Community Interest

BDHS Installs Heritage Sign at Hamburg

On Saturday September 23, 2017, members of the Boone Duden Historical Society installed the latest Heritage Sign as a part of an ongoing project begun in 2001.

Carl Gerdiman, with the help from Missouri Conservation personnel who dug the holes, Dennis Busch of Howell and Sons Grading and Excavating who lifted the sign into place, and Penny Pitman, BDHS member installed the sign at the site of Hamburg, along Highway 94, where the town of Hamburg was located.

The sign, describing Hamburg and Lower Hamburg, shows the location and history of a thriving small town that disappeared when the federal  government took over 18,000 acres and forced all of the residents and farmers out of the area in order to build a munitions plant for WWII.  See the for additional information.

So far, the BDHS has installed signs providing time lines and historic notes and stories about several communities in southwestern St. Charles County and southeastern Warren County  including:  New Melle, North Washington & Lake Creek Valley, Original Dutzow & St. Vincent DePaul Church, Nona, La Charrette-Marthasville, Dortmund, Hamburg.
The intention is for these trademark green signs to provide an easily recognizable driving tour highlighting sites of historical significance in the area.   Additional signs are planned.

The Boone Duden Historical Society is a local group working to preserve the rich history of our area. The name is derived from two important personages who resided in the area and had national and international importance: Daniel Boone—one of the earlist settlers of this area, and Gottfried Duden— who wrote glowing reports back to Germany inspiring the mid 19th Century massive immigration of Germans to America.

Carl and Don web IMG_1717.jpg
Carl Gerdiman (left) with Dennis Busch
Carl and Penny web IMG_1731.jpg
Carl Gerdiman (left) and Penny Pitman.


The Lower Hamburg sign states:

Located along the Missouri River, southwest of St. Charles along Hwy 94 in St. Charles County.
1834 -- A group of German emigrants 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 death were always possibilities for them.
1894 -- The M. K. and T. Railroad completed the tracks and built a depot at Lower Hamburg, which was called Miller’s station or Milller’s Switch.  Farmer’s Bank was organized and 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.

The Hamburg sign contains the following information:

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.
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 principally 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 Wackhler.
1940 -- Brought death of a dream. Government buys land for a TNT plant. The Friedens German Evangelical Cemetery, many good memories and sites of Hamburg are all that remains.