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Hermann Hill Newsletter

Hermann Hill Vineyard & Inn

 May 2006 Newsletter

To our Guests & Friends,

For more than 50 years, the people of Hermann have celebrated their German heritage during Maifest. On the third weekend of May, the community comes alive with German food, music and dancing, and other special activities. This year's event will be held May 20-21.

A highlight of the weekend for locals is Homecoming at the beer garden on Friday night. Everyone is welcome to attend. Other activities include the two-day Volksplatz (open-air market), which features the works of crafters and artisans, a Beard and Mustache Contest, the re-enactment of the firing of the Little Cannon, amusement rides for the kids, and the Maifest Parade on Sunday afternoon.

Check out the local calendar and click on Maifest for a schedule of events.

(You will notice an asterisk (*) throughout the newsletter. This indicates a reference to Hermann Hill's Three-Mile Walk. Information about the walk is on our web site.)

Hermann Hill Village update
WE'RE TAKING RESERVATIONS! When checking the availability page on our web site, you will now see that we are booking the cottages at Hermann Hill Village as well as rooms at the Inn.

Jim from Grotewiel Construction installs finish
trim in one of Cottage #1's kitchens

We started moving furniture into Cottage #2 the last week in April, and plans are to begin honoring some of the May reservation requests that we have been holding for some time. Cottages #1 and #2 will be available for June reservations, and all five Cottages should be available for July booking. Cottage #1 will accommodate up to four couples and Cottages #2-5 will accommodate one or two couples.The installation of kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanities, locally made by Rethemeyer Woodworking, is progressing. And, landscaping and handrails are nearly complete for Cottages #1 and #2.

To view more photos of our progress, and for reservation information, click on the Hermann Hill Village page.
Amphitheater dedication set for Memorial Day
The Clara Eitmann Messmer Amphitheater on Gutenburg Street in downtown Hermann will be open to the public for the first time at 7:30 p.m. on May 29. The program will include a performance by the Hermann Municipal Band and a dedication ceremony to honor Mrs. Messmer, the woman behind the amphitheater project.

Mrs. Clara Eitmann Messmer

Mrs. Messmer, who will turn 92 in July, said she has had a good life in Hermann and wants to give something back to the community that she has called home since 1971. She and her long-time friend Bob Kirchhofer decided that one way to say thank you to the folks of Hermann would be to construct an amphitheater where the public could enjoy musical and theatrical performances.

Music has been part of the Hermann way of life ever since the first Germans settled here in 1837. The old bandstand in the Hermann City Park* was a popular spot for band concerts for many years. Still standing, but rarely used, it is a reminder of the importance of music to this community.

The new amphitheater will continue the musical tradition. Performances will be held nearly every week through the end of October at this up-to-date venue. The schedule includes all three summer performances by the Hermann Municipal Band, the Loehnig German Band, Fresh Picked,  the John Berkemeyer Combo, the Hermann Apostle Band, and Badlands, among others. The amphitheater will feature lawn seating only, so attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets. You are invited to bring a picnic meal to enjoy before the performances, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. unless noted otherwise.

Mrs. Messner wanted the amphitheater to be perfect, from state-of-the-art sound and lighting to its attractive grounds. She has been involved with all aspects of the construction. Local architects Tom Tebbetts and Nick Godat volunteered their time for the project. "They believed in this project," said Mrs. Messmer. Tom designed and drew up the plans for the structure, while Nick saw that all the engineering was done correctly.
Having attended a concert in the pavilion at the Hermann City Park* last summer, where she was not able to hear the music clearly, a good sound system was the top priority for Mrs. Messmer. She said, "I want it on all four sides so no matter where you sit you can hear it." Two 28-foot speaker towers with four speakers facing in all directions were erected. The highly rated company that installed the sound system is currently working at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The high-quality, theatrical lighting system provides color options for the stage. Everything is first class.
The Clara Eitmann Messmer Amphitheater under construction. Two 28-foot speaker towers will hold state-of-the-art speakers that will provide quality sound throughout the grounds.
Sod was used instead of seed to create the sprawling lawn in front of the amphitheater. Thirteen Red Maple trees, all up lighted, have been planted in addition to 18 Knockout Rose bushes. The area is enclosed with maintenance-free fencing, and the entryways are all down lighted. The tree and mood lighting is low voltage so it can be kept on all night.

