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i even bbefore ince f e Stephen S h nF F. A Austin included this areaa as partt off his first colony in Texas nearlyy 200 years avee been n charmed d by ago, people have what we now calll Fayettee County. It sits less than an hour and d a hal half a f ffrom rom m three ee off Texasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; largestt cities cit i ie i s â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but butt Fayette County feels a world away Antonio. wayy from m Houston, Austin n and nd d San n Anton onio io. With carefully preserved European uropean roots, charming small town squares uares and a rural landscape of rollingg hills to hardwood forests, Fayette County ounty is like no other place in Texas. Here youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find: t5IFIJTUPSJD1BJOUFE Churches around Schulenburgg t-B(SBOHFXJUIJUT historic courthouse, a bustling town square, the Texas Quilt Museum and the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center t5IFBOUJRVJOHNFDDBTPG3PVOE 3PVOE Top, Warrenton and Carmine t'BZFUUFWJMMF XIJDIJT quickly becoming a center for the arts and artists t5IFIJTUPSJDSBJMSPBE town of Flatonia And thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s so much more yyouâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll ouâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;lâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;l ou find detailed in this 116-page guide. gui u de.. Whether you are a visitor to this area or a local, we hope this guide makes you feel excited about everything Fayette County has to offer. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Jeff Wick, Editor torr The Fayette County Record rd

p. 95

ON THE COVER ER

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Cover photo by April Pizanaa

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 3


2237 956

154

G

1115

O

N

Z

2762

A

Recreation: Monument Hill, Kreische brewery, Faison Home Museum, other historic sites including the Painted Churches; hunting, fishing, lake; German and Czech ethnic foods; Prazska Pout in August, Octoberfests.

L

E

S

2238

Flatonia

10 90

1295 95

Transportation: Bus service via Capital Area Rural Transit. Hospital: St. Mark’s Medical Center in La Grange (979-242-2200) is a general medical and surgical hospital with 44 beds. Airport: Fayette Regional Air Center; 850 Airport Road, La Grange; 979242-4056; Major Cities: LA GRANGE (4,622) County seat; electric-power generation, varied manufacturing, tourism;

O D A R

MONUMENT HILLKREISCHE BREWERY STATE HISTORIC SITES

155

d

615

Dubina 1383 90

10 1579

Schulenburg 77

957

Schulenburg (2,860) manufacturing, food processing; festival in August; Round Top (88) music center, tourism; antiques shows; Winedale (67), historic restorations; Carmine (259); Ellinger (386), Fayetteville (255) tourism, antiques, Lickskillet festival in October;

Flatonia (1,365) food production, cattle ranching; rail history museum, Czhilispiel in October; Ledbetter (83); Muldoon (95); Plum (145); Warda (121); Warrenton (186); West Point (213), and Winchester (232).

THE FAYETTE COUNTY

RECORD

Agriculture: Beef cattle, corn, hay, sorghum, pecans, dairies. Market value $66.4 million. Firewood sold.

Recreation: Golf courses (2), State Parks (1), City Parks (13), Museums (18), Art galleries (12).

High Hill

71

LAVACA

Minerals: Oil, gas, sand, gravel, bentonite clay.

Education: Five public school districts, three private schools,one junior college.

2672

Engle UP Praha 590'

Obar Hill

1965

Ellinger

ad o

Holman Ammannsville

E. Na vid a

Freyburg 609

3171 Swiss Alp

Co lor

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3233 1383

2503

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Muldoon

1291

955

O

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Cistern

2436

UP

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P O R T

77

O’Quinn

IN

154 2237

Mullins Prairie

ST

155

609

AU

LA GRANGE

LR

Rek Hill Fayetteville

r

4 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

95

159

Willow Springs

Park 159 Fayette County Reservoir

220

389

954 1291

Rutersville 159

Warrenton 237

ve Ri

Race/Ethnicity: (In percent) Anglo, 72.2; Black, 6.9; Hispanic, 19.9; Asian, 0.4; Other, 2.4. Vital Statistics, annual: Births, 245; deaths, 349; marriages, 142; divorces, 89.

West Point

2981

v er Ri

History: Lipan Apaches and Tonkawas. Austin’s colonists arrived in 1822. Germans and Czechs began arriving in 1840s. County created from Bastrop, Colorado counties, 1837; organized, 1838; named for hero of American Revolution, Marquis de Lafayette.

543

Oldenburg

Rabbs Prairie Plum

1457

r

Economy: Agribusiness, production of electricity, mineral production, government/services, small manufacturing, tourism.

Kirtley

2145 Walhalla

153

Winchester

71

LR

Winedale

2714

1291

Nechanitz

153

237

Round Top

3011

Warda

458

mm in 1291 C ree s k

Waldeck

1482 448

290

Cu

R E Cr abb L E 77 eek s

iv e

Physical Features: South central county bisected by Colorado River; Fayette County Reservoir; rolling to level; sandy loam, black waxy soils.

8 MILES

R ad vid Na W.

Data from 2016 Texas Almanac Population – 24,833 Area (sq.mi.) – 959.8 Altitude (ft.) – 200–590 Rainfall (in.) – 38.61 Jan. avg. min. – 39.2 July avg. max. – 95.5 Civilian labor – 13,258 Unemployed % – 3.3% Per Capita Income – $47,200 Property Value – $5,260,288,559 Retail Sales – $435,603,630

Ledbetter 0

UP

Fayette County at a Glance

WASHINGTON Carmine

Published every Tuesday and Friday, except the publication immediately following Christmas, by Fayette County Record, Inc. Serving Fayette County since 1922. Locally owned by the Barton family since 1976. (USPS 188-440) 127 S. Washington, P.O. Box 400, La Grange, Texas 78945. Telephone: 979-968-3155; Fax: 979-968-6767 Email: editor@fayettecountyrecord.com; www.fayettecountyrecord.com

Publisher

Editor

Regina Barton Keilers

Jeff Wick

Digital Editor Andy Behlen

Advertising Director Becky Weise

News and Office H.H. Howze Andy Behlen Lou Ann Adcox Hertha Kruse Accounting Nonnie Barton Joy Skelton

Classified Advertising Jackie Daniels Production Manager John Castaneda Graphic Design Bobby Bedient

Circulation Theresia Karstedt Jo Ann Mueller Bennie Vasek George Kana Leigh Ann Bedient Flor Merlos Sandra Boehm Anton Kubesch

POSTMASTER: Send Address Changes to The Fayette County Record, P.O. Box 400, La Grange, Texas 78945 Periodicals Postage Paid at La Grange, TX SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Fayette County: Year $49.00; Elsewhere in Texas $57.00; Out of State $62.00. Special Rates for Senior Citizens: In county, $44; in Texas $52; US $57.


