MS. DIANNA GRAVEMAN: Well, we originally thought that we would be kind of chained to a podium from some of the Archive presentations that we’ve watched. And so, generally, we kind of banter back and forth more when we talk. But tonight, we structured it more so that we would each talk for a block of time because of the way we thought this would be structured. So I’m going to start off and then I’m going to pass it over to Don here in a few minutes. And I need to move this so I can see my notes.
We’re really happy to be here. Thank you so much for having us. I won’t say this isn’t just a little bit intimidating to be at the Secretary of State’s Office and to see such a nice crowd here. We really are honored that we were asked to come and do this.
I’ll start off by talking a little bit about the fact that Missouri Wine Country St. Charles to Hermann is the cover of one of our books. We’ve actually done four in the last 18 months and I’ll talk a little bit about that. But this cover kind of a funnier, kind of an interesting little anecdote behind it because when we first chose that picture from the Historic Hermann’s Museum and the German School we had no idea who those people were. We just thought it was a real common picture.
MS. DIANNA GRAVEMAN: So you-all know who they are.
Well, it just so happens, the staff members that day they didn’t know who they were either and it wasn’t written on the back of the picture and we just thought it was cute. So, we sent it off with a bunch of other options or cover possibilities to our publisher and they chose that one, Arcadia chose that one.
So the cover was already in mockup. It had already gone to print. We’re still working on the book and one day Don goes into Stone Hill Winery to talk with Lucinda Huskey who is the public relations manager there. And he sees this picture along with several other similar images in the room. And he says, that’s the cover of our book. And Lucinda says, that’s Jim and Betty Held that own Stone Hill Winery and they are sitting right over there in the room.
MS. DIANNA GRAVEMAN: So, of course, Don went over and said, wow, you guys are on the cover of our book. We hope that’s okay.
MS. DIANNA GRAVEMAN: And, luckily, they were real happy about it. So, anyway, that’s kind of how we ended up with that cover. This was taken about 1965. It’s a promotional photo. And in the background; I’m going to find out if this clicker works. In the background is the Hungry Five Band, which some of you might know if you’re familiar with Hermann.
Am I -- am I coming across okay over this mic ‘cause I’m hearing kind of an echo.
And we’ve been told that they’ve been around for generations, but a lot of the members changed -- have changed over the years. And there are almost always more than five of them when they appear. And we, also, found out that Washington has kind of a counterpart to the Hungry Five. And their group is called the Thirsty Five.
MS. DIANNA GRAVEMAN: And this one was taken in 1950, so we thought that was kind of cute.
Oh, a side note here. We were thinking about this as we were putting some of these pictures together for the presentation. And some of the pictures that we found were in color, some of the later ones. And then, of course, the ones that Don took for the book we took in color. But we had to scan all of them in black to meet the style guide or the style expectations of the publisher. Of course, as a lot of you know colored photography was developed in the early 1900s and then was improved upon in the 30s and 40s and became more widespread in the mid 50s, but you’ll see all of our photos are in grayscale as the publisher requested.
So then it began with Jim and Betty Held at Stone Hill’s Annual Grape Stomp in August. And we took this photo of them on the right that day. And on the left you’ll see was another one of the publicity photos taken in 1965. Really like those lederhosen.
So this is the first time I had met Jim. And so I went up to him and I said, so, you’re on the cover -- that’s you on the cover of our book. And he said, yeah, as you can see I look a lot different now. He said, I’m wearing a different hat.
MS. DIANNA GRAVEMAN: So here come the fact parts. Missouri wine country owes its beginnings to Gottfried Duden as I know a lot of you here are historians and know a lot of this information. But, you know, touching back on the history of the Missouri wine country; Gottfried Duden, was a German researcher and explorer who settled along the Missouri River in 1824 near what is now Dutzow. And he wrote a book; this book that became very popular in Germany, of course, the title was in German in which he compared the Missouri River to the Rhine in Germany and spoke in glowing terms about the Missouri River Valley and influenced a lot of his countrymen to immigrate here, to Missouri in the 1930s.
