Memories of bread from the oven

To the editor:

The Oktoberfest is coming to Brooke Hills Park on Sept. 30, and those who can claim German heritage cannot help but be pleased.

My great-grandfather, Wendel Traubert, came to the United States, first to Pittsburgh to learn English, and then to Wheeling, on the island, where he worked at Schafer’s Bakery. He met his future wife, Agatha Beiter from Wellsburg, Va., before the Civil War.

In 1880, they married, opening Traubert’s Bread in 1881 and expanding to a full bakery. Wooden paddles removed the bread from a brick oven that was built by Mr. Nichols at 333 Charles St. It is the oven, first fired by wood, that gave the bread its amazing taste, based on extensive research.

My grandfather, William Adolf, was born in June 1882. He was the second oldest, who was later asked to step up as a leader after his older brother, Henry Edward, died at a young age. William, “Will,” as he was called, seemed to be in the ice cream end of the business. A Weirton Daily Times Feb. 18, 1969, reprint of an 1884 story tells of the plans to expand by adding ice cream to the 19th century bake shop. My cousin, Betty Diane Traubert Lane, shared stories with me about going to Uncle Will’s for his homemade ice cream while growing up in the 1930s and 1940s.

Traubert’s Bread Wagon made an appearance in the July 4, 1841, parade. I spent last New Year’s Eve celebrating by baking homemade bread, hoping to pass the skills down to younger members of the family. Baking, in an old brick oven on the coldest days in the 19th century.

Michael Traubert

Wellsburg

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