History is preserved in Hermann, Missouri, at Deutschheim. This state historic site was originally settled by the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia, one of several societies organized to promote group migration in the early to mid-1800s. The name Deutschheim means German home, a term synonymous with Missouri in the 19th century. If you’re looking to learn a little about our region and how it came to be, we suggest spending a few hours at the Deutschheim State Historic Site. You’re sure to enjoy your visit and walk away with a wealth of knowledge to share with friends and family when you return home.
Immigration and Emigration
As immigrants came to America and found that hard work gave them a lifestyle they could not have in their hometowns, many praised their new home as a land of milk and honey with streets paved with gold. This was the beginning of The American Dream, and immigrants flocked to America’s shores to get their share of the rich life their friends were reported to be living in their New World home. At that time, Germans came to America in record numbers. Looking for land to build new settlements that would allow them to embrace and preserve their German language and way of life, committees were formed to find land for a new hometown in “The West.” The area around Hermann, Missouri, fit the bill. Nestled beside the Missouri River, the Hermann region had the ambience of the beloved Rhine River area, and so became the destination of the German immigrants who now moved again to settle in a planned city of their own design.
The New Settlement
As would be the case, those dreamers who came to the shores of the Missouri River in the mid-1830s looking for their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, found instead a rocky, rough land not suited to the style of farming practiced in the Rhine River lowlands. Ever resourceful, these immigrants/emigrants used the features of their new home to make the best of a bad situation. Given a wild, rocky land, these plucky emigrants quickly embraced the hillsides with rocky soil as the source of their New World enterprise, vineyards! In a short time, Missouri vineyards were producing world class wines. The area flourished as a premier wine making area until Prohibition and, later, The Great Depression when the area languished and the vineyards were no longer the source of award-winning wines.
The Deutschheim State Historic Site
Visiting The Deutschheim State Historic Site is like taking a trip back in time when Hermann boasted the second largest winery in the United States, and Hermann’s wines won awards all over the world. The Depression devastated the town leaving no money for modernization of the area. Therefore, the area is a pristine piece of a former time with a great number of homes and commercial buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Homes are furnished with furniture and decorations of the era; gardens are maintained in the style of the day with authentic tools and plants. Artifacts from “the day” are displayed in authentic settings. Visiting the state historic site is a step back in time when Missouri was Deutschheim. Visit the Deutschheim State Historical Site’s website for more information and to start planning your visit to this beautiful site and get a preview of your experience.
Where to Stay When Visiting Deutschheim State Historical Site
One recent guest noted that if you are going to Hermann, you need to stay at Hermann Hill. If you are looking for luxurious accommodations in a bed and breakfast or cottage with spa facilities and beautiful views of the Missouri River, Hermann Hill is your destination. Well known as a travel destination in and of itself, Hermann Hill is a short distance from the Deutschheim State Historical Site and boasts its own fine vineyard. Complimentary WiFi and as well as complimentary continental and full breakfast options enhance your stay in this beautiful rural location. Wunderbar!