Side Trip to Hermann, Missouri


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Gasconade County Courthouse


One year ago this week, I drove cross country from Lexington to Kansas City,  my first trip back since I moved to Kentucky in the fall of 2014.  I took it in easy stages, so I could stop to see all the interesting places I’d whizzed by on my move to Kentucky.

One such side trip was to Hermann, known as “Missouri’s Most Beautiful Town” and the “Birthplace of Missouri Wine Country.”  It’s located in the Missouri Rhineland, along the Missouri River, with history and wineries galore.

The city was founded by the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia in 1837.

The society had almost utopian goals of a “heart of German-America” where it could perpetuate traditional German culture and establish a self-supporting colony built around farming, commerce, and industry.  Wikipedia

Here are the highlights of my brief visit:Samsung Phone Import_April 29 2015 (first) 830

Gasconade County Courthouse:  The majestic 1898 courthouse sitting high above the Missouri River is impossible to miss.  Efforts are underway to restore and preserve this important historic building.

Dedicated on July 18, 1898, the Gasconade County Courthouse is thought to be one of the few courthouses in the United States built entirely with private funds.

And in case you wondered:

More than 400,000 bricks went into the new courthouse. Bricklayers brushed bricks with beer (cheaper than vinegar in those days) to make them shine and even out the color.

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I wish I had more information about this cottage next to the courthouse

The city is the commercial center of the Hermann American Viticultural Area, whose seven wineries produce about one-third of the state’s wine. Designated in 1983, it is one of the first federally recognized American Viticultural Areas.   The designation recognized the renaissance of an area of vineyards and wineries established by German immigrants  during the mid-19th century. Shut down by Prohibition, it began to revive in the 1960s.  Wikipedia

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One of the vineyards in Hermann

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Pretty impressive bluff!

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The Inn at Hermannhoff

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One of the streets leading up to the bridge over the Missouri River


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…that interesting building in the middle of the street houses the Fire Department and City Hall


My time in Hermann wasn’t nearly long enough; I’d like to spend some time there visiting the wineries and enjoying the restaurants in this pretty river town.

4 thoughts on “Side Trip to Hermann, Missouri

  1. So interesting to learn of the intentionality of the settlers and the legacy of their buildings and wineries. Thank you for sharing this. I imagine that city hall building must have been rather grand when built, and can almost see carriages driving up the hill and back down the other side in a sort of promenade in the old days.


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