Missouri Life Media to host Missouri German heritage event Feb. 23

WASHINGTON, Mo. – Missouri Life Media wants the public to enjoy its “Exploring Missouri German Heritage” event in Washington, Missouri at 5 p.m. Feb. 23.

Guests will be shown a 90-minute documentary in segments while they partake in a four-course German feast cooked up by Hermann Wurst Haus Market and Restaurant in Hermann. Additionally, complimentary wine from Stone Hill Winery and German beer by Urban Chestnut Brewery will be available throughout the meal.

Missouri Life Editor-in-Chief and co-owner Danita Allen Wood says no other immigrant group has had a greater influence on the Show-Me State than the Germans. As noted by Missouri Life’s website, the state has an officially designated German Heritage Corridor running from St. Louis to Indian Grove and including 16 counties on both sides of the Missouri River.

Yet, Wood says the extent of migration was greater than most realize.

German immigrants came to America before 1829 and swarmed Missouri for cheap land and rich resources, calling it “idyllic vaterland” – or “homeland” in English. A failed German revolution in 1848 brought many more Germans to the United States, where they began using their strong backgrounds as skilled workers and craftsmen. 

The Germans felt at home with the state’s rolling hills and ample rivers throughout the region, as the terrain was comparable to their homeland.

Live commentary will be presented at the event by Emmy-winning Missouri Life TV host Meredith Hoenes, alongside members of event sponsors Missouri Humanities Council and Dr. W. Arthur Mehrhoff.

The documentary was inspired by Mehrhoff’s book Exploring Missouri’s German Heritage.

Mehrhoff is a former professor at the University of Missouri who relishes his German culture and frequently studies the heritage, Wood tells The Heartlander. The historian’s book features rare archived photos from Missouri’s Germanic past, which are included in the film. 

“He wouldn’t claim to be a historian, but he’s a very good historian,” Wood said with a chuckle.

Late historian Marc Houseman is one of the historians seen in the documentary. A silent auction will be held to raise money for the Washington, Missouri, Historical Society in memory of Houseman, who was executive director of the Washington Historical Society toward the end of his career.

The February event will take place at the legendary John B. Busch Brewery event center in Washington, the original Busch Brewery. The brewery opened in the 1850s and operated for nearly 100 years. During Prohibition the establishment was forced to switch its product.

Event attendees will learn more of the brewery’s own history during presentations. 

“It’s a really neat brick building. I was in it before it became an event center. It is full of history itself,” Wood said. 

Missouri Life is a travel and lifestyle magazine and produces a three-time Mid-America Regional Emmy-winning television program called Missouri Life TV. For more information visit the website.

Tickets for the event include a special gift bag, including two books – Explore Missouri’s German Heritage and Missouri State Parks Special Edition – along with other German- and Missouri-themed goodies. Tickets and more information for the event can be found here

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