Revisiting Utopia

On September 24, 2011, participants will have a unique opportunity to re-live and re-visit an important part of Missouri’s German history, yet still go home that night and sleep in their comfortable bed. For the upcoming bus tour Utopia Revisited, sponsored by the Sommer-Republik of Bremen, Germany and the Missouri German Consortium, participants will be sent their “traveling papers” and told to “obtain their proper papers, settle your affairs, and dispose of property and belongings not shipped.” They are given time but told to be prepared to depart promptly! Say all of their farewells, and present their travel pass.

Archivists Ludwig Brake and Dieter Wolf from Giessen Germany will share the history and events of 1833, explaining why co-founders Friedrich Muench and Paul Follenius issued their Call for the Emigration en masse, thus creating the Giessen Emigration Society. Participants will register with the harbor master, and board either the Olbers or the Medora, with their luggage. After the crossing, the group will first visit the former farm of Gottfried Duden, author of a Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America which inspired Muench and Follenius.

Next stop will be the farm of Jacob Haun, where Duden spent much of the years 1824-1827 writing his book which brought thousands to the United States. Then the group will visit the farm of Friedrich Muench, who did much to continue the promotion begun by Muench, making Missouri a destination for more German emigrants. Finally, the group will visit the village of Dutzow, the Lake Creek settlement, and earliest German settlement in Missouri, founded by the Baron von Bock in 1832. At the close of the program, participants will learn how interest is alive today in Germany, of what has become of those early emigrants after their arrival here in America. Participants will have opportunity to view videos, visit with historians and learn more at the close.

Participants can purchase tickets and register for the tour Utopia Revisited online, or by calling 636-221-1524 or visiting Missouri’s German Consortium at MO-Germans.com.

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