Photo by Keely Marie Scott

Why Fayette County? By AMIE & JOLIE SIKES The Junk Gypsies (and our Visitors Guide covergirls!)

About six years ago, we made the decision to move to Round Top. To move our families, our business, our lives. After looking in cities across the state

far and wide for the perfect home for Junk Gypsy (and for ourselves), we realized the answer was right in front of us all along. Our hearts had been here all along. Round Top beckoned. The country beckoned. It seemed crazy then. It seemed crazy to

put a business in a town with a population of 90. And maybe itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still crazy. But now, looking back, nothing has ever been more clear. Nothing has ever made more sense. We ignored the numbers. We took the two lane Continued on next page

Photo by April Pizana

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 5


‘Pack up the family and y’all head to the country!’ Continued from previous page road to Round Top, and we’ve never looked back. They say there is a certain Round Top magic that spins and twists its way through your heart and soul when you are here. And we believe it’s true. We believe it’s something you feel just passing through for the day or staying for a few nights. There’s a beautiful, sweet, magic that rests atop the pastures in the early morning sunrise as the cows are grazing. There’s a thick, sparkly magic in the stars at night. There’s a mystical, simple magic in the moonlight shining through your windows at night. and now, we feel an undeniable bit of Round Topinspired magic in our first ever Junk Gypsy world headquarters store located smack dab in round top. The road wasn’t short that led us here…we peddled junk for almost 15 years before our gypsy souls decided to put down roots here in Fayette County. And we couldn’t be happier. After a beautifully crazy journey, we’re finally home. So pack up the family and y’all head to the country!

6 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

Photo credit: HGTV Magazine


The Texas Heroes Day festivities at Monument Hill State Park in La Grange are not to be missed. This year it happens Sept. 17. Photo by Tom Wood

Events Abound All Year ‘Round By REGINA KEILERS The Fayette County Record

No matter the time of year, you can find a festival to interest you here in Fayette County. Here’s a partial list of our annual events:

MARCH 2016 t1 - 31 Flatonia Chamber of Commerce - Parade of Quilts - See an array of quilts in Flatonia businesses during the month. t10-13 Best Little Cowboy Gathering in Texas, always the second full weekend in March, Fayette County Fairgrounds, La

Grange. Chuckwagon exhibits, Western trade show, Horse Clinic, BBQ Cookoff, Cowgirl’s Ball, children’s activities, cowboy poetry and Story Tellin’. t10-13 Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival Concert No. 1: Thursday, March 10 at Blinn College Finke Hall in Brenham. Concert no. 2: Friday March 11 at Celebrations in La Grange. Concert no. 3: Sunday March 13 at 4 p.m. at Henkel Hall in Round Top. Go to www.fayettevillemusic.org for more information on future events. Tickets $18 online $20 at the door.

t12 - James Dick in Concert. 3 p.m. Festival Concert Hall, Round Top Festival Institute. t12 – Benefit Dinner with James Dick, 6 p.m., Menke House, Round Top Festival Institute. t19 - La Grange Uncorked, Third Saturday in March, Courthouse Square, Wine and food festival, 4-8 p.m. Call (979) 968-3017 for ticket information or go to lagrangeuncorked.com. t19 - April 3 - Spring 2016 Antiques Festival in Round Top and surrounding communities. Nationally recognized as one of the

largest antiques markets in America, drawing thousands of dealers to tents, fields and buildings from Fayetteville to Burton. (Also takes place in October 2016). t28- 29 - Antiques On The Square ~ On Site Auction ~Fayetteville 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Antiques Auction by Teel Services March 28 starting at 6 p.m. Packing Up Sale starting 8:30 a.m. on March 29 and until we are packed up. Contact Lisa at (318) 465-1603.

APRIL 2016 Events Calendar, continued next page 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 7


EVENTS - Calendar -

Events Calendar, continued from previous page tFlatonia Chamber of Commerce Spring Market Day XJUI"SUT$SBGUT  'PPE %SJOL .VTJD $IBML"SU BOEBOFYDIBOHF[POFGPSUIF 5FYBT*OEFQFOEFODF3FMBZ t2Flatonia Rail Fan Pavilion Party3BJMGBOTHBUIFS BUUIFDSPTTSBJMTQBWJMJPOGPSB GVOEBZPGUSBJOXBUDIJOH t2 - SE Annual Schulenburg Sausagefest 4BVTBHFDPPLPGG BSUTBOE DSBGUTBOEMJWFNVTJD tFlatonia Chamber of Commerce CRAWFEST "GFBTUPG$SBXGJTIUSJN NJOHT CFFSXJOF TJMFOU BVDUJPO MJWFNVTJDEBODJOH t16-17BP MS-150"UXP EBZ NJMFCJDZDMFKPVSOFZ GSPN)PVTUPOUP"VTUJOUPSBJTF NPOFZGPSUIFGJHIUBHBJOTU.4 5IJTJTUIFMBSHFTUFWFOUPGJUTLJOE JO/PSUI"NFSJDB3JEFSTTQFOE 4BUVSEBZOJHIUBUUIF'BZFUUF $PVOUZ'BJSHSPVOETJO-B(SBOHF %BZ5XPTUBSUTBUUIFGBJSHSPVOET BOEFOETBUUIF4UBUF$BQJUPM

