This weekend, the German Village Society's 50th anniversary committee is hosting a pub-crawl that promises to produce stories, make memories and highlight some of our neighborhood's favorite establishments. Just remember: What happens during the pub-crawl stays at the pub-crawl.

This weekend, the German Village Society's 50th anniversary committee is hosting a pub-crawl that promises to produce stories, make memories and highlight some of our neighborhood's favorite establishments. Just remember: What happens during the pub-crawl stays at the pub-crawl.

The pubs on the crawl have lots of history too, so if you're feeling guilty about signing up for an evening of revelry, camaraderie and a few cocktails, read on and you can learn a history lesson, too.

I took a quick look through the society's Sanborn fire insurance maps and old deeds of sale, and I learned a few things about some of our favorite local watering holes.

The crawl begins Friday, Oct. 1, at 6 p.m. at the Beck Tavern, which has not been there that long in relation to other buildings in the neighborhood. The structure at 284 E. Beck St. was built until sometime between 1922 and 1951. Before that, the site was rear-yard space for 596 S. Sixth St. The first reported owner of that property was noted in 1930, and because most of the auditor's records start at 1920, I'll go out on a limb and assume the structure was built around 1929 or 1930.

The Lilly Building and Loan Co. owned the Beck Tavern building for several years before the building was transferred to the Union Building and Savings. The address was not identified as a restaurant until 1951, so we are free to speculate. Perhaps banks conducted business in the obvious commercial structure or perhaps it was a "spec" building that was simply owned by the bank. Either way, I'm glad a restaurant moved in and paved the way for the current owners to run the Beck Tavern.

The building that now houses Katzinger's Delicatessen at 475 S. Third St. was not built until sometime between 1891 and 1901. Before then, the corner of Third and Livingston was vacant. The first owner noted is the Hoster Company, and because Hoster was a popular brewery just a few blocks away, I'm thinking the store at this address may have been a tied house, or drinking establishment tied to one specific brewery. By 1923, the Chakerer family purchased the building and owned it for nearly 60 years, always maintaining it as a business. Because this year marks the 25th anniversary of Katzinger's, I'm thinking the owners know they are doing something right. After all, it takes a unique deli to attract presidents, downtown employees and finicky villagers.

High Beck at 562 S. High St. has had an interesting history, especially for its neighbors. As early as 1891, there was a saloon at the corner of Beck and High, and for many years a hardware store and tin shop were adjacent tenants in the large, three-story structure. This building was next door to the city's street car stables, and I'm guessing the hardware store got a lot of business given that neighbor.

By 1901, a covered fire escape was added to the Beck Street elevation of the building, so perhaps this was when tenants moved into upstairs apartments, or perhaps the fire escape merely followed safety codes written at that time. Apartment dwellers could have been there from day one, but maybe they needed a means of egress. Particularly noteworthy may be the "ash bins" noted on the Sanborn map in the rear of the property.

By 1922, the building did not appear any different, but its neighbors were pretty interesting. Directly across the street was the Von Gerichten Art Glass Co., famous across the country for its stained glass. If you haven't seen it, take a walk through Trinity Lutheran Church or a walk by 117 E. Deshler Ave. and check out the amazing front door. Next door to the Von Gerichten brothers' business was Reeb Motor Sales and an auto repair shop. Another sign of the times was a filling station just one block north of what is now the High Beck. It was still early for car-driving standards, but apparently there were more than a few automobiles in the South End of Columbus since there was at least one repair shop and a gas station in this block alone.

As for Plank's at 888 S. High St., there was a saloon at the corner of Whittier and High as early as 1891. What made this one particularly unique was that it had a large bowling alley behind it. In 1920, the August Wagner Co. owned the building, possibly making it a tied house like Katzinger's may have been. In 1969, the Plank Family purchased the building and hasn't looked back since.

But this address also has had interesting neighbors. I'm totally puzzled by a notation on the 1901 Sanborn map that shows scales in the middle of what was then Schiller Street (Whittier in modern times). Without knowing a single thing about it, thereby making this a very uneducated guess, I'm wondering if the scales were related to the streetcar system. In 1922, the Druid's Hall was next door, and by 1951, the American Legion took over for the Druid's. There is no doubt the saloon at 888 S. High St. was never short of customers.

Finally, there is Gresso's at 961 S. High St., the only pub-crawl stop in a truly residential structure. The two-and-a-half story high-style Italianate home that today houses Gresso's was standing as early as 1891. It had a large two-story stable behind it and was considered a part of the Michael's Subdivision. The Swingle family owned the property for many years, and in 1971, the International Food Corporation purchased the building. So even though the building is historically residential, perhaps it has more of a commercial past than it reveals. Either way, it is a great local spot today.

So, if you have signed up for the pub-crawl, enjoy yourself. If you didn't make your reservation in time, be sure to hit these spots on your own schedule. Consider it a history lesson.