Living in Hermann Missouri is coming full circle for me. My husband and I moved our family here 32 years ago and we’ve lived in the same house in the middle of town for 26 years. I know I am “home” when I come over the hill and see the beautiful bridge and majestic Gasconade County Courthouse on the hill. I can still remember the excitement of Hermann and this area as a little girl.
My great-grandparents lived in Gasconade and we used to visit them often from Washington, IL. The pace of life is much slower in this area. Time lazily strolls through the rolling hills as opposed to the flatlands of Illinois. We would walk to get ice cream at the corner store, listened to the tree frogs, watched the train go by and played in the Gasconade River. Hermann has this same pace of life and that’s why I wanted to capture it, preserve it and share with people that visit.
Hermann Ornaments Was Born
In 2005, I reached out to Creative Casting, a local custom pewter business owned by Lynn and John Mead. I had admired the detail and quality of their custom pewter castings for many years. Lynn and I are friends, so I asked to market their line of Christmas ornaments at the 2005 Oktoberfest. That year I created the Hermann Grape Souvenir and my dream of owning a business became a reality. The following year I began the “Landmark Series” to celebrate Hermann’s rich history.
I decided to take on a 5 year project and create an annual ornament that showcased some of the famous landmarks around the Hermann area. Starting with the Courthouse in 2006, I have created ornaments for the Stone Hill Winery, Deutschheim State Historic Site and Hermannhof Winery to name a few. This year will mark the ninth year and we will be unveiling the newest design of the St. Paul United Church of Christ. In 2015 we will complete the “Landmark Series” with the Tin Mill Brewery. The support from the community and the business owners has been tremendous, having Hermann’s support means the world to me.
Wine and Jewelry Anyone?
In 2012 my sister, Ronni Mitchell, became co-owner of Wine Town Designs. In addition to the pewter souvenirs, we hand craft wine, wedding, custom photo and Breast Cancer awareness jewelry and accessories. Our products are available online at winetowndesigns.com and in Hermann at Sugar Momma’s, wineries and local shops. In addition, our products are available in winery gift shops and festivals throughout the Midwest. Wine Town Designs donates $1.00 from the sale of every Breast Cancer item sold to JustCallMeRay.org. Raylene Hollrah is a dear friend, two-time Cancer survivor and a life-long Hermann resident.
My husband & I have been very blessed to raise our family here. Our two sons both learned to hunt and fish here with their father. They attended Hermann schools where they were treated as individuals, not just a number like some larger schools. The teachers cared for their well-being and education. Much like the other locals, caring for one another and sticking together is a common theme. When our hometown was hit by a tornado in 2013, many Hermann neighbors came together and showed their support by sending relief materials. That act of kindness meant so much to me.
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