MAY 2016 t7Round Topâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Spring Wine Fest5IF4UPOF$FMMBS$BMM  PSTFFXFCTJUF www.stonecellarwines.com. t7-8Art Walk 2016 UXP EBZGJOFBSUTIPX TQPOTPSFECZ "SUTGPS3VSBM5FYBT'BZFUUFWJMMF 4RVBSF4BUVSEBZBN QN 4VOEBZBNQN t15May Fest (Slavnost) BU5FYBT$[FDI)FSJUBHFBOE $VMUVSBM$FOUFS"USJCVUF UPUIFJNNJHSBOUT BN -JWF.VTJD oQN$BS 4IPX OPPONFBMBOENPSF t29Tomato Festival  &MMJOHFS1BSBEF ##2NFBM t29Flatonia American Legion Memorial Day Service BUUIF-FHJPO)BMMJO'MBUPOJB .FNPSJBM4FSWJDFBOENFBM t31Round Top Music 8 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

The Good Old Summertime Classic Bike Ride in Fayetteville is June 5 this year.

Festival#FHJOTUISPVHI+VMZ  3PVOE5PQ'FTUJWBM*OTUJUVUF

JUNE 2016 t3Summer Movie Nights on the Square-JWF.VTJDCZ $ISJT5PQIFSBOEUIF4NPLJO (VOT FOUFSUBJONFOU BOEB NPWJFPOBOFOPSNPVTJOGMBU BCMFTDSFFO5IJTTVNNFSXFBSF DFMFCSBUJOHUIFUI"OOJWFSTBSZ PG-B(SBOHF.BJO4USFFUXJUI NPWJFTEBUJOHCBDLUP -JWFNVTJDQN.PWJF QNThe Nutty Professor. t5Good Old Summertime Classic Bike Ride'JSTU 4VOEBZJO+VOF 4UBSUTJO)JTUPSJD 'BZFUUFWJMMF5PXO4RVBSF 5IF FWFOUJTBGVMMZTVQQPSUFESJEFXJUI EJTUBODFTSBOHJOHGSPNUP NJMFTGPMMPXFECZB##2MVODI t53ound Top Music Festival.+VOF+VMZ 'FTUJ WBM$PODFSU)BMM(PUPwww. festivalhill.orgGPSPUIFSDPO DFSUBOEFWFOUJOGPSNBUJPO t11Main Street Flag Day celebration.$PVSU IPVTF4RVBSF -B(SBOHF t17Summer Movie Nights - Part 2-JWFNVTJD

QN.PWJFQN101 Dalmations MJWFBDUJPO

t18Beerfest5IF4UPOF $FMMBS$BMM  PSTFF XFCTJUFwww.stonecellarswine.com t18 Juneteenth Parade & Celebration BMXBZTUIFXFFLFOE OFBSFTU+VOF -B(SBOHF t25TCHCC & CHS Youth & Family Day"DUJWJ UJFT 4QFDJBM5PVSTBOE%FNPT

JULY 2016 t4Round Top 4th of July Parade PMEFTUDPOUJOV PVT*OEFQFOEFODF%BZQBSBEF XFTUPGUIF.JTTJTTJQQJ3JWFS t8Summer Movie Nights - Part 3. -JWFNVTJDQN .PWJFQNFlipper. t9Fayetteville City Wide Garage Sale 4FDPOE8FFL FOEPG+VMZ.BQTTIPXJOHUIF MPDBUJPOTPGUIFHBSBHFTBMFTXJMM CFBWBJMBCMFGPSUSFBTVSFIVOU FSTPOUIF$PVSUIPVTFTGSPOU TUFQTTUBSUJOHBUBN$BMM-J[ $VCBHFBU  

AUGUST 2016 t2-4Schulenburg Festival UIFi/BUJPOBM1BSUZPG

Photo by Jerry Herring

5FYBTw5ISFFCJHEBZTPGSP EFP MJWFNVTJD HSFBUGPPE  BOEBGVOSVO8PMUFST1BSL t6Blasmusik Texas Concert 3PVOE5PQ3JGMF"T TPDJBUJPO)BMM5IFQJFDF 5FYBT"MM4UBUF(FSNBOCBOE FOUFSUBJOUIFDSPXETXJUIQPMLBT BOEXBMU[FTGSPN(FSNBO $[FDI  "MTBUJBOBOE"VTUSJBOSPPUT t11-14Fayette County Sheriffâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Posse Bull Riding and Rodeo Event 4IFSJGGT 1PTTF"SFOB -B(SBOHF t15St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Catholic Church - Praha - Prazska Pout "OOVBM'FTUJWBMXJUI NBTT GBNPVTGSJFEDIJDLFO TUFXMVODI QPMLBNVTJD EBOD JOH DPMEESJOLTHBNFT

SEPTEMBER 2016 tFayette County Fair  -B(SBOHF BMXBZT-BCPS%BZ XFFLFOE.VTJD EBODFT MJWF TUPDLTIPXT IPNFFDFYIJCJUT  DPPLPGGT TPGUCBMMUPVSOBNFOU t2Health FairBUUIF 'MBUPOJB$JWJD$FOUFS

