Monday, October 17, 2011

Deutsch Country Days

The weather was beautiful, sunny, breezy and 80 degrees, a perfect day for viewing fall foliage and taking a day trip. We drove an hour west of St. Louis to Marthasville, MO. Deutsch Country Days is held on the third weekend each October on the historic Luxenhaus Farm. It is a unique and authentic re-creation of early 1800's German life in Missouri. Walking the winding gravel paths and visiting the juried artists and volunteers wearing period clothing, demonstrating tin and peweter smithing, basket weaving, wood carving, natural dyeing, saw milling, corn shucking, candle making, arts and handicrafts, was like taking a step back in time. The smell of German foods cooking and for sale, made me miss my late grandmother.

There are over thirty log and period structures and a covered bridge along with the original Huber House, completely restored and furnished as it was in 1840. It was moved from the Huber Farm in Perryville, MO in 1970.

If anyone is old enough to remember Silver Dollar City, in Branson, in its early days, the primitive structures, the artisans in period garb at work making lye soap etc. then you would like this annual event held the third week in October on the Luxenhaus Farm. Luxenhaus Farm German Heritage Foundation and Deutsch Country Days offers opportunities to numerous history-oriented non-profit and youth organizations, and they also offer college scholarships. Deutsch Country farms is a non-profit organization (your entry fees are tax deductible) and charges a reasonable fee.

Not only can visitors experience German settler life in the 1800's, but they can take a tractor ride (or huff and puff as we did) up the gravel trails to higher elevation on the farm and hike "The Osage Trail". It is a real blast from the past, circa 1700's dedicated to the Osage Tribe who inhabitated the area then. There were lodges, Ti-Pis, and earth homes. Actors dressed as French trappers, Native Americans and others demonstrated their skills of bow-making, tomahawk throwing (Hubby gave it a try), leather and flute making, and much more.

Did I mention the animals? I petted a newborn calf, fed a goat the ice from my drink, saw Missouri mules working a sorguhm press. The two sheep got restless in their pen, so the owner took them for a walk. They trailed him like Mary (had a little lamb) around the property. The full grown sheep enjoyed their off leash jaunt as much as the visitors enjoyed interacting with them.

We huffed and puffed a bit up some hilly trails, and we slipped and slid a time or two coming back down, but what a work out, and what a fun time and glorious day to experience life back then, sample yummy food, and sip a glass of fresh lemonade.

Keep Deutsch Country Days in mind for next fall. Mark your calendar now.

I was impressed with the way the structures were built.

The roof of this mud and cedar house is made of cedar branches. Cedar trees grow in abundance in Missouri.

I was amazed to see how the immigrants and settlers made their log cabins, no mortar back then, they assembled with whatever they could find, rocks, mud, horsehair.

My favorite photo. These little boys were not acting. They were trying to catch a frog. I had to laugh at their ingenuity.


Terri Tiffany said...

I would love going to a place like this that looks at life so differently. Glad you had a good time!

Susan said...

That sounded like a fun day trip, Linda. Gosh, I cannot imagine how cold it must have been inside those little houses in the wintertime. Stones and horsehair couldn't have kept them very toasty warm.

Thanks for taking us along and for the great photos, too. Did the boys catch that frogger? Susan

Bookie said...

Wow, what a wonderful outing! And thanks for the pictures! I have never heard of this before but I would love to visit there. I am going to send it to my Sunset Hills friend too!

Claudia Moser said...

Very interesting, would love to see it, especially since I live in Germany!

Kim said...

I'll have to remember this for next year! I love stuff like this!

Thanks, Linda!

One question: Did they have German food, too?

Sioux Roslawski said...

I DO remember the olden days at Silver Dollar City. It sounds like a wonderful day.

Unknown said...

Very fun post. Loved the pictures.

Lynn said...

We had gone to this one year, it was fun.

Tammy said...

Great photos! Though you had me curious about what it looks like to walk sheep. Are leashes involved?!

Janet, said...

What a great place to visit! You could do great research there for a historical fiction story.

BECKY said...

I would love this, too! We'll have to caravan next year!

Debora said...

This would be right up my alley. I so love to learn about how our ancestors did things way back when. Really enjoyed your photos.