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
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
|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
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
|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
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
|New firehouse and museum will be open during
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
The new Hermann Fire Company firehouse and
"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
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
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
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
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
June newsletter: The hills of Hermann are alive with the sound of