Tag Archives: Marthasville

Deutsch Country Days

There is something about fall weekends, with the cooler weather and the beautiful img_3657changing 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. img_3668Accused 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 fullsizerender-2making 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’simg_3652 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!

Advertisements

Places in Peril

Last Friday, August 5, 2016 our friends at Missouri Preservation announced their list of  Places in Peril! And number one was a site that is near and dear to many of  our Missouri German hearts…

THE EMMAUS HOME – MARTHASVILLE, WARREN COUNTY

The Emmaus Home Complex in Marthasville 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. An additional building, known as the Retreat House had also been constructed by 1954. In church steeplemore 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 EvangelischKirchenverein 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. It is hoped that by listing this campus on the list of Missouri’s Places in Peril that when it comes time to dispose of the campus, that Emmaus Homes will seek to find a reuse for this campus that will preserve the historic buildings located here. The campus is located in the Missouri Humanities German Heritage Corridor about 50 miles west of St. Louis.

Here is the rest of the list:

MISSOURI’S 2016 HISTORIC PLACES IN PERIL

  1. EMMAUS HOME – MARTHASVILLE, WARREN COUNTY
  2. PARSONS HOUSE – JEFFERSON CITY, COLE COUNTY
  3. DEMARREE HOUSE – HOUSE SPRINGS, JEFFERSON COUNTY
  4. 222 S. 4th STREET – ST. JOSEPH, BUCHANAN COUNTY
  5. KIRKSVILLE HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING – KIRKSVILLE, ADAIR COUNTY
  6. BUSTER BROWN BLUE RIBBON SHOE FACTORY BUILDING – CITY OF SAINT LOUIS
  7. “NELSONHOOD” – KANSAS CITY, JACKSON COUNTY
  8. KANSAS CITY INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – KANSAS CITY, JACKSON COUNTY
  9. 8TH AND CENTER STREET BAPTIST CHURCH – HANNIBAL, MARION COUNTY
  10. WESTLAND ACRES – CHESTERFIELD, ST. LOUIS COUNTY
  11. JACKSON STREET LOW WATER BRIDGE&McINDOE PARK – JOPLIN VICINITY, JASPER & NEWTON COUNTIES
  12. OLD PHILLIPSBURG GENERAL STORE – PHILLIPSBURG, LACLEDE COUNTY*
  13. THE JAMES CLEMENS HOUSE – CITY OF SAINT LOUIS*
  14. THE PHILLIP KAES HOUSE – SHERMAN, CASTLEWOOD STATE PARK, ST. LOUIS COUNTY*
  15. THE BEND ROAD BRIDGE – PACIFIC, FRANKLIN COUNTY*
  16. ROUTE 66 MERAMEC RIVER BRIDGE – EUREKA, ST. LOUIS COUNTY*

(*re-listed properties)

The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation (Missouri Preservation) was founded in 1976 as the Missouri Heritage Trust. It is a statewide membership-based nonprofit organization that is headquartered in central Missouri and located in the historic Katy Train Depot in Boonville. Missouri Preservation has at its core a mission to advocate for, educate about and assist in the preservation of architectural and historic landmarks that embody Missouri’s unique heritage and sense of place. Its chief advocacy program has been its “Most Endangered Historic Places.” Instituted as a media campaign in 2000, the program has been aimed at calling attention to endangered statewide historic resources threatened by deterioration, lack of maintenance, insufficient funds, imminent demolition and/or inappropriate development. The program was renamed in 2015 as ‘Places in Peril’. The re-branding came as a means of highlighting the selected public nominated places because becoming the ‘most endangered’ was not a contest. Once the historic resource is gone, it’s gone forever. By publicizing these places we hope to build support towards each property’s eventual preservation.

We urge you to visit Missouri Preservation on the web or facebook and learn more about these places!

A - 1893

 

Deutsch Country Days

The 34th Annual Deutsch Country Days at the Historic Luxenhaus Farm is this coming Saturday & Sunday
October 17 & 18, 2015 from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm  Located at 18055 State Highway O (just 3 Miles N.E. of Marthasville, Missouri 63357) this living history festival is one of the premier German events in Missouri. Thousands visit this annual IMG_3548event, with their families, to share in the rich history of the Luxenhaus farm. Demonstrators fill the hillside with every craft imaginable, as the smell of the wood fire in the cabins mixes with the delicious GERMAN food served in the Essen Haus. Only here can you learn candledipping, ropemaking and spinning while you visit with talented craftspeople that love sharing their craft. Hear the whistle as it releases steam in the sawmill, see the mules turn the mill in the sourghum press, or watch as cooking on an early wood stove is demonstrated. This is an event for the entire family, and a demonstration of history that you will never forget. (And a photographer’s dream!) The beautiful hillside comes alive just once a year! Don’t miss your chance to visit Deutsch Country Days.  For ticket and more info see http://www.deutschcountrydays.org/

Bob and Lois Hostkoetter share the history of Deutsch Country Days on their website:

Just thirty-four years ago, Luxenhaus Farm was a rocky wooded hillside, typical of the Warren County, MO countryside in the mid-1800′s. Twenty-one log and wood-siding primitive restored structures plus the “ERIC SLOANE COVERED BRIDGE” now dot the acreage, thanks to the foresight of the owner’s family, friends and new neighbors.

Of country roots, the family elected to somehow preserve their German Heritage for future generations to understand our pioneer forefather’s way of life. First was the “ERIC SLOANE COVERED BRIDGE,” constructed from circa 1818 siding–the Louisiana Purchase era. The Bridge was dedicated on July 4, 1976, our Bicentennial, to “Eric Sloane,” (Edvard Heinreich), the late-greatly remembered Americana artist and author of such well-known titles as “American Barns and Covered Bridges,” “Early American Tools,” “Our Vanishing Landscape” and many more collectable books; many are available in the “General Mercantile” during the Deutsch Country Days historic event.

Mr. Sloane signed several of his books brought from the owners’ collection, gifting an unpublished new work (at the time) titled “The Sound of Bells!” It is now available at book stores and online. ALL of Mr. Sloane’s historic library are indeed a delight for children and adults – filed with early American history and nostalgia!

The second log structure to be reconstructed was the six-room dog-trot log home, “THE HUBER HAUS,” originally constructed in 1830 in Perryville, Missouri by German immigrant Andrew Huber and his family. The family included his wife, three children and one mother-in-law who just arrived from Germany several months prior to the construction; perhaps the motivation for the expedited housing expansion! 

Then followed the eighteen Missouri log structures from Gasconade, St. Charles, St. Louis and Warren Counties — all originally built from 1800- 1860. These buildings became “LUXENHAUS FARM,” Platt Deutsch (Low German) for “log house farm.”

The derivation of the name, “Luxenhaus,” was derived in 1978 from a local, elderly, original Marthasville resident who was still speaking fluent Platt Deutsch. Cannot locate any of these ancestors in “High German,” or Hoch Deutsch, was translated to “BARENHAUS.” That simply did not relate to anyone close, as that description was of the exquisite estate and mansion of the Augustus Bush Family in St. Louis. Thus the authentically-named Marthasville, Missouri farm as in 1850 was“LUXENHAUS,” meaning “Log House Farm.”

The farm, along with the Deutsch Country Days Historic demonstrations and exhibits, has been featured in numerous national magazines, publications and films throughout the years.

 “Kommen, freuet euch mit uns.”  ”Come, enjoy yourself with us — Here you are most welcome!”