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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/440

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�A German Village on American Soil

��How the homesick sailors of the interned ships built a real little town with all German conveniences


��An interned German and his flock of neutral ducks

��^HE German village at the Nor- folk, Virginia, navy yard is no more, and the whole South is the sufferer thereby.

��Ever since the converted German cruisers, Kron- prinz Wilhelm and Prinz Eitel Friedrich, were in- terned at Norfolk the German village flourished within the confines of the navy yard. But several weeks ago the order . came from Washington to remove the big ships to the Philadelphia navy yard. It was sad news for the one thou- sand members of the crew who had built with painstaking labor the many houses which con- stituted perhaps the oddest village ever seen in this country. They took their transfer bravely, however. They tore down their houses, packed the lumber and fittings aboard ship and transported the lot, including themselves, to Philadelphia. Now they are busy erecting a newer and bigger German village in the Philadelphia navy yard.

Built in front of their ships on a little strip of land set apart for them by the United States Government, the village was amazingly complete. The houses were painted red, green, or blue, and some all three colors. The roofs were of straw, except some of the more elaborate, which were shingled. At each window of the houses hung freshly-starched curtains, and over the doorways appeared picturesque names and sayings, either suggestive of the war or of German folklore. The gar- dens in front of the houses were surround- ed by fences, some of which were original

��P.illllk?r IHI

��A Dutch windmill and flower gar- den was one of the sightliest places

��enough in design to set a future style in such enclosures.

But the German seamen were not content with merely raising flowers. In their spare time they planted oats, barley, radishes, cu- cumbers, tomatoes and many other vegeta- bles, each gardener trying to surpass his neighbor in the variety of products. Thousands of sun flowers reared their yellow heads above the garden vegetables and gave the village a truly rural complexion.

Plans for the German village were worked out long before the sailors knew where they would be located. During a long winter's session they perfected plans for their village. They made tools out of such materials as happened to be at hand.

The animal mascots aboard the ships — ani- mals rescued from ships that were sunk — were taken ashore and given real homes in the vil- lage. There were goats, black pigs from the tropics, rabbits, birds, dogs and cats innumer- able. In the officers' garden a fish pond was built and trout _«^. and carp, their

����A picture of domesticity itself — the telegraph station minus the telegraph

�� �