Events Calendar, continued next page


Events Calendar, continued from previous page

SEPTEMBER 2016 t10Patriot Day Ceremony,BN 'BZFUUF $PVOUZ$PVSUIPVTF -B(SBOHF t10Wrangler Gala "MXBZTUIFOEXFFLFOEJO 4FQUFNCFS.VTJD GPPE BVD UJPO"MMQSPDFFETCFOFGJUUIF 3PVOE5PQ'BNJMZ-JCSBSZ t17Texas Heroes Day  .POVNFOU)JMM,SFJTDIF#SFX FSZ4UBUF)JTUPSJD4JUFT -B(SBOHF BNQN'SFF"ENJTTJPO t17 - October 2Fall Antiques FestivalJO3PVOE5PQ BOETVSSPVOEJOHDPNNVOJUJFT /BUJPOBMMZSFDPHOJ[FEBTPOFPGUIF MBSHFTUBOUJRVFTFWFOUTJO"NFSJDB  ESBXJOHUIPVTBOETPGEFBMFST t18SchĂźtzenfest 3PVOE 5PQ3JGMF)BMM%JOOFS EBODJOH BOEUIFDSPXOJOHPGUIFDSBDLTIPU ,Ă&#x161;OJH LJOH BSFUIFIJHIMJHIUTPG UIJTUBSHFUTIPPUJOHDPNQFUJUJPO

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The La Grange Flag Day Ceremony this year is on June 11 on the courthouse square.

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DECEMBER 2016 t1 - Flatonia Chamber of Commerce - Lighting of Christmas Village XJUI4BOUBQN t1 - Schmeckenfest-B (SBOHFT"OOVBM8BTTBJM5BTU JOH$ISJTUNBT$FMFCSBUJPO POUIF4RVBSFJODMVEJOHB QBSBEF EFMJDJPVTUSFBUT DIJM ESFOTBDUJWJUJFT BOE4BOUB t 2 - Flatonia Chamber of Commerce - Wonderful Winter Wine Walk1VSDIBTFBXJOF HMBTTBOETUSPMMUPNBOZ'MBUPOJB #VTJOFTTFTGPSXJOFTBNQMFT  TIPQQJOHGVOQN t3 - Flatonia Chamber of Commerce Merry MarkeU  $PPLJF$BOEZ$BSOJWBMBOE 1IPUPTXJUI4BOUBBNQN "SUT$SBGUTBOEIPNFNBEF HPPEJFTBUUIF$JWJD$FOUFS t3 - TCHCC Christmas Open HouseoBNQN %FDPSBUFE$[FDI7JMMBHFt(JGU 4IPQ4QFDJBMTt.VTFVN%JTQMBZT t3, 9, 10, 16, and 17 - Trail of Lights QN.POV NFOU)JMM,SFJTDIF#SFXFSZ 4UBUF)JTUPSJD4JUFT -B(SBOHF "ENJTTJPOGFFSFRVJSFE t3 - Christmas on the Square 3PVOE5PQ 1B SBEF FOUFSUBJONFOU IPNF NBEFTUFXBOE4BOUB t3 - Christmas Homes Tour  3PVOE5PQ'PSNPSFJOGPSNB UJPODPOUBDUXXXSPVOEUPQPSH

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JANUARY 2017 t13th Annual Round Top Chili Cook Off"MXBZTUF USEXFFLFOEJO+BOVBSZ'PPE  NVTJD BVDUJPO"MMQSPDFFETCFO FGJUUIF3PVOE5PQ'BNJMZ-JCSBSZ tFlatonia Chamber of Commerce Membership Banquet Meal CFWFSBHFTTQFBLFS

FEBRUARY 2017 tFlatonia Chamber of Commerce - Spring Market Day XJUIGPPE ESJOLT NVTJD DIBML BSUBOEBOFYDIBOHF[POFGPSUIF 5FYBT*OEFQFOEFODF3FMBZ tAlways last Friday and Saturday in Feb.#FTU-JU UMF2VJMU4IPXJO5FYBT 'BZ FUUF$PVOUZ'BJSHSPVOET 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 9


Round Top: Big Times in a Tiny Town On any given weekend, a stop in the quaint central Texas town of Round Top will treat its visitors to a surprising amount of activity. The town, located on State Highway 237 half way between Brenham and La Grange, is reputed to be among the smallest incorporated cities in Texas with a population of 90. This historical treasure is at once charming in its authenticity and a surprisingly exciting place to be, when one experiences it fully. For, what could easily be just a sleepy, don’t blink or you’ll miss it point in the road has now become a destination and center for arts and diverse fun. So, stop at the flashing red light that marks arrival at the town’s square with its historic courthouse, and make a left turn to experience most of the action.

Continued on next page

10 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

Kids are charmed as a horse and rider walks past Royer’s Cafe during the Round Top 4th of July parade. Photo by Jeff Wick


ROUND TOP, TX 78954

Y

our Artful Escape begins

right here. Discover the art of delectable food and fine wine; the art of comfort in well appointed accommodations; the art of ‘shop ‘til you drop’ in fabulous boutiques that hold everything from clothing to one-of-a-kind decor & gifts. Perfect the art of bootscootin’, just as well as porch sitting. Revel in artful pursuits such Shopping abounds at the annual Round Top antique fairs. Photo by H.H. Howze

Round Top – Antiques Plus a Whole Lot More Continued from Page 10 Round Top offers virtually something for everyone from beer and wine festivals to Shakespeare, and music that ranges from classical to hoe-down, traditional polkas and classic rock. Well-known for its twice annual (fall & spring) antiques fairs that span miles and attract thousands, there is a lot more to enjoy year round. In town there are no less than six art galleries including one that has featured works by internationally known watercolorists, underscoring the fact that Round Top has truly become an artful destination. Others feature everything from folk art, top quality western art, to craft as art, as well as traditional media. For a one-square mile town, there is also a wide variety of shops tucked on the Square, and around

it in historic Henkel Square Market, and Bybee Square. One can locate everything from antiques, quality gifts, fashionable clothing, lovely jewelry, and home decor, both sophisticated and ranchlike; and there’s not a ‘kitschy’ tee shirt in sight; how refreshing. Round Top’s German heritage is noticeable even today as architectural controls have preserved many of the town’s earliest structures. Many of the structures on Bybee Square and Henkel Square, for example, are original to Round Top, or the nearby area. Not to be missed are the old German immigrant homes and sites that can be found two blocks south of the square on Highway 237 including the historic Bethlehem Lu-

as world-class music, and exhibitions in several highly respected

galleries.

