as New Ulm's constable while Forster returned to his work as postmaster and teacher.

It remained a private home until 1925 when A. J. Stoltenberg bought the property to expand his Broadway Tire Company. This is one of few buildings in the city dating from the time of the Dakota Conflict.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: CommunicationsIndustry & CommerceWars, US Indian. A significant historical year for this entry is 1850.
Location. 44° 18.847′ N, 94° 27.726′ W. Marker is in New Ulm, Minnesota, in Brown County. Marker is on North Broadway (State Highway 15 / 68) south of 2nd North Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 117 North Broadway, New Ulm MN 56073, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Frederick Forster Building (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Forster Building (here, next to this marker); New Ulm (within shouting distance of this marker); Jacob Nix Platz (within shouting distance of this marker); Arbeiter Hall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Two Battles of New Ulm (about 300 feet away); Somsen Hitching Post (about 400 feet away); Dacotah House (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Ulm.
More about this marker
Forster Building Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 20, 2013
2. Forster Building Markers
located on both sides of the door

photo caption: Forster Building
Images from the Brown County Historical Society
Forster Building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 20, 2013
3. Forster Building
The oldest commercial building in the city; the exterior walls have been covered with stucco, but the building remains essentially unchanged.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 9, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 30, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 783 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 30, 2013, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

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Feb. 21, 2024