There are many interesting and entertaining destinations right here in Missouri. With Fall in the air, this week we'll focus on Hermann, a town reminiscent of old Germany.
Touted as the sausage and wine capital of Missouri, Hermann is a small town known for big festivals. The Wurstfest, Maifest, and Oktoberfest are among the best known. Oktoberfest is just around the corner, every weekend in October this year. Hermann is very near the Katy Trail, and is part of the Missouri Rhineland stretching from just west of St. Louis to east of Jefferson City.
Hermann came into existence from a vision of the 1830s. The German Settlement Society of Philadelphia dreamed of a settlement in the "far west" that would preserve their heritage without being diluted by American influences. George Bayer, appointed the agent of the society, traveled to what would become Hermann in 1837. The rolling hills facilitated wine making and fit the bill for seclusion. The town would be named after Hermann the German (Hermann der Cherusker) who turned back the advance of the Romans in 9 AD. In 2009, the town celebrated the anniversary of the Battle of Teutoburg Forest with a statute of Hermann.
By the end of the century, Hermann had made its mark: Stone Hill Winery had grown to be the second largest winery in the country and was winning awards around the globe. The numerous wineries of the area were producing a tremendous amount of wine, three million gallons a year. Hermann also housed the largest general store between St. Louis and Kansas City. However, the party ended with two events: World War I which gave rise to anti-German sentiment, and the Volstead Act of 1919, Prohibition.
Prohibition sent Hermann reeling into the Great Depression 10 years before the rest of the country. It was not until 1965 with the rebuilding of Stone Hill Winery that Hermann began to recover from the effects of Prohibition. The hard times had put a hold on new construction, so the town retains its charm from yesteryear. After nearly 50 years of non-productivity, Hermann wineries today are back in full swing and producing more than a third of Missouri's wine total.
Here is a list of the wineries in the area:
* Adam Puchta
* Bommarito Estate Almond Tree
* Endless Summer
* Lost Creek
* Martin Brothers
* Stone Hill
The Hermann website also lists 66 bed and breakfasts.
You may learn more about Hermann at: http://www.visithermann.com/
It is an honor to serve the 51st District in the Missouri House of Representatives. Each week I will issue a capitol report to keep you informed of activities in Jefferson City. Any concerns or issues you might have are of great interest to me. I look forward to your input and thoughts, so please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions, concerns, or ideas to improve our state government and the quality of life for all Missourians. My telephone number is 573-751-2204 or you may contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for working me to make Missouri a great place to live.