Deutschheim State Historic Site

MO_StLouis_Deutschheim_2014_002_sig.JPG
Hermann, MO
United States
Deutschheim State Historic Site

Landscape Information

This historic site 80 miles west of St. Louis, illuminates the domestic lives and agricultural pursuits of nineteenth century German immigrants through its interpretive garden and collection of artifacts. In the early nineteenth century many German immigrants settled  in the Missouri Ozarks region, where land was readily available, and the topography resembled that of the Rhine River Valley. Since early immigrants retained core aspects of German culture, including their language, and agricultural practices, more settlers of German descent were drawn to the region Caroline Dorothea Pommer moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Gasconade County, Missouri, with her three sons in 1838, settling in the newly established colony of Hermann. The Pommers built a Neoclassical two-story brick home on a hillside overlooking the Missouri River, completed in 1848.  The introduction of vinticulture in the mid-1840s, followed by the completion of the Pacific Railroad line in 1854, established a flourishing wine industry and invigorated the local economy. The Pommer-Gentner house faced demolition in the mid-twentieth century but was bought and rehabilitated by a group of local craftsmen in 1951. The Brush and Palette Club operated the home as a museum for several years before donating the house and its adjoining garden of nearly one acre to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in 1978. The Pommer-Gentner house and the adjacent Strehly house and winery, built between 1842 and 1869, comprise the Deutschheim (“German home”) State Historic Site. Grapevines planted by Carl Strehly in the 1850s remain cultivated in situ, with 1840s-era kitchen gardens added in 2005 to further portray connections between life and landscape on the frontier. The Pommer-Gentner and Strehly houses are contributing features of the Hermann Historic District, listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 (with boundary increased in 2006).