Bob Bernhardt Bob Bernhardt

E-mail me:

Related Websites

Family History

This is not the place to record a detailed family history. I simply want to note and celebrate a bit of what I do know about my roots. Thanks to the work of others I have information on the Bernhardts going back to the arrival of my great great grandfather, Philip Jacob Bernhardt, and his wife Barbara Rupp, in North America from Alsace on July 4, 1831. They settled near Hamburg, N.Y., until they moved on to Canada to take up land near Waterloo, Ontario, about 1841. When farming became too strenuous for Philip Jacob Bernhardt he and his wife moved into Preston in 1855 and purchased property at the corner of King and Preston Street where he opened the "Bernhardt Tavern." Ironically, several of his family members and their spouses and their children and grandchildren as well became involved in brewing and tavern keeping. Three generations of Bernhardts living in the area around Preston continued the tradition - so I come by my predilection for beer very honestly.

Two of Philip Jacob Bernhardt's sons, George and Henry, established the Rock Springs Brewery which operated from 1846 to 1916. The Preston Lager Beer Brewery (1844-1880) was established by Michael Roos, also from Alsace, who was married to Catherine Bernhardt (a daughter of Philip Jacob Bernhardt and his wife Barbara). And so it continued for the next two generations until Prohibition brought it all to a halt.

And so it continues ...  I look forward to sorting out more of the details and recording a few of the stories - and not just ones that involve beer. Incidentally, the photo on the right hand side of the banner at the top of this page is of my Grandfather and Grandmother, Emile "Curly" Bernhardt and Sarah Jane (Frood) Bernhardt, with my father (William Edward) as a young child. Judging from my father's age at the time of the photo I would think that it was taken in late 1898 or early 1899.