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The German Face of Maryland

| October 5, 2015 | 0 Comments

The “Old Line State” has a history rich with German history and contributions.
By Shelley Arnold

Maryland, like many other states, has been home to many persons of German lineage. If you listen to the state song, “Maryland, My Maryland”, the music will sound very familiar to German ears as the song is set to the tune of “Lauriger Horatius”—better known as the tune of “O Tannenbaum”. My great grandparents arrived in Baltimore in 1848 (Clemans Schwartz and sons) and 1865 (John Dolch and family), two centuries after the first Germans arrived in America in 1608.  It was that German heritage and my research of Germans in Maryland that prompted me to approach Delegate Susan Aumann and Senator Katherine Klausmeier, both serving in the Maryland General Assembly, and solicit their help to introduce a bill declaring October German American Heritage Month in Maryland.  After three years, the support of several legislators and the German clubs in Maryland, HB34/SB17 finally passed during the last minutes of the 2013 session.  The new law was signed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley on May 2, 2013. It was an important step to acknowledge the numerous contributions German Marylanders have made to the state and to the world.

After Lord Baltimore, in 1732, made the liberal offer of 200 acres of land in fee for a cheap rent, it didn’t take long for Germans to populate Maryland.  Germans settled throughout the entire state beginning with a migration from Pennsylvania to the Maryland west, down to the main metropolitan area of Baltimore.

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