The Germania Club as it was first called, was organized on October 25, 1903 with 35 charter
members. The location of the first clubhouse was on Riverside Ave. - which became the
Professional Insurance Corporation and is currently the Haskell Company. By 1906 the
membership was 215 and by 1913 had grown to the astounding total of 1000 members.
The primary activities in those days were occasional dances, sing fests and Sunday afternoon
band concerts on a large porch overlooking the St. Johns River the club prospered and in 1916
property on lakeside drive, the location of the present clubhouse was purchased. However,
during world war one, the club membership fell drastically to a total of only 65 and it became
impossible to maintain the large clubhouse on Riverside Ave.
The certificate of Incorporation was amended on June 18, 1918, changing the club's name to
For the next few years club members met in a rented hall on Bay street. In 1926 it was voted to
build a clubhouse here on Lakeside Dr. The new clubhouse was completed and dedicated in
June, 1928. In 1930 the club was officially named The German American Club for the first time.
In the early 1930s a determined membership drive was held and increased the membership to
125. During the 1930s dancing became the primary social enjoyment for the first time. The
club's fortunes fell again during world war two, but not as drastically as before. During the war
the club changed it's name to The Metropolitan Club. After the war ended the club again became
The German American Club.
The next 40 years of the club's history was largely uneventful with the total membership
fluctuating around the 200 mark. The club tended to maintain a low profile and concentrated on
providing a good wholesome atmosphere for dancing, socializing, good fellowship.
The club again amended the club's name to The German American Club on December 9, 1961.
In 2011, the club had dwindling membership and the club house had fallen into disrepair.
Membership voted to change the name to (doing business as) The Ortega River Club and to
mortgaged the building for $260,000 in-order to renovate the club house. Andy Baker was the
last President of the German American Club. The next President Karl Moerings guided the club
into the future by overseeing the renovation which redesigned the interior and rear exterior of
4165 Lakeside Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32210
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