MINDEN, LA (KSLA) - Just outside Minden stands the remains of a utopian society. Not much has changed since German settlers arrived in 1837.
Germantown historian John Agan says they came to Pennsylvania, then Natchitoches, then they came north to higher ground that reminded them of Germany.
For 37 years, until 1871, this communal, self sufficient colony survived.
"They were a Harmonist group awaiting the second coming of Christ. They were actually led here by a guy that claimed to be God's representative," said Agan
The descendents of Germantown still exist, speaking the language, sharing the history of their ancestors.
On Friday, they stood witness as history was made again, a ceremony crowning Germantown Colony a State Museum.
Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne says "it represents a significant time period and heritage and it being in our system means it will be preserved for decades."
Many of the tools the settlers used remain and documents dating back to the early 1800's that chronicle Germantown's beginnings.
State representative Gene Doergy represents Webster Parish, she says the state is going to help them preserve those documents. "We can get a little more funding," she said.
A portal to the past, kept present, now under the watchful eye of the state.