John Manke is an active former Bay View resident who is involved in numerous neighborhood organizations, including the Bay View Historical Society, the Humboldt Park Fourth of July Association and the Shore Shore Farmers Market. He believes Bay View has a fine tradition in its past that we do not want to lose in the future.
When I was a child, I attended St. Lucas Evangelical Lutheran School at 648 E. Dover St. in Bay View. My mother and her parents also attended this same school. My great-grand fathers, Fred Schumacher and August Denzin attended St. Lucas Evangelical Lutheran Church. My grandfather, Otto Schumacher was involved in the school management and was the second person to run Woodlawn Cemetery for St. Lucas Church. He died in 1941, shortly after I was born, so I never got to know him.
We used to walk to school and if it was raining outside, my father, when he was on 2nd shift at Pabst Brewery would pick us up to come home for lunch and take us back to school again. My aunt, Ruth Schumacher Arnet, lived at 705 E. Potter Ave., which was very close to school. We had our school recesses on Dover St. School playground. A hermit had his property next door to the playground. We went to Dover St, School for speech therapy and manual arts training. My sister Kay and I both had speech defects as children. I can remember going to St. Lucas Church and singing for funerals and for special occasions. The church had no basement then. I believe that it was around 1948 when the church basement was built. The school building was quite old when i attended the school. Many years after I graduated from school, a new building replaced the old one, which kept the bowling alleys in the basement and the school auditorium. In more recent times, this building was razed and replaced with a brand new building, still keeping the old address of 648 E. Dover St. In school we were taught religion, music, mathematics, social studies and art to some degree. We had some great teachers, all of whom have since passed away.
When I went to church, one of the services was in the German language. the language of my family. Both of my parents spoke German fluently. Whenever they wanted a private conversation, it was always in German.The school did not teach the German language when I atteded there. I had to learn it in high school and college.
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