And about the same time in 1837, the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia founded Hermann and its members were hoping to establish a colony that would help maintain the German culture and climate and traditions over the years, keep the German language and customs in place and preserved. And so they ended up settling in 1837. The first grape crop succeeded in Hermann in 1846 -- I’m sorry -- in 1845. In 1846, the first wine was made and then, of course, Stone Hill Winery became -- came into existence in 1847 and still operates today.
We chose these pictures mainly -- the top two pictures we really liked because they were just fun. They showed some of the revelers during the earlier days of -- actually, both of those pictures were taken in Hermann. And interestingly, we found out from some of our reading that Missouri began producing award-winning wines in the 1850s. Particularly, with the Norton-Cynthiana. And then in 1851, Missouri won more medals at the Vienna World’s Fair than France did. And evidently some of the French winegrowers weren’t real happy about that. So they ordered a bunch of Missouri vines -- much of Missouri rootstock and tried to plant those -- or did plant those among their own vines. And, unfortunately, along with these vines came these aphid-like pests that most of the native -- the wine plants here in -- that were native to North America they were resistant to it, but the European vines were not. And it ended up really destroying a lot of the vineyards or all of the vineyards France and then spreading to Greece and Portugal and Spain and Italy and about wiped out the French winemaking industry.
So later -- eventually, a couple of Missouri grape growers George Husmann and Human -- Herman Jaeger developed a root that was resistant to the pests by grafting a European vine onto a North American vine or an American rootstock and millions of those were sent to France. And a lot of French winegrowers then planted those and were able to get their vineyards up and running, again, by about 1900.
In gratitude, we learned France commissioned a statue to be made in honor of Missouri -- or Missouri winemakers and George Husmann, in particular, and Jaeger. And this statue we tried really, really hard to find and image of it because we wanted to see what it looked liked and we couldn’t. But from what we’ve been told, it is a younger woman representing Missouri supporting or holding, cradling an older woman who is supposed to represent the struggling French wine industry at that time. So that was kind of interesting.
Prohibition, of course, halted Missouri’s winemaking for a time and threatened to destroy it. However, an Illinois man named Lucian Dressel eventually bought the Mount Pleasant Winery property in the 1960s. And together with Clay Byers, who owned Montelle Vineyards; they were instrumental in getting Augusta named America’s first wine district in 1980.
Restoration had also begun on the old winery properties in Hermann during the 1960s when the Helds bought it. And the Hermann American Viticultural Area was officially designated in 1983.
Incidentally, in July of 2003, Missouri adopted the Norton-Cynthiana grape as the Missouri State Grape, which was one of the grapes that I talked about in the 1950s that was winning -- or was making wine that was winning so many awards in Missouri. And that grape is actually believed to be the oldest grape native to North America that is still commercially grown.
So this rather crude drawn map is something that we did for the book because we wanted to illustrate the geographic relationship between the towns along the Missouri River. And when we first went into this we knew that we could only cover part of the Missouri wine country. So we decided to start with our own hometown in St. Charles and follow the river along to Hermann. The Missouri Weinstrasse, of course, is on the north side of the river from Defiance to Dutzow although some say Marthasville. And the Hermann Wine Trail is a trail of wineries south of the river from New Haven to Hermann.
So we thought this way we would be able to kind of touch both of those -- those areas. However, it was really never our intention to make the book all about the history of winemaking and winegrowing, but rather to illustrate the settlement development of the towns along the river that today comprise this part of the Missouri wine country.
This is where our story takes kind of a funny turn. We started out in 2008, I guess, doing a book about St. Charles. The first book here on the left. Which is where we lived. And that book was released in March 2009. Shortly before that book was released Don got the idea to do this book on this part of the Missouri wine country. And so we began approaching historical societies between here and Hermann and asking for support and generated a little bit of interest in Hermann and Washington for a book focused solely on their town. To make a long story short, before we knew it we ended up with the support of those historical societies and contracts from our publisher to develop three books simultaneously for a total of four books within an 18 month period.
