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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Dubuque Socialer Turnverein and later Germania Hall
GERMANIA HALL. During the last half of the 19th century, a brick building on the corner of 9th and Iowa STREETS was the meeting place for GERMANS who had settled in the Dubuque area.

In April, 1873 the New Turner's Hall belonging to the DUBUQUE SOCIALER TURNVEREIN was being completed. The building would not be called Germania Hall until the organization's name was changed to the GERMANIA SOCIETY on April 22, 1893. The first floor and the gallery were capable of seating 1,000 people. The stage was located at the eastern end of the building. Dressing-rooms were located beneath the stage. The first floor also contained a ticket office, reception area and wardrobe rooms. The second floor was the location of the dining room, a private room, and kitchen. In the case of fire, there were two front doors and a wide side door that opened onto a sidewalk. (1)

The activities held there were clearly identified by three words on the front of the building. "Turner" indicated gymnastics; "saenger" referred to singing; and "krieger" called for battling. To fulfill these goals, activities held in the building included song fests, tests of physical skill, bazaars, and plays. (2)

Germania Hall was purchased by the Pahl Baking Company in the early 1920s. Midland Bakeries Inc. purchased the building in 1925 and spent $40,000 on renovations before it was reopened as the DUBUQUE BREAD COMPANY. (3)

In 1934 the old Germania Hall became the home of the DUBUQUE BOYS' CLUB. (4)



1. "New Turner's Hall," The Daily Herald, April 30, 1873, p. 4

2. "Way Back When," Telegraph Herald, January 22, 1962, p. 4

3. "New Home for Dubuque Boys' Club," Telegraph-Herald and Times-Journal, December 23, 1934, p. 10

4. Ibid.