Deutsche Determination

One of the interesting buildings that we walk past on my tours of #Charleston is the Chalmers Street home of the Deutsche Freundliche Gesellschaft – the German Friendly Society. Although founded in 1766, this is not the oldest society in the fabled city, as that honor goes to the St. Andrews Society, formed in 1729, but the German Friendly is the most attended by far. Since the organization was founded by 16 German immigrants as a means of providing assistance for needy German residents of the colonial city, the group has met almost every Wednesday for 253 years, and count nearly 14,000 meetings of the society. The old joke in Charleston is that, if you have lots of Germans in your city, that it’s good that they are friendly, and all meetings are very friendly and convivial with a full dinner, cocktails, and rousing German folk songs. One great irony is that the 1820’s building that has served as the society’s home for more than a century was originally used by temperance organizations dedicated to stop the drinking of alcohol in Charleston. The German Friendly meetings have a tradition of singing old German drinking songs with cheers and salutes made with mugs of beer.  <img.src=”Charleston History” alt=”German Friendly Society”

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