And,

Round Top’s Festivals are varied, fun & frequent. So, plan your Artful Escape soon, or right now by visiting...

www.roundtop.org

ROUND TOP AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Continued on next page 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 11


History, Shopping All Within Walking Distance Continued from Page 11 theran Church. Across from the church, are two blocks containing the Round Top Inn, including the wine bar Prost! housed in Round Topâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most historic stone building. Mooreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fort, the oldest building in Fayette County stands across the way on the newly redesigned and renamed Rummel Square. The square will feature antiques stores, a new Garden Company restaurant and other businesses. In Round Top, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nice to see that so much has not only been preserved, but given new life in such charming ways. If you havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t arrived hungry, after your walk about, you will be. So donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t travel any further because within two blocks in any direction youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find great food and good variety. Sample any place and it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t disappoint from Italian specialties at Bistro Napolitana to great Mexican fare and serious margaritas at Los Patrones. Coming later in 2016 will be Teagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tavern at Henkel Square. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re eating â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;on the flyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, try a top

notch, made-to-order deli sandwich from the newly expanded Round Top Mercantile where they literally do carry everything from soup to nuts. Or try a taco, pizza or salad at the Stone Cellar Pub. Travelers here will no doubt be plain tuckered out after their Round Top experience. So, why go home? Instead, go to www. roundtop.org to choose from any number of charming accommodations, B&B or guest house style, located in Round Topâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proper, or the surrounding area. No hotel chains here, just abundant hospitality, and the perfect flavor of evening respite after a long day (and perhaps, night) of enjoying Round Topâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s offerings. Here, the welcome mat is always out, and your accommodation will come with an evening sky where you can virtually pick the stars out of the night. Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss these sites and events: t3PVOE5PQ'FTUJWBM*OTUJUVUFXJUI acres of gardens and a 1200-seat concert hall plays host to both a summer festival, monthly concerts and year-round programs

t)FOLFM4RVBSF.BSLFU #ZCFF Square and Rummel Square all feature quaint shops and galleries, all in historically significant structures t3PVOE5PQ'BNJMZ-JCSBSZ BDPNmunity treasure and a beautiful garden t)JTUPSJD#FUIMFIFN-VUIFSBO$IVSDI t4JY"SU(BMMFSJFTJOBOEBSPVOEUPXO t4QSJOH#FFS'FTUJWBM t'BMM8JOF5SBJM'FTUJWBM t4QSJOH'BMM"OUJRVFT'FTtival (April & October) t4QSJOH(VJUBS'FTUJWBM 4VNNFS$POcert Series & monthly Concerts and/or events at Round Top Festival Institute t'BMM2VJMU'FTUJWBM t/VNFSPVTHBMMFSZPQFOJOHTBOETIPXT tUIPG+VMZ$FMFCSBUJPO MPOHFTUDPOUJOVously celebrated this side of the Mississippi) t4VNNFS4IBLFTQFBSF'FTUJWBM t$ISJTUNBTUPXOXJEFDFMebration with Christmas on the Square (first Saturday in December) t"OOVBM$IJMJ$PPLPGGJO+BOVBSZ

 

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Family Owned and Operated since 1984; second generation owners Michael and Jackie Sacks 12 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE


Festival Hill founder James Dick treats local students to a piano class. Photo by Jeff Hepp

The performance hall at Festival Hill.

Festival Hill an Acclaimed Music Institute Located in historic Round Top, the James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts and its sole project, Round Top Festival Institute, were founded in 1971 by world-renowned concert pianist James Dick. Begun with a handful of gifted young pia-

nists in rented space on the town square, the project is now an internationally acclaimed music institute for aspiring young musicians and distinguished faculty. Since 1971, with the help of its patrons and friends, The James Dick Foundation for the

Performing Arts has developed superb year round education and performance programs. It has also created a unique 210-acre campus â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Festival Hill â&#x20AC;&#x201C; containing major performance facilities, historic houses, extensive gardens, parks and nature preserves. Through its

singular collection of rare books, manuscripts, archival material, music and historic recordings, photographs and objects, Round Top Festival Institute is also known as an important center for research and scholarly study.

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 13


The Origin Of Festival Hill

Concert pianist James Dick established Round Top Festival Institute in historic Round Top, Texas, in 1971. Dick, a performer with a distinguished career, was uniquely qualified for the task of creating a 200 acre campus and organization to operate one of the major music festivals in the United States. Dick graduated from the University of Texas with special honors in piano in 1963 and was a student of pianist and pedagogue Dalies Frantz. Subsequently, Dick received two Fulbright Fellowships for study at the Royal Academy of Music in London and private study with Sir Clifford Curzon, a major pianist of the twentieth century. Dick was also

14 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

a top winner in the Tchaikovsky, Busoni and Leventritt international competitions and since has represented the United States on the juries of the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and the Van Cliburn Piano Competition in Fort Worth. His concert tours take him throughout the United States and abroad each year. He was named a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 1994. In 2003, James Dick was Texas State Musician appointee. He received the 2009 Texas Medal of Arts for his work in the area of Arts Education. The 1971 Festival, a ten-day session with ten piano students, included two concerts. During

The outside of the concert hall at Round Topâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Festival Hill.

its first five years, the FestivalInstitute leased facilities, but a master plan of development was soon established for programs and the future of the permanent campus. The first major facility, the Mary Moody Northen Pavilion, was acquired in 1973.

