The story of Hamburg, from the beginning

This look to the west on Railroad Street in Hamburg shows, from left: Hebeisen’s Store, Truwe’s Dry Goods, Well House, State Bank of Hamburg and the post office. Also note the hand-lit gas street light, some of which the city purchased in 1902 and 1905. Electric street lights were installed in 1917. Photo from “Hamburg: History of a Central Minnesota Village”

History books for Norwood and Young America have become prime pathways for research and reminiscing in the decades since they were compiled, but fewer area residents may be familiar with a similar historical book focusing on Hamburg.

Written by Hamburg native Darlene Wendlandt Fasching in 2011, “Hamburg: History of a Central Minnesota Village” consists of 218-pages that include everything from maps and articles on businesses and people, to historic newspaper articles and even a manifest from the ship Hermine that arrived from Europe in 1857, bearing many of the immigrants who would later establish the town.

With names like Dammann, Harms, Elling, Oelfke, Eggers, Wolters and many more, it’s clear that the book covers the earliest arrival of Hamburg residents. One prominent individual was Johann Diedrich Roeders, a 32-year-old farmer from Westenholz, Germany who later plated and named Hamburg.

“I’ve often wondered, if this ship would have gone down in the Atlantic if Hamburg would have even existed,” said Wendlandt Fasching.

For the full story, see the print edition of this week’s NYA Times.