Jacob Gaukel Stroh
Jacob Gaukel Stroh was born to Henry Stroh and Susannah Gaukel, early inhabitants of Berlin, Ontario. On May 7, 1870 Stroh married Elisabeth Seiler, with whom he had eight children: Ida, Ella, Edward, Edgar, Edna, Olivia, Albertha and Nathaniel.
Stroh grew up close to Gaukel's Hotel (later named The Walper Hotel) an establishment owned by his grandfather, Frederick Gaukel. As a boy, Stroh would watch ceremonial dances performed by Mohawk patrons at the hotel, which subsequently spurred a lifelong interest in indigenous culture and local history.
In 1880, Stroh discovered a ruined fort north of the city of Waterloo, used by the local aboriginals. Stroh described it as containing 50 to 100 separate campsites each surrounded by a ditch. The fort, covering several acres, held hundreds of relics which were given to the Doon Pioneer Village.
In 1890, Stroh donated a grindstone used by natives to sharpen stone tools. Found at Gelennie's Springs, north of Conestogo, it weighed between 1000 and 1500 pounds. It was placed near an old log building in the park, which was the first schoolhouse in the town of Waterloo.
A tanner by trade, Stroh worked for the Breithaupt tannery in Guelph and the Lang tannery in Waterloo. Ultimately, he established his own tannery in Waterloo in 1911. During that time, Stroh would trade goods and services to local farmers who brought him artifacts found their fields.
Later in 1923 he donated another grindestone used by the natives to grind food. Found at Suraras Springs, south of Mannheim, it weighed approximately 2000 pounds. This stone was placed near the first donated stone, by the old schoolhouse.
Stroh also served as a member of the Waterloo Library Board for forty years and wrote articles for the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth annuals of the Waterloo Historical Society, both concerning the early history of Berlin, now Kitchener. Stroh also served as a member of a board that managed the financial affairs of the Carmel Church School.
- Jacob G. Stroh Waterloo Region Generations. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- Moyer, Bill (1971). This Unique Heritage: The Story of Waterloo County. Kitchener, ON, Canada: CHYM Radio. p. 69.
- Moyer, Bill (1971). This Unique Heritage: The Story of Waterloo County. Kitchener, ON, Canada: CHYM Radio. p. 5.
- Waterloo Regional Museum Regional Hall of Fame Inductees
- Eighteenth Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society Amazon listing.
- Nineteenth and Twentieth Annual Reports of the Waterloo Historical Society Amazon listing.
- First Annual Report of the Waterloo Historical Society