Male speaker interviewed by Steven R. Geiger, 1999, Sheboygan Co

Most German-speakers in Wisconsin whose ancestors migrated in the nineteenth century were speakers of Low German dialects, especially Pomeranian. This is an unusual example of a Central German dialect, derived from the area around Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt, spoken in Sheboygan County. The speaker here tells of working in a cheese factory as a young man.

Dialect: Darmstädterisch, Wisconsin German Dialects

Location: Sheboygan, Wisconsin

[Tell us about the cheese factory where you used to work.]

My father had one brother, and his parents, my grandparents, one of the boys took over the farm, was a farmer, and the other had the factory, cheese factory. And that was right across the road, and when we didn’t have anything to do, we would go to the factory. That was actually more fun than being at home on the farm and I wanted to make cheese. And before I went to war, I worked up in Marshfield and made butter. And then when I came back after the war, it was hard to find something, because so many came home from the war and it was hard to find something to make a living off of. And the fellow here who had the factory was 70 years old and it was a larger factory then the one here, it was actually several factories. He owned it and had to find someone to work there, so then he called me up and I started.