A Piece of the Rhineland in Missouri

The New York Times profiles Hermann, Missouri, a village founded by German immigrant wine-makers in the 1830s:

Hermann has called itself a Rhineland village, but that sells it short. Hermann is an 1850s Missouri River town playing the part of a Rhineland village, which is a lot more interesting. That allows the county courthouse to sit on a bluff and proclaim its presence to the river the way courthouses do in river towns, while squared-off red-brick houses with backyard grape arbors run up San Francisco-like hills on streets named Schiller and Mozart. … 

Hermann also officially celebrates its German roots. On the third weekend of May, there’s Maifest, which focuses on dancing, parades and crafts. Octoberfest brings four weekends of wine tours, music and food, and in December, the town features a traditional German Christmas market….

Unlike the Ozarks several hours south, the Hermann hills have no water parks, music theaters, casinos or magic shows — just rambling woods cut by fields, white-fenced horse farms, brick farmhouses enveloped in ancient trees and wineries. And its residents like it that way.

Hermann is so charming and well-preserved that it’s suffering the fate of all such places in the U.S.: it’s gradually being bought up by lawyers and bankers from a nearby metropolis (St. Louis).

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