It was the largest transportable stage in the world and was used for open-air concerts until 1983. Later, it was housed in the 1,000-seat Festival Concert Hall, on which construction began in

Continued on next page


Festival Hillâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Remarkable Facilities Beloved for Weddings, Parties, Conferences Continued from Page 14 1981, until the permanent stage was completed in the Concert Hall in 1993. An abandoned school building and six acres of land North of Round Top were acquired in 1973 for a future campus to be named Festival Hill. The festival and its year-round operations moved to this site in the Bicentennial Summer of 1976. The first historic structure moved to Festival Hill came from La Grange and was named the William Lockhart Clayton House in honor of the man who created the Marshall Plan. Built in 1885, it was renovated in 1976 for faculty, offices, teaching facilities and indoor concerts. It features some of the most commanding woodwork on Festival Hill. The Menke House, built in 1902, was moved to Festival Hill from Hempstead and renovated as a faculty residence and conference center in 1979. Its Gothic Re-

A party at the Herzstein Plaza at Festival Hill.

vival ceilings, wood workings and staircases make it a showcase of Texas carpentry. The historic sanctuary of the former Travis Street United Methodist Church of La Grange, built in 1883 was moved to Festival Hill in 1994, for restoration as a center for chamber music, organ recitals, lectures and seminars. It was renamed the

Edythe Bates Old Chapel to honor one of the great Texan patroness of the Fine Arts and houses an 1835 Henry Erben pipe organ. The Festival Institute Library & Museum Collections exhibits its art collections in the Festival Concert Hall and the historic house restorations. The David W. Guion Archives and Americana Collection and the Anders and Josephine Oxehufwud Swedish and European Collection, have unique handcrafted galleries in the Festival Concert Hall. Other facilities have been built to house accommodations, practice, teaching, meeting and seminar rooms for the Festival and for year-round programs and conferences. The two-concerts season in 1971 have grown up into more than 30 concerts during June and July each year. The August-to-April Series, the International Guitar Festival, the Theatre Forum, The Poetry Forum, and

Continued on next page

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 15


World’s Best Young Musicians Arrive Every Summer Continued from Page 14 the Herbal Forum bring the total number of year-round events to more than fifty. The repertoire extends from the Ancient to contemporary music. The first commissioned work “Etudes for Piano and Orchestra” by Benjamin Lees was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. The Festival-Institute commissioned a new concerto for piano and orchestra, “Shiva’s Drum” by American composer Dan Welcher as part of its twenty-fifth anniversary celebration. James Dick performed the work with the Texas Festival Orchestra conducted by Pascal Verrot on June 11, 1994. Another work for piano and orchestra, “Theme, Variations and Fugue” titled “Rasmandala” by British composer Malcolm Hawkins was premiered on June 8, 1996. In January 1997, the Festival-Institute commissioned Professor Chinary Ung to write a Choral-Fantasy for piano, chorus and orchestra titled “Rising Light”. The world premiere was performed on June 27, 1998 at Round Top. Students from conservatories and universities in the United States and abroad pursue

16 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

their musical studies at Round Top under the guidance of an international faculty. While the number of Festival-Institute alumni is in the thousands, the project manages to give each student the personal attention that has been a hallmark of its program: it is both a festival and an institute, where students and faculty perform for appreciative and large audiences. The concerts are broadcast through a yearly program titled “Live from Festival Hill” over public radio stations from coast to coast. The campus is also used for conferences, meetings and retreats. The Festival Concert Hall, completed in April 2007, is one of the best in the country, acoustically speaking and strikingly beautiful. It is used for recordings. Major business groups, museum administrators, music critics, law firms, and numerous university and professional organizations have held conferences and retreats here. A series of distinguished museum lectures is presented at Festival Hill each year. The campus, famed for its gardens, rare trees, herbal collections, cascades, fountains and unusual landscaping, is a destination for visitors from all over

the world. An outreach program of public services concerts featuring students and faculty extends the benefits of the FestivalInstitute to the surrounding community. For more information about Round Top’s Festival Hill visit www.festivalhill.org

One of Festival Hill’s visiting musicians shows off her instrument to a young visitor after one of the summer concerts. Photo by Jeff Wick


Shakespeare Like You’ve Never Seen it Before Barn is Theatre Setting for Summer Plays in Winedale Shakespeare at Winedale began as an English Department course in 1970. It grew out of a meeting between Professor James Ayres (“Doc” to his students) and Miss Ima Hogg, a philanthropist regarded as “The First Lady of Texas.” Miss Hogg had recently renovated and donated to the University The Winedale Historical Center, a 270-acre area of pasture, woodland and historic pioneer buildings outside Round Top. Noting the resemblance of an 1880s hay barn to an Elizabethan theatre, she suggested that Ayres try having his Continued on Page 19

Every summer a group of UT students lives at the Winedale Historical Complex, studies Shakespeare and puts on a series of plays for the public.

The Round Top Destination

101 N. Live Oak Oak . Round Round Top, Texas exas 78954 . henkelsquareroundtop.com he . 979-249-5840 9-2249-55840 Wednesday Noon - 4 p.m. . Thursday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. . Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 17


18 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE


2016 Winedale Series Includes Trio of Classics Continued from Page 17 students perform Shakespeare there. He agreed, and Shakespeare at Winedale was born. As the program grew in size and reputation, it began to attract students from outside the English Department and eventually beyond The University of Texas. The broad spectrum of students served by the program reflects its emphasis on performance as a learning method and a means of self-discovery, rather than an end in itself. For more than thirty-five years, Shakespeare at Winedale has drawn students with different cultural and academic backgrounds from universities around the United States. Their interests have ranged from medicine, law and physics to music, theatre, and English. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve met every June

at Winedale to begin a journey that takes them well beyond their expectations and themselves. The program has now expanded to include year-round activities, including special programs for younger children such as Camp Shakespeare and an Educational Outreach Program. 2016 Summer Schedule Much Ado About Nothing Thursdays - Sundays, July 14 - August 7 7:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. Matinees on Saturdays and Sundays Romeo and Juliet Thursdays - Sundays, July 14 - August 7 7:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. Matinees on Saturdays and Sundays

King John Thursdays - Sundays, July 14 - August 7 7:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. Matinees on Saturdays and Sundays

right into the Theater Barn parking lot just before the two-story home on the right.

