Honoring Dotterweich

Marker pays tribute to famous city family

OBSERVER Photo From left, Andrew Dotterweich, Bernie Dotterweich, John Fitzgerald, Mayor Wilfred Rosas, Skeeter Tower and James Hurtgen of the Historical Society pose with the historic marker now located at Sixth and Dove streets.

In recent days, the Dotterweich family has been the toast of the town.

On Thursday, an exhibit opened at the Fredonia Technology Incubator highlighting the history of the brewery that began shortly after the family moved to the city in 1851. On Friday, a sign dedication at Sixth and Dove streets paid tribute to their legacy.

“We hope to inspire youth … with the sign to say, ‘Look what happened here. A strong and unified talented philanthropic family made an impact on our city,’ “ said Skeeter Tower of the Academy Heights Neighborhood Association who helped spearhead the exhibit and dedication. “We admire the contributions of the Dotterweich family and celebrate them today.”

City officials, Dunkirk Historical Society and community members were in attendance for the ceremony, which began on time at 10 a.m. despite the delayed arrival of the historical marker. That came before the end of the event.

Experienced brew masters from Germany in the 19th century, George and Andrew Dotterweich built the first brewery by Crooked Brook at Dove and Sixth streets, a business that not only thrived until prohibition, but led the way for future food and beverage industries which have employed hundreds over the years and been a cornerstone of the economy in the city.

Besides running a business, the family also was quite giving and community minded. According to Diane Andrasik, city historian, they were founding members of Hose Co. 1 and contributed a great sum of money to building Sacred Heart Church and St. George’s Catholic School.

After a proclamation by Mayor Wilfred Rosas, Andrew Dotterweich noted his appreciation to all the organizers for the effort. “On behalf of the family, thank you for the recognition,” he said. “It’s quite an honor.”