So it was -- it was kind of a journey. It’s been a real learning experience. And this is where I give the disclaimer, which despite our introduction which we tried to adjust and didn’t quite get it in early enough. We’re not historians by trade or by training. Don is a sales exec, sales manager for a wholesale distributor of telecommunications equipment. He does some freelance photography. I teach at Lindenwood University. I do not teach history. I teach writing and I also design corporate training and write education columns. So we’re learning right along with everybody else who is looking at our books and reading our books. And really it -- the historians who were so willing to help us along the way deserve all of the credit.
We especially need to thank all of these organizations who were so willing to work with us. Everybody here spent Saturdays and Sundays with us, came in on their days off. Marc Houseman in Washington spent a whole lot of time with us. Lois Puchta and Horace Hesse; I don’t know if anybody -- I know Doris does. In Hermann many Saturdays, sat with us, told us stories from when they were young in Hermann, helped us decide which pictures they thought would look best in the book. Lois along with Carol Kallmeyer at the German School Museum wrote our forewords. There was -- it was a lot of fun. There was a lot of help, but it was just also a lot of fun. So really they should have their names on the front of the book if they would have all fit.
So with that, I’m going to turn it over to Don. Don is a fifth generation St. Charlesian (sic), believe it or not. So it’s fitting that he should begin the parade of pictures through St. Charles County.
MR. DON GRAVEMAN: If I can operate this thing. Great.
This photograph shows how fast things can change when you’re trying to do a book like this. The first picture on top is of Wepperich’s Wine Garden on South Main Street in St. Charles when it was owned by Michael Wepperich and called Mike’s Summer Garden. The photo was taken in 1908. If you look closely you can see Michael holding his young son Albert in this photo. The second picture, here in the bottom, we took last fall when it was known as the St. Charles Vintage House Restaurant and Wine Garden. When we attempted to revisit the Vintage House Restaurant and Wine Garden after the wine country book was released, we found the restaurant had closed and the building is now for sale. Of course, at the time the book went to print that wasn’t the case.
This is the Little Hills Winery. This is as it looks now on Main Street in St. Charles. We were interested to read that this building was purchased in 1805 for $1,500, in consideration of $500 in animal skins. The building once housed a pharmacy and later a meat locker and processing plant. It is said that bootleg whiskey was sold out of a back door during Prohibition. Of course, today it’s a very popular restaurant and wine garden.
We included this picture because it’s an interesting contrast to the way this area looks today. This is of the T.R. Sand Works in Klondike, Missouri, which was a sand silica quarry during the early 1900s. Today, it’s Klondike Park and it is a 250-acre park with nature trails, picnic areas, a boat ramp and camping sites.
Main Street in Hamburg is pictured here around 1910. The town of Hamburg was evacuated in 1940 and 1941 along with the towns of Toonerville and Howell. The area was taken over by the government for the U.S. Army Weldon Spring Ordnance Works. Some of the residents were literally given ten days notice to get out of their houses. And they left a lot of personal possessions behind in the process. The plant manufactured DNT and TNT for the war and later in the ‘50s and ‘60s processed uranium. Today, the site has been decontaminated. One-and-a-half million cubic yards of hazardous waste is now contained in the disposal cell, and you can literally climb to the top of this 75-foot-tall mound. Like here.
This is a photo of the disposal cell, today. Interestingly, this is the highest point in St. Charles County.
MR. DON GRAVEMAN: In talking with volunteers at the Interpretive Center we learned a couple of really interesting facts about the cleanup. First they told us when they came in to do the cleanup in the 1990s the workers were surprised to discover rows of irises in perfect rows that they figured must have outlined old fence lines, foundations. Fifty years later these irises were still blooming. Of course, the soil they were in was radioactive so they had to literally scrape all the soil off and decontaminate the entire area. But these flowers were still blooming 50 years later.
