America in the Late 1800s

Updated on August 6, 2020
JNalbach419 profile image

Justine is a Descendant of the Vollmar Family whom enjoys writing and would like to leave a digital trail of her family history.

Source

Arriving to America in 1853

Friedrich Vollmar was the Original Family Member of the Vollmar Family, a Farming Family whom originally resided in Hohmuhlbach, Germany a town located along the border of France and Germany, and ultimately settled in rural Ohio. He made the journey to America with his wife Charlotte, and his four children Fredrich 19, John George 16, Jakob 13, and baby Willhelm (William) 1. Freidrich's original travel pass from what was than the Kingdom of Bavaria can be found below.

Travel Pass for Friederich Vollmar
Travel Pass for Friederich Vollmar | Source
Friedrich & Charlotte Vollmar
Friedrich & Charlotte Vollmar | Source
Friedrich & Charlotte Vollmar
Friedrich & Charlotte Vollmar | Source

Williams Letter

In an attempt to preserve family history the youngest of the children William, who was just a baby when they came to America, wrote a letter for all family members to discover. I will paraphrase to the best of my ability but I urge you to read the letter on your own. He gives his account of how they traveled to America together on a cargo ship with all sorts of turmoil on the way but also happiness. They arrived in Havre, France from Germany and had to wait two weeks before finally sailing on a ship he calls "Inca", which I found out was a cargo ship that also transported mass immigrants to America. William even claims the ship being overloaded with cargo as the reason for their late departure.

He tells the beautifully tragic story of his eldest brother Friedrich (named after his father) who became sick on the way, eventually passing away, and having to be buried at sea. He claims the body was spotted again roughly three days before they docked in Brooklyn, New York. Their Mother Charlotte, never really got over this and took it really hard. The journey took about 48 days in total. They all stayed in Brooklyn for about 8 months. This was before immigrants were filtered through Ellis Island. He than tells the story of traveling down the Canal, and eventually ending up in a town called Waterville, Ohio.


"Spanking." Friedrich Vollmar is the old man with white hair in the back. I will assume the man doing the spanking is William, while the other two older men in the back are George and Jakob.
"Spanking." Friedrich Vollmar is the old man with white hair in the back. I will assume the man doing the spanking is William, while the other two older men in the back are George and Jakob. | Source
William Vollmar's Letter page 1
William Vollmar's Letter page 1 | Source
William Vollmar's Letter page 2
William Vollmar's Letter page 2 | Source
The Vollmars  possible Wood Fired Farm Equipment  c.1899
The Vollmars possible Wood Fired Farm Equipment c.1899 | Source

Vollmars Farm

Their family stayed with others until they built a log home. The older boys worked at various jobs along the way, Jacob worked at a General Store while George worked on the Wabash Railroad. After various moves they eventually settled and began farming at what he calls "Station Farm," and "Presbyterian Mission Station,"a large farmhouse located across the street from what will eventually be "Vollmars Park."


The Vollmar Men and their Wives, with Old Man Vollmar in the back.
The Vollmar Men and their Wives, with Old Man Vollmar in the back. | Source

The Spanish American War

What looks to be Soldiers from the Spanish American War, holding bayonets while posing for the photo. April of 1898 makes it probable for young William to be the one who fought in this war.
What looks to be Soldiers from the Spanish American War, holding bayonets while posing for the photo. April of 1898 makes it probable for young William to be the one who fought in this war. | Source
William Vollmar with Musical Instrument
William Vollmar with Musical Instrument | Source
William Vollmar with Band (center left)
William Vollmar with Band (center left) | Source
Little girl stands in front of the porch at Vollmars Farm
Little girl stands in front of the porch at Vollmars Farm | Source

Vollmars Park

Located along the Maumee River just outside of Waterville, Vollmars Park was a family owned 16 acre Park originally purchased by Charles Vollmar (the son of William) and was in operation by the Family until the 1940's. It was auctioned off in the 1960's and the first amusement/carnival rides were added dubbing it “Vollmars Amusement Park” and has changed hands and over the years. It once had a grand dance hall which later was turned into a skating rink. The whole property was transformed into a place where people had private company picnics or wedding receptions. It eventually closed for good in 2000, the property has been split up and most of the old buildings left to ruins.

Follow the link below to an incredibly interesting video of people reminiscing and exploring the grounds.

Have you been to Vollmars Park?

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    • JNalbach419 profile imageAUTHOR

      Justine Nalbach 

      3 weeks ago from Michigan

      Thanks for your comment Trina! That’s where I grew up too , I live in Michigan now but will always have a special place in my heart for Grand Rapids, Ohio! And that also means we are related! Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Trina Treen 

      3 weeks ago

      My grandfather was Seamer Vollmar, hmy grandma was Maxine Vollmar. They lived in Grand Rapids Ohio. I will always cherish all the memories spent with them in Grand Rapids & also many memories at Vollmars Park. Went to many family reunions there.

    • JNalbach419 profile imageAUTHOR

      Justine Nalbach 

      6 weeks ago from Michigan

      Thank you Adrianne, I own the original glass slides, passed down through the Family (My Grandmother was a Vollmar). They have never been seen , they are glass negatives, so I used photoshop to develop them. I’m glad you enjoyed it I had a lot of fun researching this after I found them in an old box , they are definitely historic. You can email me at justinenabach@yahoo.com If you would like any more information.

    • profile image

      Adrianne Vollmar 

      6 weeks ago

      Hi, I love your photos! I'm the granddaughter of Wayne Vollmar and my sister and I have been doing Vollmar ancestry and this the first we've seen these photos. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      Daniel vollmar 

      7 weeks ago

      Fred is my uncle that is amazing im glad i got to learn much more about my life thank you..

    • JNalbach419 profile imageAUTHOR

      Justine Nalbach 

      8 weeks ago from Michigan

      Thanks for reading Tim Truzy!

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile image

      Tim Truzy 

      8 weeks ago from U.S.A.

      I enjoyed this piece. It was filled with interesting facts. I'm amazed how brave people were to cross the Atlantic in those ship, and reading about the loss of a loved one reminded me of how difficult it must have been. A great read.

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