Mrs. Messmer's generosity is a result of many years of wise investing, which began with the purchase of 70 shares of Anheuser Busch stock. Her inspiration was her late sister Anna, who Mrs. Messner claims was a "whiz at investing". For years Mrs. Messmer read The Wall Street Journal, and she continues to keep her eye on the stock market every day.
New firehouse and museum will be open during Maifest

A new firehouse has been built in downtown Hermann, and it will be open to the public to tour during Maifest. A large portion of the new building houses the Hermann Fire Company Museum. According to Hermann Fire Chief Dave Schulte, Hermann's is one of very few fire departments to have an historic museum.

The museum was established in 1971. For the past 35 years it has been housed at the fire station located near the Hermann City Park* on Hwy. 100. But, when the need arose for a new fire station in the downtown area, it was decided that a larger museum also was needed to properly display the old equipment.

Located at 214 West Second St., this modern, up-to-date firehouse is complete with office area, kitchen, dormitory room, and a large conference area.

The new Hermann Fire Company firehouse and museum.

 "It was built for thefuture," said Schulte, at a cost of $400,000. It is one of three firehouses in the department.

Hermann Fire Company No. 1 dates to 1859, but the idea of a fire company started even earlier when the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia found its new home in the "Rhineland" of Missouri in 1836. The Hermann community has been very supportive of its fire company through the years. The company is not tax supported. It operates through memberships and donations.

Its 42 active firefighters are all volunteers. Their bosses are understanding of the firefighters' obligations to the department and community and are willing to let them leave work when they are called into service. "No one realizes the numbers of hours spent every week by these men," said Schulte. In addition to being called to a fire or accident scene, training, cleaning, and general preparations are ongoing. Members of the department attend regular meetings and special sessions to keep them updated on fire fighting and emergency response issues.

The hand pumper Consiquence was built in 1856 by a local blacksmith/wagon maker.

Fire fighting equipment includes 14 trucks. A 1955 International Seagrave Pumper is still a front line pumper with 7,000 original miles recorded. The newest truck is a 2002 pumper tanker. Both are housed at the new fire station, along with a 1932 Chevrolet that was the first rubber-tired, motorized pumper purchased by the department. Other historic equipment includes the Spritzen Washington, a hand pumper that was purchased from the City of St. Louis in February of 1861 and the Consiquence, or Bull Frog, a hand pumper that was built in 1856 by a local blacksmith/wagon maker.

While the firehouse is not always open, anyone who wishes to tour the museum may contact Chief Schulte by calling 573-486-2461. He is happy to share his knowledge of fire fighting and the history of the Hermann Fire Company with anyone who is interested in listening. "I enjoy my work. I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy it," he said. Schulte has been Hermann's fire chief since 1999, and was assistant chief for 11 years before heading up the department. His father was Chief for six years, and now his son is a volunteer and studying to be a full-time firefighter, something Schulte wishes he could have been. "He'll live out my dream," said Schulte.

To learn more about the history of the Hermann Fire Company and Museum, click Hermann Fire Company Museum.

12th annual town and country garden tour is June 3-4
Glorious early summer flowers and historic four-square vegetable gardens, sweeping vistas and breath-taking views, a plant sale, and unique gifts for gardeners, all are the focus of the Hermann Garden Club's summer garden tour scheduled for June 3 and 4.
Six of the gardens are in Hermann and four are a short drive out of town in the surrounding countryside. This year there are several new gardens on the tour, and some old favorites from years past have added new features. These include perennial gardens, water gardens with waterfalls, streams, and ponds, a garden designed for entertaining, cottage gardens, and a few other surprises. Several of the in-town gardens, including Hermann Hill, are located along our three-mile walk route.

310 tons of rock were used to create this country water garden that features two waterfalls, three streams, and a pond. It will be on tour June 3-4.

Each garden is unique and will give the viewer lots of ideas to take home. Garden tourists will be given a map and a brochure describing each garden, and in many cases, the owners will be available to answer questions about their gardens. In conjunction with the tour, there will be a Perennial Plant Sale and Garden Market. At four of the locations, the work of local artists will be available for sale. Deutschheim State Historic Site* is presenting a Living History event featuring a number of artisans including a blacksmith, a fiber artist demonstrating spinning and weaving, and an individual making zithers and dulcimers.

All this is included in the $8 ticket price. Tickets are good for both days. They will be sold on tour days at the German School* at Fourth and Schiller streets. Hours are 10 to 5 each day. Proceeds from ticket sales are used to fund educational activities and scholarships for Hermann students and to beautify Hermann.

Hermann Hill Village

June newsletter: The hills of Hermann are alive with the sound of music


Hermann Hill Vineyard and Inn
711 Wein Street - P.O. Box 555 - Hermann, Missouri (MO) 65041
Phone: (573) 486-HILL (573-486-4455)  |  Fax: (573) 486-53733
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