Category Archives: Announcement

Emmaus Homes

The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation announced its list of historic Places in Peril for 2018 at a press conference in Kansas City Friday. Incorporated in 1976, Missouri Preservation is our state’s premier statewide historic preservation advocacy non-profit organization, and has been publicizing a list of endangered historic places for about 15 years. Properties on the list range from a train depot in Bethany, to an entire neighborhood in St. Louis. Properties might be endangered for a host of reasons including inappropriate development, neglect, lack of funds, improper city planning, and absenteeism. For a full list of the properties and those listed on the Watch List see https://preservemo.org/

Included on this year’s list is The Emmaus Home Complex in Marthasville which began as a seminary for the German Evangelical Church in Missouri. A campus of five buildings was completed here by 1859. Four of these remain in various states of repair, those being the Farm House, Bake Oven, Friedensbote (Messenger of Peace) Publishing House, and the Dormitory. The College Building itself was lost to a fire in 1930. The seminary was in operation at this site until 1883, when it moved to St. Louis and eventually became Eden Seminary. In 1893 the campus in Marthasville became known the Emmaus Asylum for Epileptics and Feeble Minded. The campus grew to a total of eight substantial buildings including a chapel, by 1928. In more recent years the religious denomination became the United Church of Christ and the two campuses the church body owned – this one in Warren County for men, and the other in St. Charles County for women – became known simply as the Emmaus Homes. This is an important historic site, having been constructed by some of the tens of thousands of Germans who emigrated here beginning in the 1830s. In the area the first Evangelical church west of the Mississippi was constructed, and this marked the beginning of the Synod of the west, known as Der Deutsche Evangelisch Kirchenverein des Westens. The buildings in the complex are unique in that they are of sturdy limestone construction in varying German styles by German immigrants. They are representative of the tenacity of some of Missouri’s earliest Germans, and are unique in that most are original with very few modifications over the years. Through the years the approach toward caring for the handicapped and developmentally disabled has also changed, and care for the residents at Emmaus has shifted from large institutional settings to smaller group homes. Emmaus has indicated that they wish to transition all clients away from Marthasville by 2020. The Emmaus Homes Board of directors has initiated steps toward listing the campus on the National Register of Historic Places to help lure a potential developer for the property that is respectful of its history and to make a reuse of the campus eligible for the state’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. It is hoped that by listing as one of Missouri’s Historic Places in Peril, Emmaus will continue to try and find a suitable new owner and reuse for this historic campus. For Emmaus contact information call Missouri Preservation at (660)882-5946.

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HISTORY,CULTURE,COMMUNITY

Every fall as the leaves turn, and the weather softens, we begin to hear the sounds of a German band playing in the distance. The announcements of Oktoberfests spring from every corner, and the beer kegs are stacked in readiness. What if there was another way to celebrate your German-American heritage, and get in touch with the culture and the community?

Join us for this family friendly week of programs that celebrate the St. Louis region’s wonderful German-American heritage with several programs, events, and even a feast as we celebrate German American Day in the St. Louis region! Don’t worry… there will be some German beer, brats and music as no German celebration is complete without them!

German-Americans: History, Culture and Community

Germans have been part of America’s history since 1683, when a group of immigrants, thirteen families, from Krelfeld landed at Philadelphia, and founded Germantown, Pennsylvania. In 1688, they filed the first petition ever written, to abolish slavery, in the colonies. In 1883, German Americans in Philadelphia, began to celebrate this heritage with Deutsch-Amerikanischer Tag or German American Day. This spread throughout the United States, and every German-American community would also use this day to honor this heritage. This tradition has even survived the anti-German sentiment of World War I and II. And, in 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October 6, 1983 officially German-American Day.

In St. Louis, Missouri, one of the largest strongholds of German-American heritage, the German-American Committee of St. Louis, was officially founded. We work to preserve, educate and promote the German-American heritage of St. Louis. Please join us at the following events.

  • Oct 3 –  Germans in St. Louis: History, Culture, Community – What Makes Missouri So German?  Missouri’s German roots run deep, but why? What were the driving forces behind German emigration, and why did so many Germans end up in our region? Join Dorris Keeven-Franke, Missouri Germans Consortium, for a look at the earliest waves of German settlers in Missouri, from the early 1800s through the Civil War. This program is free and takes place at the Missouri History Museum, at 7pm in the Lee Auditorium.
  • Oct 6 GERMAN AMERICAN DAY FEST & FEAST  Start by soaking up the culture and heritage of Missouri’s German American community, then enjoy an afternoon feast highlighting the culinary specialties of Germany!
    This event opens at the German Cultural Society of St. Louis at 3652 S. Jefferson Ave., 63118 when the Hall opens at 10 am. Visit the hall and meet representatives of all 18 active German-American organizations in the St. Louis region. The Fest is free and is open until 4pm!  The Feast begins at 1pm and is a delicious German meal and is $25 per person (or $20 for MHS members) and registration is required at mohistory.org/german. There will be lots of German entertainment and celebration throughout the day!
  • Oct 10 What STILL Makes Missouri so German – Missouri Germans Consortium – This Panel will include Consul General Herbert Quelle, Dr. Steve Belko, and others. It explores the German-American culture and community of today –  the topics will include the German Heritage Corridor, Sister Cities and German Language Initiatives, and more. This event is free and takes place takes place at the Missouri History

This series is presented with Missouri History Museum, Missouri-Germans, and the German American Committee STL

Cancellation

We are overjoyed!  Missouri Germans Consortium has learned, that after our posting about the St. Charles County Planning and Zoning Meeting scheduled for Feb. 21, 2018 on the University of Missouri property, that the request was withdrawn. Please continue to support the wonderful efforts for preservation of our German heritage by the Missouri Humanities Council, Katy Land Trust and Magnificent Missouri. Thanks everyone for your support! Danke!