The other story we were told by the people at the Interpretive Center was a little frightening, but they said, if you know the area Francis Howell High School is right down the road. They said during the 1970s evidently a lot of the boys at Francis Howell High School during the warm months would sneak out of school, skinny underneath one of the fences and go for a swim in the lagoon. Not realizing, of course, that it was -- contained waste palings from the old uranium plant.
Well, they would come in and they’d start telling the people at the Interpretive Center that they were -- spent a lot of days swimming in this lagoon. And, of course, the people working there were wondering how their health was. But, obviously, they didn’t say anything about it.
I actually had a customer of mine years ago, who -- when he found out where I lived told me he worked at the old -- he was attached to Mallinckrodt with the Department of Energy. And during the ‘50s and early ‘60s in St. Charles and he actually wound up quitting the job when he came home one day and he found out he didn’t do a good enough job cleaning up afterwards because he had a little radioactive pellet in his hair. And he didn’t know it. And he picked up his daughter to give her a hug at the end of the day, and he walked in the door and she pulled it out of her -- out of his hair and tried to put it in her mouth. Well, he immediately put her down and got it out of her hand and then went in and quit the next day.
This is the Matson Railroad Station in this photograph. Matson is about three miles south of Defiance in St. Charles County. In a sense, Defiance kind of owes its name to Matson. Defiance was initially going to be called Parsons after a local landowner. But when the MKT, Katy Railroad came through they told them you have -- you can’t call it Parsons there’s another Parsons already on the line right across the border in Kansas. So they kicked around names like Missouriton and Bluff City. The town settlers eventually decided to call it Defiance because in Defiance of Matson because they got the station before Matson did.
Today, Defiance is home to the Chandler Hill Winery, Sugar Creek Winery and the Yellow Farmhouse Winery. The Yellow Farmhouse Winery is a site -- it is originally a blacksmith shop and an old general store after that. In the late 1800s, horsemen would use it as a stopping off point before heading into St. Louis. The foundation of the general store still exists under the front lawn.
In the 1870s, a freed slave named Joseph Chandler fled the South after the Civil War and settled near the present town of Defiance. He befriended a nearby family and worked on their farm for several years. They later deeded him 40-acres of ground. Chandler died in 1952 at the age of 103. The Chandler Hill Winery was built on the land he once owned and some of his possessions are still on display.
By the 1860s, grape vineyards were plentiful in Augusta. The Augusta Wine Company was founded in 1867. In the following year, the company built the Augusta Wine Hall right across the town’s public square. By 1876, the Augusta Wine Company shipped 20,000 gallons of wine out of the barrels in the two cellars beneath the hall. Political meetings, elections and some social gatherings were held on the first floor of the wine hall. This building is pictured here in about 1890.
Today, Augusta is home to the Augusta Winery, Montelle Winery, Balducci Winery and the Mount Pleasant Winery. Incidentally, Mount Pleasant was the town’s name before they changed it to Augusta. It was also a riverfront town before the river changed the direction. Mount Pleasant Winery was founded in 1859 by George Munch from Germany. And the original cellars were completed in 1881. The winery closed during Prohibition, and reopened for business in 1966.
Okay. We’re leaving St. Charles County, now, and we’re going to take a look at a few of the towns in Warren County, a little farther up the river. This is a photo of the Dutzow Cornet Band in the late 1800s. Dutzow is the oldest German settlement in the state. It was founded in 1832 by Johann Wilhelm Bock, who named the town for his estate in Mecklenburg, Germany. Bock’s Berlin Society were some of the first followers of Gottfried Duden.
Pictured here is the Marthasville Depot in 1900. One of the things we found interesting as we started to do these books is how some of these town’s names came about. We mentioned Defiance. Marthasville was named by the town’s founder John Young for his wife Martha.
The Daniel Boone monument in the Bryan’s Family Cemetery in Marthasville is believed by many to be the final resting place of the pioneer Daniel Boone. Boone came to the area in the 1790s and established Callaway Post near La Charrette Village. It is said that upon his wife’s death in 1813, Boone chose a tree-covered knoll by Tuque Creek on the Bryan Farm for her final resting place. His remains after he died in 1820; there’s a disagreement on exactly what happened. About 25 years after Daniel Boone died the state of Kentucky insisted his remains be moved back to the state.
