HERMANN, MISSOURI 1-6-02
What a neat, fun town to spend a couple days in. Founded in 1836 by the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia, whose members were appalled at the loss of native customs and language among their countrymen in America, Hermann was intended to be a refuge for German heritage & traditions. The choice of this area was apparently influenced by its similarity to the Rhine River region in Germany. The name Hermann was selected after Germanyís national hero (Arminius in Latin,) who defeated the Roman Legions in 9 AD. This area teemed with wild grapevines, and by the turn of the century, Hermann had the 3rd largest winery in the world (2nd in the US) producing 1,250,000 gallons a yr and winning international gold medals for its wine.
While I was in Hermann, I stayed at the Harbor Haus Inn & Suites. Because of my walking for epilepsy, Frank let me stay here for $20 a night. (573-486-2222, or www.germanhaus.com) During my stay, I toured 2 wineries, The Hermannhof Winery and Stone Hill Winery. At each tour I got to sample several of their wines. I also checked out quite a few of the shops downtown. I went to the Deutschheim State Historic Site Museum & Gift Shop, which is the states museum for German-American immigration, culture & history. Then I saw Die Hermann Werks, a neat souvenir & gift shop. After that I went to Gleeson's Gift Baskets and started visiting with the owner, Diane. She was amazed about my walk, and when I said I was walking the KATY Trail from Jeff City to St Charles, she handed me a book off her store shelf and said t was her gift to me. "The Complete KATY Trail Guidebook" provides references to all the services, towns, people, places & history along Missouriís KATY Trail, including wineries, B&B's, camping sites & maps. The book is chock full of great information and I am thrilled to have it. I'm sure I will be referring to it many times as I walk the KATY Trail. After that I checked out Goody's General Store, a really neat old-times store. I also visited a few antique shops. Three big events that happen here each yr are the Wurstfest, Maifest & Octoberfest. This yrs Wurstfest -- a sausage lovers dream -- is set for March 23-24, 2002. Amtrak also stops here. If you would like more information on this quaint German town, call the Visitors Center at 800-932-8687 or www.hermannmo.com. What a great place to spend a few days! Take care -- KB
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