Historic German Stone Barn opens at Hermann Farm

Historic German Stone Barn

opens at Hermann Farm

Ray Scherer

There's a new addition to Hermann Farm, an authentic Stone Barn that is already drawing lots of attention from the community.

A grand opening, ribbon cutting and tours of the barn and farm were offered Saturday morning. Visiting dignitaries included farm owners Jim and Mary Dierberg, along with city and chamber officials. A special fundraising reception was held Saturday night, featuring an auction and other activities designed as a preview for the competition of the Best USA Sommelier that the farm will host in early February.

The Dierbergs offered welcome and thanks to those who were instrumental in raising the barn over the past two years.

"It takes a lifetime and a whole community," Jim Dierberg said.

Dierberg said mostly local contractors were involved in the work, but with some outside help. A list of companies, individuals, and organizations -- including Dierberg Educational Foundation and Hermannhof employees -- was distributed at the morning event.

"They were very proud in what they did," he added. "It turned out so well."

The two-story barn will be home for the famed Blackshire horses, who were already taking time this weekend to become accustomed to their new digs. Dierberg said the German bank barn features 55-foot long beams, two-foot thick walls, insulation between the stone walls, and no center post. Its heritage dates to the 1790s and boasts of lots of wood.

"It's a new old barn," he said. "This is the original threshing floor that we turned upside down."

Mary Dierberg said the farm's purpose, as always, is to preserve Hermann's singular character that can be traced to ancestor Germans.

"Our purpose is to do events," she added.

Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce President Gary Watts was duly impressed with the construction.

"It's hard not to notice the architecture," he said, noting the project took "passion and commitment" that is recognized by everyone.

According to Jim Dierberg, the city has contributed much into making the barn a reality.

"Hermann is a giving place," he told the guests.

Mayor Bruce Cox said he's watched the Dierbergs at work on behalf of Hermann for quite some time.

"You've come a long way," he said.