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:
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.
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
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.