The First Bauer Generation
The beginning of this tradition dates back to 1880 when Michael Bauer came to Indiana from Darmstadt, Germany with his parents to settle the town of Darmstadt. Michael and his wife Barbara were members of both Darmstadt churches. The couple felt blessed with their family and friends, so they chose to share their joy by creating a picnic park. On Sundays, the townspeople would travel in their horse drawn buggies or wagons carrying picnic baskets and blankets to gather on the ten acres of land Michael owned. After their picnic lunches, the children would play in the grassy fields and among the grove of trees. The adults would assemble on an open-air platform to enjoy some square dancing under the direction of Michael, a square dance prompter.
The Second Generation
Michael Bauer, son of Michael and Barbara, continued the picnic and square dancing tradition along with his wife Louise. Michael and Louise became the first generation of Bauer square dance callers. Years passed and the popularity of Bauer’s Grove grew. Michael decided to enclose the open-air platform and the first building was created.
The Third Generation
Raymond and Genevieve Bauer expanded the business to thirty-two acres and enlarged the grove by planting many poplar and oak trees. They also worked hard to keep the family business in operation during the depression years. In the 1940’s they expanded the original building and added great charm to the new building with wagon wheel lanterns, a rustic wood interior, and two big potbelly stoves. During the summer months, large open windows and the shade from many trees allowed the cool breezes to refresh the guests. They also created another aspect of the business, Bauer’s Christmas tree Farm, which remained as a part of the business until 2003.
The Fourth Generation
Jim and Peggy Bauer took over the operation of the family business in 1970. They began broadening the company’s divisions and created a rental company called Bauer’s Tents.
Jim is a third generation square dance caller. From 1963 – 1986, square dancing remained ever so popular. Jim called dances at Bauer’s Grove or at other locations in the tri-state four to five nights a week.
The Bauer family was privileged to travel to Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in 1982. They had the opportunity to visit their ancestral home of Darmstadt, Germany. It was there that they all fell in love with the unique Bavarian architecture and themes. While on this trip, Jim found himself enchanted by a dinner and entertainment facility in Lucerne, Switzerland. Later that evening, Jim’s dreams were flooded with visions of a Bavarian-style building at Bauer’s Grove. Jim believes that the Lord filled his dreams with these visions so he shared them with Peggy. They both had a “Let’s do it” feeling.
When the family returned home, they began to make plans for the new building based on the visions from their vacation. In 1983, nearly 100 fifty-year old trees did not survive a drought that impacted the tri-state. God had a plan for these trees and so construction began in 1985 on the elegant facility surrounding the 45 year-old hard-rock maple dance floor. The Bauerhaus was completed in 1986.
The Bauer family put a lot of love into the creation of The Bauerhaus. They felt the theme of the building should reflect this love to their customers. Edelweiss and hearts became the perfect symbol to convey this message. These symbols are found throughout the facility in the building trim, mantelpieces, ornate stained glass, lighting, window treatments and flowerbeds.
Along with the new building, Bauer’s Grove continued to grow. The ten-acre grove of trees has been expanded to seventy acres of meadow and forest and Bauer’s Tents has expanded their business from only seven rental tents to over 400. Growth continues into family as well as two generations now guide the direction of the company.
The Fifth Generation
Jim Bauer, Jr. is now president of Bauer’s Grove Bauerhaus, Inc. and is leading the company to a new world of expansion. The mobile catering division boasts the slogan “We bring our services to you!” and “Any Theme, Anywhere…We Can Do It!” The award winning event staff provides the customer with an informal to a black-tie atmosphere. “Simple Elegance! Simple for You!” has also become synonymous with services from Bauer’s Grove Bauerhaus with the personal event coordinators and full service staff. Evansville Living Magazine has recognized the Bauerhaus as the “#1 Banquet & Reception Facility” in the Tri-State. For the past 6 consecutive years, the readers of The Evansville Courier & Press have awarded The Bauerhaus as “Best Wedding Planner”.
Diane Bauer Shaw and her husband Mark are president and vice-president of Bauer’s Tents, Inc. They have expanded their rental business with tables, chairs, tent heating and air conditioning, lighting and other specialty items. Bauer’s Tents serves clients planning business events, wedding receptions, and church functions. The company also provides tents and rental items to many county and state fairs throughout the mid-western and southern states. Tri-State Decorating, Inc. is the newest division of Bauer’s Tents. This division services the tri-state with pipe and drape for conventions as well as staging productions.
The Sixth Generation
The sixth generation includes Amber and Stephanie, the daughters of Mark and Diane and Hadley and Addison, the daughters of Jim Jr. and wife Christy.
Amber works full time with Bauer's Tents and Stephanie, working toward a teaching degree, helps part time. Amber's husband Brent works in his family landscape business and Stephanie's husband Kyle has worked with both businesses in the past.
Hadley and Addison are both still in school but do help with The Bauerhaus when needed as does their mother Christy.
The four girls provide a future for both businesses as certainly this generation will be a part of either Bauer’s Grove Bauerhaus or Bauer’s Tents and will continue the legacy that has been laid out before them.
The Seventh Generation
The family continues to grow as now there are two great grandsons, Lane, the son of Stephanie and Kyle, and Carter, the son of Amber and Brent, both who the family hopes will want to continue the family heritage with either or both businesses. Both boys are very young but they certainly help make the future look bright for this family's longevity in the Lord's business of serving others.
The Bauer family believes that family values are the foundation of America and should be maintained. The fast pace of today’s world causes many to forget what those who came before us created for us to enjoy. The Bauer family takes this belief and applies it in their business every day.
You are welcomed to visit Bauer’s Grove Bauerhaus which has the great care for family traditions. The Bauerhaus promises you a “Simply Elegant” experience that will last in your memory for a lifetime.