HERITAGE SIGNS AND DRIVING TOUR
by Ida Gerdiman and Bob Brail
Twelve years ago the Boone-Duden Historical Society decided to undertake the task of erecting a historical sign in every community, both large and small, both remembered and forgotten, in southern St. Charles County and eastern Warren County, the area encompassed by the Society's charter. The effort progressed slowly over the years, with signs erected for Dortmund, Nona, La Charrete, Marthasville, and the original site of Dutzow. About five years ago, two more signs were placed for North Washington and New Melle. Earlier this year Schluersburg received its sign. Now the society is ready to place two more signs, both double-sided, for Hamburg, Lower Hamburg, Howell, and Toonerville. The Heritage Sign Project will be complete when future signs are placed for Augusta, Matson, and ????????.
The purpose of these signs is to ensure that the histories of these small communities are not forgotten. Each 4' by 4' sign contains a chronological overview of the town's past, and some signs include photographs or maps. Each maintenance-free sign is green with routed letters and mounted to white decorative posts.
Included in this issue is a Heritage Sign Driving Tour with a map and very specific directions to the locations of each of the current signs and the future locations of the Hamburg/Lower Hamburg and Howell/Toonerville signs. If you live in the area, why not spend a couple of hours driving the tour and reading the signs? You may learn something new!
This tour does not include information about the communities; that is the purpose of the signs! However, if you wish to learn more about these towns, including the ones that no longer exist, you may wish to obtain any of the following books from the St. Charles County library:
Dutzow: A Place of Dreams by Urban Reuther
The Historical Center of Duden Country: Dutzow, Missouri by Jerry Holtmeyer
La Charrette:Village Gateway to the American West by Lowell Schake
Emmaus Homes: 100 Years, 1893-1993 by Ralph Gregory
The Rape of Howell and Hamburg by Donald K. Muschany
A Dream Left High and Dry: the Town of Dortmund by Anita Mallinckrodt
These websites may also prove helpful: thetntstory.org and boone-duden.com/history/map.
1. Begin the tour at the Kamphoefner House, the Boone-Duden Historical Society headquarters, in New Melle, just south of the stoplight at Highway D and Mill Street. The sign is at the front of the house.
2. Take Highway D west for 4.7 miles until it joins Highway T. Turn left and proceed 3.0 miles where Highway D turns to the right, leaving Highway T. Stay on Highway D for 6.1 miles (when you enter Marthasville, Highway D becomes Main Street and eventually One Street). Just after crossing the Katy Trail, you will come to Wessel Park. Turn left into the park to read the double-sided sign for La Charrette and Marthasville.
3. Continue on Highway D for .1 miles until the stop sign at Highway 94. Turn left on Highway 94. As you approach the turn for Dutzow, the spire of St. Vincent de Paul's Catholic Church is visible on the ridge in the distance. Turn left to go to Dutzow. At the junction of Highways TT and Highway 94, you will have driven 4.1 miles since joining Highway 94. Take Highway TT .3 miles north until you arrive at the Marthasville fire station on the left. The double-sided sign for the Lake Creek Valley Area and North Washington is in the station parking lot.
4. Return to the intersection of Highways TT and 94, .3 miles. Turn left on Highway 94 and proceed 1.1 miles to St. Vincent de Paul's Catholic Church. There is a parking area next to the double-sided sign for Dutzow and St. Vincent de Paul's Catholic Church.
5. Continue to the east on Highway 94. After 2.1 miles, turn right on Emke Road, and then drive .8 miles to Augusta Bottom Road. Turn left on that road and drive .9 miles. On your right will be the sign for Nona. There is no parking area here, but traffic is light, so you probably will have time to read the sign from your car.
6. Continue to the east on Augusta Bottom Road for 2.2 miles. Immediately after turning left on Schell Road, you will see the sign for Dortmund on your right. There is no parking area, but you should have time to read the sign from your car.
7. Drive north on Schell Road for 1.2 miles to Highway 94 where you will come to a stop sign. This stop sign is just after the crest of a hill, so be prepared to stop as you approach the crest. Turn right on Highway 94 and drive 2.2 miles to Schluersburg Road, where you will turn left, and then proceed 4.4 miles to Schluersburg, where you will find the sign for that town on your left, in front of the Bethany U. C. C. Church.
8. Continue on Schluersburg Road for 1.4 miles until you come to Highway F. Turn right on Highway F for 4.0 miles until arriving at Highway 94. Turn left and drive 2.9 miles to a Missouri Department of Conservation parking lot on your left. The double-sided sign for Hamburg and Lower Hamburg will be located in this lot. Use the sign text later in this issue to learn about these communities.
9. Turn left from the parking area and continue on Highway 94. Howell and Toonerville. Use the sign text later in this issue to learn about these communities.
TEXT FOR NEW HERITAGE SIGNS
Two New Heritage Tour signs were placed in 2018. The next sign to be placed will be Augusta.
1840 – The town was located about two miles from the Missouri River and about 16 miles from St. Charles. Hamburg was laid out and platted in 1840 by Henry Schneider, assisted by Jacob Smith and William Koenig. Henry Schneider built the first house in town. The small town below the hill became known as Lower Hamburg.
1845 – Johann Nahm started a store and William Koenig a cabinet making shop.
1856 – John L. Martin, M. D. came to town.
1857 – Post office was established. William Koenig was the first postmaster.
George Mades, a shoemaker, made shoes principally for slaves.
1858 – John E. Schneider was known for his coverlets.
1867 – George Mades donated land to build a Sarge flouring mill.
1870 – Population was 50 people, 9/10 German and 1/10 American.
Henry Seib and Peter Mades bought stock and merchandise from Schaefer and Son.
1878 – Henry Seib built a larger two-story store building. Upstairs was used for dancing and parties.
1881 – Henry Seib was appointed postmaster of Hamburg.
1893 – John Mades opened a clothing store for gentlemen.
1896 – H. J. Seib Grocery Co. was incorporated with Seib's son and Louis Wackher.
1940 – Brought Death of a Dream. Government buys land for a TNT plant. Only memories and sites of Hamburg remain.
Located along the Missouri River, southwest of St. Charles along Highway 94 in St. Charles County.
1834 – A group of German immigrants came up the Missouri River and landed at a site on the river's northern side, not far from where originally the Femme Osage Creek flowed into the Missouri River. They were Wilhelm Koenig, George W. Mades, Johann Nahm, Nicholas Roth, Daniel Schmidt and Jacob Schneider. They cleared land and built log homes.
Flooding was a constant threat to people.
1840 – Henry Schneider laid out and platted the town of Hamburg. Locals referred to Hamburg as Upper and Lower Hamburg.
1887 – Missouri Central Railroad came to Lower Hamburg. There was not enough funding and it was sold to the M. K. & T. railroad.
1888 – There was a great flood that shifted the river away from the bluff's edge. Hamburg could no longer get shipments of goods by steamboat. The railroad created a plan for daily mail and major transportation of goods to the outside world.
Men repaired the tracks by walking and inspecting them. They were called the Track Walkers. Robberies and fear of being killed were always possibilities.
1894 – The M. K. & T. Railroad completed the tracks and built a depot which they called Miller's Station or Miller's Switch, below the hill from Upper Hamburg.
Lower Hamburg had a good station, express and telegraph office. H. J. Seib Grocery Co. built a grain elevator and brought grain near the tracks. Near the station a hotel, saloon and several dwellings were built.
Farmer's Bank was organized, later moved to upper Hamburg. Miller's Station was changed to Seib's Station.
Today it is part of the Katy trail, and only the site of Lower Hamburg remains.