Reservations strongly recommended, particularly for Saturday performances. They can be made by visiting the Shakespeare at Winedale website at www. shakespeare-winedale.org or calling (512) 471-4726. Tickets $5 for students, $10 for adults. Getting there go to Round Top on SH 237. At the blinking red light, turn right onto Main Street, then left onto FM 1457. After about 3 miles, turn left onto FM 2714 for about one mile. When you get to Winedale, there will be a split rail fence on the right. Turn

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 19


Round Top Schützen Verein Keeps Area’s German Roots Alive The Round Top Schützen Verein (shooting society) was formed in 1873 by the town’s German-American inhabitants. The original charter of the Round Top Schützen Verein was to be a sporting club for the “encouragement of innocent out-door sports, such as bicycle riding, target and trap shooting, open air athletics, games, dancing and others of like character.” Of these different activities, only a few are still practiced; dancing and target shooting. The Rifle Association hosts many dances throughout the year. The primary event of the target shooting is the annual Schützenfest. On the evening after the shooting competitiion, the members and public gather for the crowning of the König, followed by several hours of dancing to the music of a local band. In preparation for the ceremony, the previous year’s König makes a crown of cedar boughs. At 6 p.m., the new König is escorted into the hall by a procession of all the members. Following his introduction to the crowd, he is crowned by the previous king. At that point, some members (usually youngest and strongest) hoist the new König into the air three times to the shouts of

20 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

The Round Top Schutzenkönig taps a wooden keg of beer. Photo by H.H. Howze

“Hoch sol er leben, hoch sol er leben, drei mal hoch.” The new König does have responsibilities though. The first of which is to treat the RTRA members and their guests to a nice cold keg of beer.

Blasmusik

Enjoy the toe-tapping strains of an authentic German Brass Band. Blasmusik Texas, the Texas All-State German Band travels to the Round Top Rifle Hall on the first Saturday of August each

Continued on next page


Continued Continue Co C u d from previous page year. Come and enjoy the free concert – and kick up your heels to a rousing polka refrain! The Hall opens at 4 p.m. for social hour and a delicious German meal will be available in the kitchen at 5 p.m. The concert begins at 6:30 p.m., but get there early for a good seat! Admission to the concert is free. The German meal (sausage, sauerkraut, german potatoes, pickles, peaches, bread and tea) is $8.

New Year’s Eve

Every New Years Eve, the Round Top Rifle Association hosts a community party to ring in the new year. A toe-tapping band plays and partiers of all ages take to the dance floor. Yummy hamburgers are served in the kitchen. At midnight, cheers and toasts bring in the new year and the Hall serves the traditional cornbread and black-eyed peas (for good luck in the upcoming year!) Tickets go on sale in late November and are available at local Round Top merchants and from the Round Top Rifle Association members.

OctoBierFest

Every October the Round Top Schützen Verein hosts a festival which includes German food, music and, of course, bier.

2016 Dates to remember: July 4: Independence Day parade August 6: Blasmusik Sept. 17: Schutzenfest Oct. 29: Octobierfest

Father and son Schutzenkönig title holders, Marvin and Dillon Marburger.

For more information about the Rifle Association’s events visit www. roundtoprifle.com

Round Top State Bank TOM BAKER INSURANCE AGENCY

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Full Service Agency Located at Round Top State Bank - Tommy Baker III, Agent Not a Deposit. Not FDIC Insured. Not Insured by any Federal Governmental Agency. Not Guaranteed by the Bank.

979-249-2126

‡5281'723 301 N. Washington 979-249-3151

‡-$55(//(Eagle Bank - a Branch of Round Top State Bank) 12345 N. IH 35 512-746-2531

‡/$*5$1*( 2010 Hwy. 71 West 979-966-0556

‡*,'',1*6 1442 E. Austin 979-542-7872

‡5281'52&.(Eagle Bank - a Branch of Round Top State Bank) 2250 N. A.W. Grimes Blvd. 512-218-3903

‡/(;,1*721 8681 St. Hwy. 77 979-773-2227 ROUND TOP FINANCIAL SERVICES

ROUND TOP STATE BANK INSURANCE AGENCY Your local Germania Agent - Tim Huebner Not a Deposit. Not FDIC Insured. Not Insured by any Federal Governmental Agency. Not Guaranteed by the Bank.

Full Service Brokerage - Reece Cernoch, Broker and Tom Baker III, Broker

EOE

Your Hometown Bank Since 1912

Member FDIC

www.roundtopstatebank.com

Securities and insurance products are not FDIC or NCUA insured, not bank or credit guaranteed, may lose value, not insured by any federal government agency, and not a bank or credit union deposit. Securities and insurance products offered by LPL Financial and its affiliates, member FINRA/SIPC. LPL Financial and Round Top State Financial Services are independent entities.

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 21


Copper Shade Tree: Made in Texas

Rick Perry Loves Round Top Former Texas Governor Rick Perry was a frequent visitor to Round Top when he lived in Austin (heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shown here in a photo at a Round Top Fourth of July parade). He and his wife loved the place so much they decided to build a home outside town, and they are now regulars at local events.

It was ten years ago that Copper Shade Tree, the oldest gallery in Round Top, opened its doors, bringing with it fine art and fine crafts created by Texas artists. Over the years Gerald and Debbie Tobola have grown their gallery from twelve artists to over one hundred. They began their dream on Bybee Square in 2006 and six years later moved to Henkel Square Market in search of a larger space, to showcase additional artists. Nearly one and a half years ago, they were on the move again. This time they opened their second gallery: Fine Home by Copper Shade Tree - dedicated to fine furniture and fine art that completes the home. It is also located at Henkel Square Market. Please make plans to visit Round Top and while there, stop by to meet Gerald and Debbie, and of course see all the beautiful art work.

