Education: Wagner-Ritter House

Johnstown Area Heritage Association
Teachers' Guide

Wagner-Ritter House

The Wagner-Ritter House: 2nd floor


Gallery Spaces

Two of the four bedrooms are used to examine the history of the neighborhood and German culture in Johnstown.  German was the second most spoken language in 19th century America.  It was similar to Spanish today.  Otto von Bismarck, the 19th century German leader once remarked that it seemed likely that America might become a German speaking country.  In the 1850s, the largest mass migrations of immigrants occurred coming from Germany.  George and Fransiska were a part of this wave of immigration.  German institutions were started by these immigrants; Johnstown had a German language newspaper and a wide variety of social institutions like singing societies and other social clubs.  Support for things German fell out of fashion with the advent of WWI, when Sauerkraut became "Victory Cabbage."


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