In addition to its free weekly Lunch With Books series offered most Tuesdays at noon, the Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling is offering a special summer program that will revive and celebrate a fascinating but long lost chapter of Wheeling’s rich history.
On Saturday July 17 at noon, the library, through its partnership with the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation, will host a very special celebration of the 125th anniversary of Wheeling’s 1885 Saengerfest, a large gathering of German singing societies. The destination for numerous German immigrants in the 19th century, Wheeling was once home to 11 such societies and hosted three regional Saengerfests in 1860, 1885, & 1906. The Singing Societies served as fraternal organizations as well as a means by which to celebrate and commemorate German culture. Most disappeared in the face of the anti-German backlash of WWI.
After an introduction by Dr. David Javersak to provide historical context, and a special presentation by Lois Lynch, Secretary of the North American Sangerbund, two dozen members of the Eintracht German Singing Society of Dayton Ohio , will perform.
Free samples of German festival foods prepared by Gene Evans, Chef Instructor at West Virginia Northern Community College , will be served, along with free beverages provided by the library.
Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Because a large response is expected for the program, reservations are requested. Please call the library at 304-232-0244 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Saengerfest photo credit: Oglebay Institute)