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MEDIA RELEASE: August 1, 2011 For Immediate Release

UTOPIA REVISITED TOUR    

Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. until 4 p.m.

SPONSORED BY: Missouri Germans Consortium 

For more information: Call 636-221-1524 or visit http://mo-germans.com

Missouri’s German heritage is well known and often celebrated. On Saturday, September 24, 2011, at 1p.m. the public will have a rare opportunity to experience that heritage first hand as a member of the Giessen Emigration Society.  Many attribute the cause, to a small book by an attorney named Gottfried Duden, A Report on a Journey to the Western States of North America published in 1829. In 1833, two former Giessen University students, Friedrich Muench and Paul Follenius, published a small pamphlet – A Call for Emigration, suggesting a massive group of emigrants could establish a German colony in the far western United States. And, by July 1834, the last of the 500 members of the Giessen Emigration Society settled in Missouri, many in St. Charles and Warren Counties. Its founders settled here, along Lake Creek, a small tributary on the north bank of the Missouri River across from Washington, Missouri and about 50 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri.  Much of this rich heritage still remains today. Participants will spend an afternoon visiting the sites of these first German settlers, and learn their stories.  Visits will be made to Gottfried Duden’s original farm, and the farmsteads of Paul Follenius and Friedrich Muench, and the history of Dutzow, Missouri’s first German colony of 1832 and other relevant sites will be shared. The group will conclude with a visual exhibit by the Sommer-Republik, and a question and answer time with area historians.

Busses will depart Washington Missouri after participants present their passes, as members of the Giessen Emigration Society, and experience the story of their departure from Germany, voyage to the U.S., travel the frontier and settle in the Lake Creek valley. As participation is limited to bus seating, tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are $25 per person and available at http://mo-germans.com or by mail to P.O. Box 50, Dutzow, Mo. 63342. The Missouri German Consortium and the Sommer-Republik from Bremen, Germany, sponsor the Utopia Revisited Tour.  For more information or to purchase tickets contact us by email at dorris@keeven-franke.com or call 636-221-1524 for more information.

Photo by Folker Winkelmann

In 2009, members of the Sommer-Republik from Bremen Germany first visited Missouri in search of the history of the Giessen Emigration Society.

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