Some remains were moved back, but they’ve never quite figured if it was actually Daniel Boone’s or one of his slaves at the time. Most people in this area, obviously, still think Daniel Boone is still buried in Marthasville.
The second picture here was dedicated -- it shows when the mine was dedicated in 1915. As you can see by the cars it attracted many visitors. The original plaque shown in the first picture was stolen from the monument in 2008 and sold for scrap by the thieves. It was later replaced. But what’s interesting is that while it’s a real shame a plaque of such historical significance was stolen this plaque also included some errors.
In this picture, I don’t know if you can see, but Daniel Boone is shown wearing a coonskin cap. Evidently, Daniel Boone never wore a coonskin cap. Also, on the old plaque his birth date was listed as February 11th, 1735, in Berks County, Pennsylvania. He was really born November 2nd, 1734, Reading, Pennsylvania, which is in Berks County. The date and place were corrected on the new plaque and Daniel Boone no longer wears a coonskin cap.
A few people have asked us why we included Washington in the book on wine country. We wanted to include it because as Washington’s promotional material it sits right in the heart of Missouri wine country. Augusta is right across the river. It’s, also, just minutes from the popular wineries of nearby Hermann, New Haven, Augusta and Dutzow. And as we found out, some of Gottfried Duden’s followers helped settle and found the city of Washington. Washington, also, holds the state record for the most buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
This picture of Washington’s old public grade school usually referred to as just, The Grammar School. This is one of our favorite photos. It was torn down in 1957. The new high school had just been finished. So after they tore down this building, they literally used the bricks and ground them up to make the high -- the track at the high school. The interesting thing about this, you can see it’s a multi-story building, the upper floors where the fire escape was a long tube-like slide. Evidently, the kids loved to have fire drills ‘cause they could slide all the way down to the ground. This photo was taken in the 1880s.
One of Washington’s most famous early residents Henry Tibbe is shown here. He left Holland with his family in November of 1865. They traveled from London by ship and arrived in New York in the winter of 1866. Henry Tibbe began making corncob pipes in 1869. According to legend, the local farmer had a corncob pipe and gave it to Henry Tibbe and asked him to make him a new one. He turned some on his lathe and the pipes came out so well that Tibbe made a few extra to put them in his woodworking store and furniture store. They actually sold better than the furniture did, so before long he closed his furniture store and went into the corncob pipe business full-time. His son Anton later joined him in the business.
In 1907, the H. Tibbe and Son Company became the Missouri Meerschaum Company, renamed by Tibbe for the Turkish clay used in high-grade pipes. The German word Meerschaum means “sea foam”. Tibbe felt that was a good expression of how smooth his pipes smoked. Other pipe companies developed and between 1900 and 1925 there were as many as 12 different corncob pipe companies in Franklin County. Most of which were located in Washington. The -- earning the town this designation as the “Corncob Pipe Capital of the World.”
General MacArthur’s famous pipe is said to have been made in Washington. Today, the Missouri Meerschaum Company is still in operation and it’s the largest corncob pipe factory in the world.
Tibbe’s son, Anton, shown here in the photo is famous in his own right in Washington. He’s credited with bringing electricity, telephone and lights to town. Henry and Johanna had another son who died as a result of an accident at the pipe factory when he was young.
Henry Tibbe’s first woodworking shop where he made the original corncob pipe was on Second Street. Fritz Tibbe, Henry’s brother, is pictured fourth from the left in this photo taken between 1869 and 1878. Tibbe and a chemist devised a system of applying plaster to the outside of the corncob and then sanding the bowl down after it dried. Tibbe patented the process in 1878.
This is the brewery engine room. John B. Busch, Henry Busch and Fred Gersie established the Washington Brewery in 1854. John Busch became the sole owner in 1874 and incorporated it as the John B. Busch Brewing Company in 1918 -- I’m sorry -- in 1894. The company continued to make beer until November 1918 and then stopped in the months leading up to Prohibition.
