America in the Late 1800s
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.
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.
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 Spanish American War
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.
Exploring Vollmars Park
- VOLLMAR'S PARK REMEMBERED - YouTube
Vollmar's park is a thing of the past. Few buildings are left standing among the overgrown weeds and trees.
Remembering Vollmars Park
- Vollmar's Park: Then and Now on Vimeo
A short documentary about the once great Vollmar's Park in Bowling Green, Ohio.