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A drive through central MO included a few side trips as follows–

Hermann, MO. This famous city in Missouri's German community is famous for its Oktoberfest celebrations according to signs every weekend in October. For Memorial Day, we saw many bed and breakfasts, and antique stores, but Stonehill Winery was the highlight of the visit. They had the usual wine tasting room (and another one located 20 mi north on I-70 near New Florence), but also had entertainment, a piano bar player in a gazebo outside under the trees with picnic tables. It was pleasant. They also have a restaurant serving lunch and dinner.

Missouri is famous for its white limestone often revealed in highway cuts and in high bluffs around its rivers. Hermann seems built on some of these bluffs. Churches built on steep hills makes you think of cable cars (which they do not have). You have to wonder how they get up those hills in winter ice and snow.

Hermann is on the Missouri River and has a nice new bridge on (state) Highway 19. Main street seems to make an el following Highway 19 south and Rt 100 east. The Union Pacific railroad runs along the river between Rt. 100 and the river.

Early settlers took up wine-making after noticing wild grapevines growing in the area. We noticed several other wine tasting signs along Rt 100 (and there are still more along Highway 94 north of the river, where you also find Katy Trail, but those on the north side of the river are further east closer to Augusta.)

New Haven, MO. We stopped in New Haven, another old river town in Missouri's collection of German communities. Steamboats in the area are from 1817; Germans are known as followers of Duden and began arriving in the 1830s. We saw many old homes with tin roofs. The business community here–featuring antiques--is between the railroad and the river (behind a levee).

Williamsburg, MO. We were told this community had a famous general store with an eclectic collection of merchandise. Unfortunately it was closed on Sunday. A nearby restaurant and museum would open later in the day, but we did not stay. Williamsburg looked like a crossroads with about 5 buildings surviving. And a sign to a nearby landing strip offering skydiving.

Mineola, MO. In the 50s we had visited a forest service lookout tower in Mineola. We had to see what was there. The tower is long gone. Northern Montgomery Co., is good farm land with much corn and soybeans. Mineola is a town on the edge of the bottom land along the Louter River (which drains into the Missouri River north of Hermann--near Rhineland). The Wabash/Norfolk-Southern/North Missouri Railroad was chartered to follow the ridgeline from St. Charles, MO to Iowa. Hence, in Montgomery Co., land east and north of the railroad flows into the Cuiver River and into the Mississippi; the Louter drains the west and south side. The hills are steep in this area. Mostly forested with some bottom land farmed. We saw hay, but no corn or soybeans. The town has a dozen houses and two churches.

Graham's Cave, near Danville, MO. The cave is in a state park with nature trails, picnic areas, and a boat landing on the Louter River. One trail is paved. The cave is a single chamber in the side of a limestone cliff perhaps 50 ft wide, but 15 ft high and 30 ft deep. It has been investigated and found to contain artifacts from previous Indians from perhaps 10,000 years ago. It is now fenced for protection from vandals and is being covered with gravel to protect from weathering.

Danville, MO. Danville is best known as the original county seat of Montgomery Co. The town (except for a famous girls finishing school) was burned during the Civil War. Later the county seat moved to Montgomery City (on the North Missouri Railroad) after Montgomery City offered to build a courthouse for the use of the county.

Modern Danville is a small town with perhaps a dozen homes on several blocks, but there is no business community (other than a service station at the intersection with I-70), and no sign of the Civil War relics. A monument notes that this was once the Booneslick Trail. Modern day I-70 was previously US 40, and sometimes called the National Road at least as far as Kansas City (although the official National Road ran from Frederick, MD to Vandalia, IL). Daniel Boone and family are heroes of the area having lived in St. Charles County and created a trail to a salt lick near modern day Booneville, MO. Boone County is named after him.
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