There is something about fall weekends, with the cooler weather and the beautiful changing colors of the trees, that makes one want to get outside. And, if you love history, and the stories of the early German immigrants then you will want to visit Deutsch Country Days located on the Luxenhaus Farm (18055 State Highway O) near Marthasville, Missouri. The once-a-year living history that demonstrates the folkways and skills of the early Germans in Missouri is open for its’ 35th year on October 15 & 16th, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. You will find me on the front porch of the Huber Haus, which was built in the 1830s. I’ll be sharing the history of the farm, Missouri’s Germans and the German Heritage Corridor.
Germans began emigrating to Missouri in the 1830s following the publication in Germany of Gottfried Duden’s Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America in 1829. Accused of being a dream spinner by doubters, the book described a bountiful democratic state, where you elected your rulers and chose your own land, religion and occupation, to a country experiencing revolutions and tyranny.You could settle with others and retain your own language and culture. It resembled the hillsides of Germany and was great for viticulture as well.
At Luxenhaus farm you will find the German settlers have all suddenly come to life and are going about their daily business at everything from quilting, weaving and lace making to their work in the saw mill, in the blacksmith shop or in the tinsmith’s work shop. The farm animals ramble the farm, while the mules work the sourghum mill. Dinner is cooking in the fireplace, while the ladies next door do the laundry. The children can help make rope, dip candles or learn how a broom is made. Many of the demonstrators also sell their items, and the honey, soap, or scrimshaw make wonderful Christmas gifts that you will never find online, or have near as much fun shopping for. Bring your cameras because you won’t find anything like this between here and Williamsburg.
And the food! There is everything from the Bratwurst mit Kraut, and the Kartoffel (that’s potatoe) salad to Rib Eye steaks. Buttered Corn on the cob and the Funnel Cakes, Sassafrass Root Beer, Kettle Korn, are just a few of the delights. Bring cash or check because it is hard to get a signal out there in the hills, and you will truly feel like you have stepped back in time. This is a once a year opportunity for a family outing that is like no other!
In the 19th Century hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Germans emigrated to the state of Missouri, making it one of most “German in the entire U.S.” even today. In 2016 there are still over 46 million Americans who claim German as their ethnic background, making it the largest of all in this country. Experience Deutsche Country Days, and you will have a weekend you will never forget, and give a better understanding to what your ancestors experienced. Visit www.deutschcountrydays.org or call 636-433-5669 for more information today. Parking is free and there is a Senior and Military discount. Follow them on Facebook!