Rhineland, MO

The 1852 Heinrich Gloe House is a restored pioneer home in Rhineland, Missouri and represents history of immigration

CJ Coombs

Heinrich Gloe house, Montgomery County, Missouri.Photo byPosted by YoSam on waymarking.com.

Rhineland is a village in Montgomery County, Missouri. According to Data USA, the 2020 census record of Rhineland’s population was 107. Its name came from German immigrants who were from the Rhine river region in Europe. Rhineland was one of the first towns that accepted federal funds to be located out of the flood plain. It had been devastated by the flood of 1993. The houses had to be moved one and a half miles uphill.

The Heinrich Gloe house is a hewn log house located at 358 Highway P in Rhineland, Missouri. The foundation was stone and the walls were logs. According to the nomination form for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, the owner of the house resides in California, but that was in 2006.

This is a one-and-a-half-story dogtrot frontier home. Between 1852 and 1855, this structure was originally three separate buildings.

The dogtrot, also known as a breezeway house, dog-run, or possum-trot, is a style of house that was common throughout the Southeastern United States during the 19th and early 20th centuries. (Source.)

This home was made of hewn (cut) oak logs with full dovetail joints. It's on the highest elevation in Montgomery County. It's an important building in history and sits near the center of the original 240 acres purchased from the government in 1852 for 15 cents an acre.

The gaps between the logs were filled with shake shingles and mortar. At some point, the shake shingles on the roof were replaced with tin sheeting. The floor plan of the house is a triple-pen dogtrot and the rooms are arranged in a T-formation. The north and south pens were square and the east pen was rectangular. The north and south pens framed the original breezeway.

A breezeway is a transitional space within the home that is traditionally kept open, allowing easy passage from one part of the house to another, usually sheltered from the elements. Some breezeways are kept enclosed and serve as makeshift mudrooms or sitting rooms. (Source.)

The breezeway was eventually enclosed and the front entrance was defined. The breezeway contained a staircase to the second level. The north room built in 1852 was the first of the three structures.

On the north side, a basement was dug about six feet deep and the walls were made of heavy dry-stacked local flagstones. It was noted this was superb masonry skill. When restoration of the property began, the east and west basement walls fell, and they were rebuilt using the original flagstone.

The south room was built around 1853–1854 and the east room was built following that. The original chinking, or filler, made from sand, alkali, and horse hair deteriorated. This was removed and re-filled with Missouri River sand, alkali, and lime to be consistent with historic construction.

The four walls of the north room now have the original log faces exposed, on which the ax marks are readily visible. (Source.)

The original oak flooring has been restored and painted consistent with the time period. The log faces were re-exposed and the filling was restored. The tin roofing was removed due to deterioration and replaced with a new tin roof.

Heinrich Gloe

Gloe’s house represents the architectural practices of European immigrants. Gloe was a German immigrant who came to Missouri by ox cart from New Orleans in 1852. After he bought 240 acres from the government, he built his home from materials found on his property. Consider the labor involved with hand-hewn logs and stacked stones. His home is a great example of a long-lasting pioneer log home.

Gloe was a native of Prussia. He and Christina Hagedorn were married in 1848 in Germany. They made their journey to Missouri with their son who was born in 1850. All they had was their ox cart and their possessions.

More than 7 million German speakers immigrated to the United States between 1800-1919. Most left Europe in search of religious freedom and a higher standard of living. Many also left to escape mandatory service in the Prussian Army. (Source.)

German immigrants came to Missouri because of the soil and farming. They were also skilled craftspeople. Many German, Swedish, and Finnish immigrants brought with them their knowledge of hand-hewn log construction. Building these log homes was very labor intensive.

Gloe and his wife and son including some of their descendants are buried in the cemetery of the St. Martin's Catholic Church in Starkenburg, Missouri which is around two miles from Rhineland. When some of the immigrants arrived in Montgomery County, they noticed similarities between Missouri's landscape and German wine country. They began to cultivate both domestic and imported grapes.

The area surrounding the Missouri River Valley soon became known as the Missouri Rhineland. The City of Hermann known for its wine production is located across the river from the Gloe House. When Prohibition caused wineries to close, those who lived in the Gloe house continued making wine in their cellar for years.

After Heinrich and Christina died, their son, Fritz, owned the property until he died in 1942. The property was then willed to his daughter, Clara Overkamp, until it was purchased. The home has seen several owners over the years and was chiefly used as a farmhouse.

In 2005, the Gloe House was restored and essentially preserved.

Thanks for reading.

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Multi-genre writer and indie author with a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. My working career has been in law firms. Thinker, giver, and lover of life and retired early to be a writer. Born into Air Force service life, life has taken me to Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Missouri. I love family, art, reading, history, true crime, travel, and research.

Kansas City, MO

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