The Harvest Monument 

Official Symbol of Mount Angel Oktoberfest

Thanks to Philis Schmidt for her time and talent this year.

This column is a symbol of the bountiful harvest and of the goodness of Creation.  Located in the center of the festival area, underneath the Glockenspiel. The Harvest Monument reflects the importance of agriculture to the surrounding communities. Reminding us that even in today’s world of technology and fast pace, the harvest provides for the most basic of needs.

A Harvest Monument has graced every Mt. Angel Oktoberfest since the beginning in 1966, and was designated as the official symbol in 1969.  This is a great place to meet, gather your friends, and capture a group photo to record your visit.

While there is no Die Fruchtsäule at Munich’s Oktoberfest, Mount Angel adopted this German symbol from other volksfests and harvest celebrations.  A much grander structure is erected each year at the Cannstatter Volksfest in Stuttgart, first held in 1818 as an agricultural festival.

An Annual Work of Art Evolves Over Time

This annual work of art has been crafted over the years by a series of artists.  Early works were of larger fruits and vegetables nailed individually in geometric shapes on a four-sided-obelisk.  This evolved into artworks of finer detail by using pasted seeds and more recently adding painted backgrounds and faces to enhance the detailed work and portray the annual theme.  Every one of the Die Fruchtsäule have been unique works of art, carefully designed by artistic talent to grace our Oktoberfest.

The Harvest Monument Artists by Year

Philis Schmidt:  2002 to present
Donna Hues and Elyce Brown: 2001
Nancy Scharbach:  2000
Pam Meziere:  1988 – 1999
Debbie Unger: 1984 – 1987
Becky Hanson: 1981 – 1983
Terri Schmidt: 1978 – 1980
Gayle Fisher: 1977
Terri Schmidt & Kathy Schmitz: 1973 – 1976
G.M. Ortiz: 1966 – 1972

Take a moment to visit and reflect ‘upon the harvest and creation’ as you admire the beauty of Die Fruchtsäule – the Harvest Monument.

What it takes to create the Harvest Monument

Philis Schmidt had the following to share about the work she does each year to make this beautiful artwork happen.

I have spent the last 21 summers creating the monument panels in my home workroom. I paint each image with acrylic paint, and when it’s hot enough in July and August I start gluing the beans, seeds, and grains on. After all of the glue is dry and stable I coat each panel with a waterproofing product to help save it from rain.

Usually on Memorial Day I clean the frame where it is stored in the Alpinegarten. On the weekend before Oktoberfest begins my husband, (Vice President, Peter Schmidt) and I deliver the new panels for the monument and remove the old ones.

On the Tuesday before Oktoberfest the hops are delivered and a wonderful group of directors, associates and their spouses come and help Peter and I cut and staple all of the hops and grapevines onto it and nail the vegetables and fruit onto it.

Wednesday morning it gets taken carefully by forklift in 2 parts to its location in the intersection and stacked..which is scary to watch!!

The downtown directors finish it off with benches, cornstalks, straw bales and pumpkins.

Philis Schmidt, Die Fruchtsaule artist for Mt Angel Oktoberfest