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Traveling Texas, USA
By: Zdenko Kahlina
In September 2007 we spent delightful week in Texas. Vera and I used my business trip to San Antonio, to travel around Texas. We managed to travel around for few days (on the weekend) with rented car and went to visit places like Austin, Corpus Christi, Fredericksburg and other smaller places on our way. It was a week well spent!!
Old St. Mary’s Catholic Church
Day trip to Fredericksburg
Fredericksburg, the county seat of Gillespie County, is seventy miles west of Austin in the central part of the county. The town was one of a projected series of German settlements from the Texas coast to the land north of the Llano River, originally the ultimate destination of the German immigrants sent to Texas by the Adelsverein. In August 1845 John O. Meusebach left New Braunfels with a surveying party to select a site for a second settlement en route to the Fisher-Miller Land Grant. He eventually chose a tract of land sixty miles northwest of New Braunfels, where two streams met four miles above the Pedernales River; the streams were later named Barons Creek, in Meusebach’s honor, and Town Creek.
Fredericksburg is a city of beauty and charm. Its founding includes a rich history of people making a good life in a new place with the help of friends and neighbors.
In Fredericksburg, we ate at Friedhelm’s Bavarian Inn – German Restaurant. It featured authentic German recipes served in a genuine “Gasthaus” dinning room. The food was great but I heard this place is not always good. Some people called it “tourist trap” as the service sometimes sucks and the food is overpriced. But our experience was good!
New St. Mary’s Catholic Church
They have several buildings of different architectural styles on their campus. The first photo is of the oldest church building. It was built in 1861. Meusebach was impressed by the abundance of water, stone, and timber and upon his return to New Braunfels arranged to buy 10,000 acres on credit. The first wagon train of 120 settlers arrived from New Braunfels on May 8, 1846, after a sixteen-day journey, accompanied by an eight-man military escort provided by the Adelsverein.
Main street in Fredericksburg
Souvenir shops are everywhere
Surveyor Hermann Wilke laid out the town, which Meusebach named Fredericksburg after Prince Frederick of Prussia, an influential member of the Adelsverein. Each settler received one town lot and ten acres of farmland nearby. The town was laid out like the German villages along the Rhine, from which many of the colonists had come, with one long, wide Main Street roughly paralleling Town Creek. The earliest houses in Fredericksburg were built simply, of post oak logs stuck upright in the ground. These were soon replaced by Fachwerk houses, built of upright timbers with the spaces between filled with rocks and then plastered or whitewashed over.
Working together, they created a city where all could live up to their potential, participate in activities and benefit from services to enhance the quality of their lives. The spirit of working together to create a beautiful, livable place is still alive today in Fredericksburg. And that spirit is responsible for the ambiance of the city today.
Fredericksburg, celebrates its German heritage through OKTOBERFEST. Oompah at its best. German music, food and drink, arts and crafts, children’s area and family fun.
OKTOBERFEST is a colorful, festive celebration of Fredericksburg, Texas’ German heritage. This has become an annual tradition around the world. Oktoberfest is a community event of family entertainment featuring two stages and two tents with continuous oompah music, art & crafts, Children’s fun area ~ Kinder Park, a German Bier Tent, and Oktoberfest Vineyard area, plus delicious food and drink … all weekend long!
Kerrville is located 60 miles NW of San Antonio on I-10 and is 104 miles from Austin, 248 from Houston and 306 from Dallas, making a “trip to the Hill Country” easily accessible from all parts of Texas.
From Kerrville, we drove on some twisty but scenery road heading to next town on our way – Camp Verde.
This town is on the north bank of Verde Creek six miles southwest of Center Point in southeastern Kerr County and only 10 miles from Kerrville. It grew around the Williams community store, established adjacent to Camp Verde in 1857 in order to serve the needs of soldiers stationed there. It is reported that the primary purpose of the store was to provide liquor to the soldiers because regulations prohibited the sale of intoxicants within the camp.
An amazing old fashioned General Store that is full of great stuff to buy. It was like finding a lost treasure when we happened upon this store! Lots of history with this place. It was the site of a “Camel Experiment” in the 1800′s.
The people were exceptionally friendly. Good sandwiches, lots of old fashioned candies, gifts, etc. The building itself is quite an example of “Old Texas”, and the setting – along the Verde Creek – is just beautiful.
By Zdenko Kahlina