In 1882, our relative Julius Rose immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland. On July 15, 1887 he renounced all allegiance to the King of Prussia and became a citizen of the United States in Kendall County, Texas. Calling the little German settlement of Comfort his home, Julius worked as a construction worker on a fachwerk home at the old Andreas Voigt residence. That home, our charming main house here at Cherokee Rose, is located four miles east of Comfort, just north of the old railroad bridge.
On April 1, 1883 Andreas Voigt (Vote) gave away his only daughter to Mr. Karl Herbst. They were wed in our cozy living room by the current justice of the peace. But they wouldn’t want us to talk about the wedding; they’d want us to explain the party! Or, as the German folk called them, Polterabend!
A German custom, the high point of the Polterabends was when the guests would throw porcelain that they’d brought onto the ground. Stoneware, flowerpots, or ceramics such as tiles, sinks, and toilet bowls were also happily thrown items. Metal objects, such as tin cans and bottle tops were also brought along to the festivities. Glass was not broken, because for some glass symbolizes happiness. Mirrors were also not to be broken due to the old superstition that breaking one would bring seven years of bad luck. Following the breaking, the couple was tasked with cleaning up the pile of shards. This was supposed to make them aware that they would have to work together through difficult conditions and situations in life. The Polterabend was a time of merriment, humorous speeches, songs, dancing, and lets not forget, eating and drinking! “We heard the old folks talk about Polterabend, but we never heard a word about the wedding,” Karl Herbst. Quite a different approach to today’s weddings, yes?! While we’re all up for the symbolism and the reminder to the bride and groom, please request any Polterabend activity with Cherokee Rose management first!
A SECOND WEDDING AT THEHOMESTEAD
Carl Voight and Anna Hennings married on December 6, 1893. The Hennings’ house was small and could not very well accommodate a celebration that a Polterabend or wedding called for. So, the celebration was held in the home of the groom’s parents…..the homestead at Cherokee Rose!
…..and Missing Kids – A custom of the Polterabend was, of course, to have family and friends join in on the celebration, because who doesn’t like breaking things that others have to clean up?! “After the [Voight/Hennings] wedding, supper, and speeches, the rooms were cleared for dancing. This meant that the beds were taken apart and moved out. The bedding was quickly rolled up and carried to the loft upstairs. The party had been going full-tilt for some time when somebody wondered what could have happened to little Robert. He was nowhere around. I was just one week under 6 months of age and it was not likely that I could have strayed off by myself. Then suddenly someone thought of the rolled-up bedding upstairs. You, you guessed it. There I was rolled up in the bedding, apparently none the worse for it,” Robert Herbst.