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Rural Missouri Magazine


A German Christmas
Cole Camp

by Jeff Joiner

The west-central Missouri town of Cole Camp was founded in 1839 and inhabited largely by German immigrants and the town still reflects that heritage today.

The holidays are a great time to experience Old World traditions, including Cole Camp’s annual Christmas concert performed in German by the Damenchor (women’s choir), Mannerchor (men’s choir) and the Kinderchor (children’s choir).

Our cover photo this month features the men’s and women’s choirs rehearsing last year in the new sanctuary of Trinity Luthern Church. The singers are all members of Cole Camp’s Low German Club, a group dedicated to preserving a German language dialect still spoken by many residents of the town.

This year’s German Christmas concert will be held Dec. 19 in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Cole Camp. Before enjoying the performance visitors to Cole Camp can also do some shopping in the downtown which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Stores in the downtown include the Handel Haus (photo left) in the historic Mercantile Building on Main Street. Visitors may also eat at German-American restaurants including the Gartenfest Tea Room in the Handel Haus and Der Essen Platz. The Handel Haus will also offer German music on Friday nights through the holiday season.

For more information about Christmas happenings in Cole Camp call the chamber at (660) 668-2295 or visit the town’s Web site, www.colecampmo.com.

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