The city of Hermann, the county seat since 1842, lies on the Missouri River. The history of the settlement is unique to any town in the area. A company was established in Philadelphia with the purpose of settling an area in the west where the German Americans of that area could perpetuate their culture in this free country. This German Settlement Society of Philadelphia determined the area which is now Hermann would suit their needs. In 1837, the land was bought and development began shortly thereafter. Click here for more details regarding the early history of Hermann and its founder, George Frederick Bayer 1800-1839.
Tradesmen, artisans, farmers and professionals were all involved in the early settlement and formation of Hermann. Within a short time, streets were determined, houses were constructed, shops and businesses were established. There were enough people in Hermann by 1842 to call an election for moving the county seat from Mt. Sterling to Hermann.
Vineyards and wine making became a major industry early in the development of the area and remained so until Prohibition. This industry has resumed and is continuing to grow from mid 1960s to present. In the early 20th century there were factories to support the economy of Hermann. A shoe factory was a major employer, but other light industries were also prevalent.
Tourism has always been a part of Hermann’s culture beginning with river boats of late 19th century and currently with wineries, antique shops and art fairs. An area of five blocks from the Missouri River to Fifth Street is designated as an historic district with several buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The earliest of these is on tour with the Department of Natural Resources State Historic Site, Deutschheim.