During Prohibition it sold soda pop, ice and potato chips. The brewery closed for good in 1953. John’s brother, you may have heard of, was Aldophus Busch, the founder of Anheuser-Busch Brewery in St. Louis. The engine room at Busch Brewery shown here is -- this photo was taken in the early 1900s. And around 1998 we heard this was a beauty shop, now. The Busch children said they played all around the brewery including in this engine room.
Another interesting Washington resident was Franz Schwarzer. Schwarzer came to the United States from Austria in 1864. He first tried farming in Holstein, Missouri. In 1867, he moved with his wife to Washington where he began making furniture and zithers, which is a string musical instrument which was popular in southern Germany, Austria and Hungary.
One of his designs was awarded the gold medal of progress at the 1873 Vienna International Exposition. In addition to zithers, Schwarzer’s factory produced guitars, mandolins and a few violins. A Schwarzer’s zither is displayed in the case on the right.
The zither began losing popularity around World War I when German culture started to fade. It was interesting. The zither, however, was rekindled in 1949 when a move called, The Third Man starring Orson Welles came out. The entire soundtrack was played on a zither by Anton Karas. And this for a very short time led to a resurgence in -- in the playing of zithers. Today, there’s only one Missourian known who can still play a zither and we’ve heard this. Actually, this instrument is actually more popular in Japan than it is in Germany.
Franz Schwarzer, was an interesting guy. He said -- he was said to have grown banana trees and other exotic plants in a greenhouse on his property. He also kept exotic animals, which we heard included an alligator that grew to ten feet long. Buildings on the property included a bathhouse, a greenhouse and Washington’s first museum, which Schwarzer called his Relic House.
This image here is from the Relic House. The story goes that Bill Rudolph was known as the “Missouri Kid” and George Collins robbed the Citizens Bank of Union in 1902. A Pinkerton detective was killed during the capture. So after their trial the two robbers were hanged. This noose was from the hanging of one of those two robbers. Albert Hesse, an employee of the zither factory for much of his life, is holding the noose that hung one of the two robbers. Herman and Anna Grohe ran the business after Albert Schwarzer (sic) died. And after Herman’s death, Anna reportedly gave away a lot of the Relic House material to kids in the neighborhood, everything from glass plate negatives to Native American artifacts. She literally gave out the back door while there was a sale going on out front, so who knows where a lot of these materials wound up.
This is New Haven, Missouri in Franklin County west of Marthasville and east of Hermann on the south side of the Missouri River. This is a picture of Front Street in downtown New Haven in 1895. And on the right is a picture we took some time in the last year. And you can see they’re still very similar. Downtown New Haven still looks very much like it did.
This is a 270-foot-long suspension bridge. It was built in 1900 in New Haven and was taken down sometime around 1930. At the time, this was the only means for school kids to cross from one side of town to the other and cross this ravine.
This boat is literally a horse-powered boat called the Tilda Clara. The -- you can see a horse standing in the middle. A horse was literally tethered to a big wheel. As the horse moved around in a circle it generated power. This -- and you can see New Haven on the opposite bank.
This is the Colter monument in New Haven. John Colter was among the first recruits of the Lewis and Clark expedition, partly because of his hunting ability. Colter is credited as the first white man to have discovered Yellowstone, an area that later, because of his descriptions of the mud pots and the geysers writers of the era called it “Colter’s Hell.” The explorer eventually got tired of living life as a mountain man, came back down the river and settled in what is now New Haven where he actually served under Daniel Boone’s son Nathan for a few months until his death. He died in New Haven and is buried somewhere in New Haven. Actually the grave is not marked. This boulder was actually shipped by the people in Montana to New Haven, in recognition of Missouri’s famous mountain man.
Dianna is going to take us the rest of the way down the river to Hermann in this section of Missouri Wine Country.
