Minden, which is about 30 minutes from Shreveport-Bossier via I-20, is a city of German Heritage, a community founded in 1836 by German-American Charles Hans Veeder and named for the home of his ancestors, Minden, Germany.
A year before, in 1835, a group of German immigrants seeking religious freedom settled in a commune just north of Minden at the Germantown Colony. Germantown was established as a colony by German settlers who wanted to establish a pure Christian community. The lively group of settlers traveled from Indiana to Louisiana and lived near Minden until the Civil War broke up the colony more than 40 years later. Many of the locals still living in Minden can trace their heritage back to the descendants of Germantown or the town’s founder, Charles Veeder.
Today, historians have preserved this colony as a combination of a museum and replica buildings that were restored from the original settlement. The museum portion of the colony has been recently updated thanks to generous donations and grants. You are able to touch the piano that was played by the Countess von Leon while she taught the children during music class and see the way that they lived as a group right outside present-day Minden. Jean Doerge, curator of Germantown Colony Museum, former Louisiana State Representative and retired school teacher, said she hopes visitors to be able to gain a new appreciation for German heritage and really feel like they walked back in time. The three original building are constructed true to form with log styled cabins. Even down to the door knobs, Germantown feels authentic and frozen in time. A new visitor center at the Germantown Colony Museum is currently under construction and not open to the public, however tours can be arranged by appointment. Jean is excited that the museum will be nearing completion in early November. Just in time for the holiday season, Germantown will be reopening for tours starting Nov. 22 during Minden’s Fasching Fifth Season Celebration.
The museum is located at 200 Museum Road, Minden, LA 71055. You can reach them by phone at 318.377.6061 For more information about Germantown Colony Museum or Minden, click here For pictures of Minden, check out our Flickr