Farm Collector Blogs > Aussie Trek Across America

July 21: Missouri

by Ron Bywaters

Tags: road trip, trek across America, tractor drive, Missouri,

Day 25

The breakfast at Dib Deli was very much enjoyed and again we met interested locals who wished us well.

Then it was only a short walk to the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum where Bob Schmidt gave an enlightening talk about the area’s history which began in the USA when immigrants left Saxon, Germany, in 1838 and some settled around what is now known as Perry County. Bob is president of the Perry County Lutheran Historical Society and is a proud fifth generation of the Schmidt family in America.

The museum contains a wealth of wonderful exhibits, from original wedding dresses from yesteryear to an old ice-cream maker, found recently in a church attic. Next Bob showed the group through their very beautiful church which has some truly inspiring old Communion ware brought from Germany — a gold and white gold chalice dates back to 1707 when it was a gift to a Polish princess. It was in use until 1967 when, because of its value, it was replaced for normal use.

Other items date back to 1839. The church lost its spire in May when very high winds ripped through the area, however it is surprisingly still in one piece and work is due to commence very soon on repairs and replacement on the roof.

Church Park, opposite the church, is a lovely area with a pathway leading to two very historic buildings. The “Log Cabin Concordia Seminary” was moved about a quarter mile to this site in 1911 by a team of horses and given what repairs were needed after arrival. The other is “Saxon Bog House” a 1800s home which has been donated to the historical society. Both buildings are now protected for future generations by covering roofs. The government was approached to help with the first roof — they sent no money, just a set of plans!

After lunch, Bob guided our tractors (minus the campers) on a couple of interesting stops — firstly his farm to show the boys some of his wonderful old tractors, including Fordsons built in 1919 and 1925 and an old Lincoln.

Then it was off to see the Grand Tower Pipeline Bridge at Wittenberg, Mo., which carries natural gas from Chicago to Texas. This bridge over the turbulent waters of the Mississippi is the second longest of its type in the U.S.

Close by is Tower Rock, an imposing rock in the middle of the river — another great photo opportunity.

By the time we returned to the fairgrounds, it was mid-afternoon and time for our next host, Vernon Bruckerhoff, to take the reigns. He guided us to the Henman Winery, the proprietors of which kindly offered to open specially for us so we could sample their extensive range of German wines (which we did), then on to a Al’s Place in McBride, Mo., for a great chicken dinner before driving to his farm to stay.

See photos and read more on Ron’s website,