MS. DIANNA GRAVEMAN: We’re in Hermann, now. And it’s the -- there we go. And these are actually early employees of Stone Hill Winery. Hermann is home of the Adam Puchta, Stone Hill, Hermannhof and OakGlenn wineries. These employees were pictured in about 1890 and every single one of them has been identified, which I think is pretty amazing for a photo this old. But what’s also kind of interesting about this picture is, look at the size of those wine bottles. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything today that big.
The picture on the top left depicts a time during Prohibition when a lot of the wine cellars including the ones at Stone Hill were used to grow mushrooms to be sold commercially. The damp, dark areas in the cellars; when they couldn’t make wine, they were perfect for growing the mushrooms and so that’s what a lot of times they were used for. And that pictures from that.
And on the bottom, this guy named Bill Harrison ran a steam engine that he would use to kill the other fungi in the cellars that would harm or be detrimental to the growing of the -- the harvesting of the mushrooms in the cellars. And so this picture here on the right though is during the late 1950s; he was driving the steam engine through City Park at Maefest. You can see the crowd on the side watching. Evidently it was a part of the parade every year for a long time when they had Maefest in May.
These schoolchildren are dressed up in preparation. Maefest, as a lot of you probably know, you’ve probably been there, but originally it started out in the earliest season Hermann as an end of school year picnic for the children. And the schoolchildren would, and we should have put a picture up of this because we got a couple of neat ones in one of the books, but the schoolchildren would parade from the German school to the park. They all would carry a little American flag. And when they got there they’d be given a little bit of pink lemonade and knackwurst. And we were told the pink lemonade, by several people so it must be true, the pink lemonade was actually pink because it had a little bit a red wine in it, which, I guess, wouldn’t fly today givin’ kids pink lemonade spiked with wine.
But, anyway, Maefest later has been rejuvenated. And now is a tradition every May. It’s opened tourists and visitors to Hermann and it’s kind of a big deal. In 1952, it was rejuvenated. These children were dressed for the occasion in 1959 and they actually were standing in front of Schindler’s Show Store. There’s no sign to show that, but one of the historians in Hermann knew exactly where that was taken.
This was a courthouse. After Gasconade County was organized in 1821, initially court processes were held in a private log cabin near the confluence of the Gasconade and Missouri Rivers. When Hermann became the county seat of Gasconade County in 1842 a new courthouse was built. The new courthouse was built in 1842 at a cost of $3,000 -- I’m sorry -- this first one here was built in 1842 at a cost of $3,000 and it was used until 1896 when a new building was constructed. The new courthouse was built with private funds and it is believed to be the only courthouse in the United States that was not financed by taxpayers. Charles D. Eitzen, who was born in Bremen, Germany, in 1819 and immigrated to Hermann in 1839, bequeathed $50,000 upon his death to build the new courthouse that was dedicated in 1898.
The first Hermann school was a German School established in 1836 and approved by the Missouri Legislature in 1849. The people were concerned that if children were educated only in English the mother tongue would be lost and they wanted the children to learn German in all of the grades, which they did for many years. A public school district was created in 1842. And in 1871 the public and German Schools merged. The Board of Education of the public school and the Board of Trustees of the German School were to act together in choosing teachers and deciding other matters that affected the school. The old German School building was used as the elementary school until 1955 and today houses the historic -- Historical Hermann, Inc., owns it and houses a museum there.
These children were photographed in front of a building that is now a museum on March 6, 1896. It was called both the public and the German School then because it operated under both the English and the German School Boards at that time. And on the topic of keeping the German language alive in Hermann, the first -- the town’s first newspaper and I have the title written down here in German. Don and I are both descendants of German immigrants, but neither of us speaks German. Probably something that we should -- now, that we’re getting back in touch with our German heritage or German roots we should -- we should look into. But I’m not going to try to pronounce because I would embarrass myself at this point.
