GERMAN HERITAGE IN NEW ORLEANS

Much has been said and written about the diverse mixture of ethnic and cultural influences that make up the great city of New Orleans. Though often overlooked, one group which has played a major role in the city’s history is the German immigrants.


Germans first began arriving in Louisiana around the time New Orleans was founded in 1718. By the mid-19th century German-owned businesses were creating jobs and impacting the city’s economy - from breweries and bakeries to hotels and restaurants to  farms and construction companies.


Their contributions to the city’s commerce, architecture, cuisine, and culture are all around us.

In fact many of the iconic local business names that are nostalgically familiar to native New Orleanians have roots in the city’s German heritage. Here are a few examples:


  1. Leidenheimer Bakery

  2. Haydel Bakery

  3. Hubig Bakery

  4. Reising Bakery

  5. Elmer’s Candy

  6. Jax Beer

  7. Dixie Beer

  8. Falstaff Beer

  9. Werlein’s Music

  10. K&B Drugstores

  11. Maison Blanche

  12. Krauss’s Department Store

  13. Schegmann’s Supermarkets

  14. Touro Infirmary

  15. Ochsner Hospital

  16. The Roosevelt Hotel



GERMAN - NEW ORLEANS FUN FACTS:


  1. New Orleans’ first paved sidewalks and streets were constructed by Fritz Jahncke, who moved here from Hamburg, Germany in 1870. His company also supplied the concrete that was used to create Tulane Stadium and Lee Circle.


  1. In the late 1800’s German settlers introduced affordable accordions which were embraced by Creole and Cajun musicians and became a fundamental element of what we know today as Cajun and Zydeco Music.


  1. One of the first major luxury hotels in New Orleans was the Hotel Grunewald, was opened in 1893 by a German immigrant. By 1908 it had grown from 6 to 14 stories tall, with dining and entertainment facilities. In 1923 it was purchased, remodeled, and renamed as the Roosevelt Hotel.


  1. Madame Begue’s restaurant was opened in 1863 in the French Quarter by Elizabeth Kettenring. She served only one meal - a ‘second breakfast’ at 11:00 AM. The idea of a late breakfast caught on and is known today as a ‘brunch’. After Begue died Tujague’s moved in and remains there today.

Fritz Jahncke moved to New Orleans in 1870 as a young mason. His construction and

ship building businesses later employed thousands in New Orleans and at his shipyard in Madisonville.

Kolb’s Restaurant opened in 1899 and served German food on St. Charles Avenue for almost 100 years.

NOLA’s

German Heritage

Artisan Sausages and More! Served with Authentic Traditional Toppings & Sides!

Find us at festivals & markets in New Orleans and the Louisiana Gulf Coast region!

A photo of Werlein’s Music on Canal Street in 1942 - THE music store in New Orleans for most of the 20th century. Phillip Werlein also founded one of the biggest music publishing companies in the South.

Formal portrait of the Von Dammerau family: circa1900, New Orleans, LA.

St. Mary’s Assumption Church was built in the late 1850’s

for the growing population of German Catholics in New Orleans

GERMAN - NEW ORLEANS WEB LINKS:

From the stately homes of the Garden District

to our quintessential French Bread and Cajun Music, Louisiana and New Orleans owe much to their German ancestors.

Drawing of a German lighthouse keeper near the mouth of the Mississippi River playing an accordion (dated 1871).

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