In the early 1920′s, a group of German immigrants formed the first German-American Soccer Club. After a short while of existence, a disagreement arose within the organization and some of the officers and members severed their ties with the organization to start a club of their own. A meeting was held in early 1926 at Carl Locher’s home and a decision was made to form a new club and adopted its colors as red and white.
On April 9, 1926 at a foundation meeting that was held at the West Philadelphia Maennerchorhalle, The First German Sport Club Phoenix was officially formed. The ten original founders of The Phoenix Club were: Carl Locher, Paul Neumann, Adolf Locher, Erich Maier, William Roehl, Joseph Bauer, Kurt Klauss, August Seyter, Eugen Arnold, and Max Klauss. The club’s first Board of Directors was elected at this meeting and consisted of the following members: President – Paul Neumann, Vice President – Kurt Klauss, Secretary – Erich Maier, Treasurer – Adolf Locher, Sports Director – Carl Locher
In the early thirties, three members Otto Fauser, Robert Boyan, and Albert Ebert were attempting to find a new clubhouse to serve as a home for our members. On April 6, 1933, Phoenix moved from their old location, The Liedertafel Saengerbundhalie on 6th Street and Erie Avenue, to a new home on 3808 N. Broad Street in Philadelphia.
In the 1930′s, Phoenix had some of the best soccer teams in Pennsylvania.The most successful seasons were 1931, 1933 and 1934 when we won the Championship of the German-Pennsylvania Cup League. Handball and gymnastics were added during this time and many members participated in these ports and brought more trophies to Phoenix.
Due to expansion and related housing problems in Philadelphia, we lost our soccer field and the teams had to continually move from one field to another. In 1938, the problem was solved when Phoenix purchased 38 acres of land in Feasterville, PA. It was a bold move at the time but it paid off for all our membes and started a new era of friendship, happiness and comeraderie.
In 1939, Phoenix joined the new Philadelphia Soccer League and in 1940-41 won the championship. During WWII, it was difficult to field good teams due to increasing costs and the fact that many young Phoenix men were serving in the war. The years after the war continued to present a bleak picture until German immigration was again allowed. The young immigrants brought new life to the club and especially the sports programs. One of the oldest sports in the club is “Faustball.” This game has been played at Phoenix for over 60 years. Since the founding of the Eastern Fistball League, three tournaments are held annually and Phoenix continues to win trophies in the men’s, women’s and youth divisions.
During the 1950′s, the club continued to grow and prosper under very strong leadership from our president’s and their boards. Many good times were spent in the old clubhouse and in the summertime at the original swimming pool. It was also in the 60′s that all the trees that make up the woods behind the swim club were planted and as a result, we still enjoy the fruits of their labor today.
It was during the “Soaring Sixties” that Phoenix came of age. This was the decade that our club underwent the greatest growth and change. Al Playford was President from 1960-1965 and during his tenure the Phoenix Swim Club became a reality and opened in 1964. Today, the Swim Club is thriving and an important benefit to our club and provides tremendous enjoyment to our members.