But the first German newspaper was published in 1843 and -- and it was the first German newspaper published in Missouri outside of St. Louis. A second German newspaper took over in 1856 -- I’m sorry -- 1855, I should have my glasses on. Beginning in 1875 until its last edition in 1928, the paper was printed in both German and English. And the editions contain mostly the same news items, but we were told that the German paper was actually a lot longer or a lot thicker because most of the people in the town spoke German then. So the English edition was very limited.
This is the old clock tower, which anybody who has been to visit Hermann is probably pretty familiar with it. It was not part of the original German School structure when the building was built in 1871. Legend has that Hermann residents, early Hermann residents, I guess, probably an economic factor there, did not wear watches or carry a watch or anything. And so they -- we were told that every day somebody would cross the street and ask the people sitting on the bench that would gather in front of the German School, what time is it? Eventually, the townspeople got together and raised funds and a German clockmaker made the -- this clock that is in this clock tower now. It was installed in 1890. It’s been running continuously for 120 years. It’s relied on volunteers to keep it running inside. They have to wind it manually and that’s what’s been happening for 120 years. You can see the mechanism they still have it on display inside the German School. And it’s considered a German landmark or a Hermann landmark I should say.
This is an older picture on the left of Stone Hill Winery, of course. It’s one of the oldest or, I think, it is the oldest winery in the state, but one of the oldest in the United States. Established in 1847, it became the second largest winery in the United States and it was shipping 1,250,000 gallons of wine each year that year in 1900. And there we have a modern picture we took in the last year or so, so that you can see the different -- how it looks different, but not a whole lot though.
This is Hermannhof. It was constructed as a brewery in the mid 1800s and under the name of Kropp Brewery the company made ice year-round using a sulfur system instead of getting it from the river, which was the way it was generally done; the custom back then. The employees had to wear masks because making ice this way was evidently very dangerous to their health to do that. And this building then later became a residence and was turned into a winery or adopted as a winery in 1974.
This sadly is one of the wineries in Hermann that didn’t survive Prohibition. The top picture of Sohns Winery you can probably -- well, I don’t think you can see it in this picture but the Sohns’ house was right behind the winery that they operated on West Fourth Street. And Henry Sohns wine cellars were located on Market Street. They also owned a line burning business in Hermann. Sohns was a native of Baden Germany and he came to the U.S. in 1865 and lived in other areas before settling in Hermann in 1866. He entered the wine-making business in about 1870, and in 1887 made 3,000 gallons of wine. This first picture is from 1909. The later picture that we have there after Prohibition you can see that the owners attempted to stay in business by selling ice and paint, which is kind of a weird combination.
MS. DIANNA GRAVEMAN: And then over on the right is a picture we took today and, of course, it’s a residence.
This is OakGlenn Winery, which is built on land that was owned by George Hussmann, which you’ll remember from earlier in the talk. We said he’s credited with helping to save the French wine-making industry by helping to develop the pest-resistant root that was sent to France during that time.
He called this property, and here’s a German word, but I’ll attempt it, Schau-ins-land, which is German for “look into the country,” because of the beautiful views from his land from -- on the land where he lived. He later moved to California to help develop the wine industry there in California where he died. And interestingly, the OakGlenn website when we looked it up the other day says that there are two statues in France dedicated to Missouri -- or in honor of Missouri for helping to save the wine-making industry, which we thought was pretty generous considering we sent them the pests in the first place.
MS. DIANNA GRAVEMAN: But that was nice that they were glad that we tried to help with the end result. And this next picture then we took in 2009 so that’s how OakGlenn looks today.
So that’s pretty much our parade of pictures that we have. We’d really like to thank everybody for listening and looking at the photographs that the historical societies were so generous to let us use for these books.
And, again, as I said earlier we’re learning right along with everybody else. Sometimes we’ll give a talk and people will asks us a question and we don’t know the answer and quite honestly, we’ll say, tell us and we’ll write it down and we’ll use it next time because there is so much still to learn about everyone of these towns. So if anybody has anecdotes, stories, interesting historical facts that they’d like to share we’re always * we’re always open to that. We like to know that.
UNKNOWN SPEAKER: Let’s give our speakers a round of applause.