A Special Place We aree the We h Smaalllle leesst Acccre redi d te di ted ed Liibbra rary in the Staatee of Tex exas ass SSttopp by to che heckk out ut our booook, k, auuddioobook bboook ok, k, andd DVVDD col olle leectctio lect ions io n or attttennd one ns ne of our ur ccoomm mmunniitttyy seerrvviice ce prroogr gram aam ms foorr allll aggees.s. The Libbraaryy is funde Th unde un d d thr hroouugghh priva riivate vatee don va onat aattioons ns, evveentts,s, vol olun u te teer eerrss,, gra rant n ss,, and nd com ommu munniityy paarrtn tner tner e shhip ips.s.

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The Copper Shade Tree is one of numerous shops located at Henkel Square Market in downtown Round Top.

The Round Top Family Library a Local Treasure The Round Top Family Library is a 501( c) 3 non-profit organization, sanctioned by the Central Texas Library Association. The Library serves the rural community surrounding Round Top with full lending services for adults and children. Here you will find popular reading material, best sellers, periodicals and classic and contemporary literature. Also available is a good selection of books on tape or CD, as well as a selection of movies. Beyond its lending resources, the Library serves as a center for cultural and learning activities for children, and as a community center. Patrons and visitors enjoy a rich array of programs of general interest and learning opportunities, as well as services such as free computer and Internet access. Round Top Library Association, Inc. 206 W. Mill P.O. Box 245 - Round Top, Texas 78954 (979) 249-2700 Hours: Mon - Sat. 1:30 5:30 p.m. Closed Sunday.


2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 23


The firing of the cannon on the town square in Round Top signals the start of the 4th of July parade.

Photo by Jeff Wick

Round Top’s Famous Fourth of July Parade The Round Top community has celebrated the Fourth of July every year since 1851. In fact, it’s known as the longest running Fourth of July celebration west of the Mississippi. The rest of the year, Round Top boasts an impressive population of 90 souls, many of German origin. But on the Fourth of July, our neighbors from Houston, Austin, San Antonio and everywhere in between travel into Round Top for a taste of an old-time, small-town Fourth. The replica civil war-era cannon roars at 10:30 a.m., announcing the parade of handmade floats, antique cars and tractors, fire engines, trail riders and longhorn cattle. The parade circles Round Top square to the 24 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

enthusiastic strains of Round Top’s own Brass Band. Children dart out for candy and trinkets while families and neighbors visit on the town square. As the parade wraps up, everyone heads a few blocks down FM 1457 to the historic Round Top Rifle Hall. Association members have been up all night preparing mouthwatering brisket, pork, and sausage on the Hall’s huge wood fired pits. German style potatoes, green beans, fixin’s, and homemade desserts round out a delicious buffet lunch. The afternoon continues with music, a raffle, and games for the kids until 4 p.m. when the local band sets up for the afternoon’s dance.

That blasted cannon Traditionally in Round Top, a cannon was fired as the official start of the July 4 celebration. In 1889, for some reason, the cannon did not fire. The President of the Rifle As-

sociation, John George Kaiser, bent over to inspect the cannon when it suddenly exploded. Kaiser was severely injured and died several days later from loss of blood and infection. A replica cannon is now used.


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Museums Here For Every Interest By LOUANN ADCOX The Fayette County Record

Fayette County is filled with museums for just about every interest. Just check out the times, fees and directions below.

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Artifacts, photos and documents. 104 E. South Main, Flatonia, hours: Friday 1:00-3:00, Saturday 10:00-12:00 and 1:003:00, or by appointment (713) 524-1750.

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Includes the Texas Czech Music Museum, the Czech Village of historic homes and the Texas Czech Agricultural Museum, opened in October 2014. The TCHCC is located north of La Grange on Highway 77 on the County Fairgrounds. (888) 785-4500. www.czechtexas. org Monday-Friday 10 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 3 p.m.

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The La Grange Visitors Bureau is now housed in the old jail, with its links to Bonnie and Clyde, and ghostly spirits are said to still haunt the place. Tours are available during bureau opening hours. Visitors Bureau, 171 South Main, La Grange, open Monday â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Friday 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5 p.m., and Sunday noon-5 p.m. * Later in 2016, the Visitors Bureau will be moving to the renovated Casino building behind La Grange City Hall and the Old Jail will become the new Texas Heroes Museum

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Memorabilia, historical books, records and genealogy. 397 E. Mill Street, Round Top. http://roundtopareahistoricalsociety.weebly.com Open free to the public the 2nd Saturday of each month, noon to 3 p.m., or by appointment (979) 249-5058.

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Spinning wheels on display at the Round Top Historical Society.

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Showcasing the finest examples of traditional and art quilting from around the world. Exhibits change every three months. 140 W. Colorado St. in La Grange. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. (979) 968-3104. www.texasquiltmuseum.org

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260 North Washington Street, La Grange Learn the history of the local railroads and their importance to the area by touring the MKT depot packed with artifacts and original furnishings. Two restored rail cars and an active track right outside. Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (except on holidays)

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American furniture, china, paintings,

Photo by Bobby Bedient

music and archives of Texas composer David R. Guion; the Anders Gustav Fredrick & Josephine Oxehufwud Collection of three centuries of Swedish Decorative Arts. Dedicated to music, arts and humanities. Preserves rare books, manuscripts, photographs, recordings and art; the personal library of former Texas State Librarian, Dr. Dorman Winfrey. Concert hall built by local craftsmen. Performances by international artists and musicians. 248 Jaster Rd. off State Highway 237, Round Top. Phone: (979) 249-3129 Web: www. festivalhill.org E-mail: info@festivalhill.org Open: By appointment, Mondays-Fridays.

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Dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of polka music in Texas by honoring Texas polka bands and musicians of Czech, German and Polish ancestry. Located at 625 North Main in downtown Schulenburg. For more information call (979) 743-4752. Website: www.texaspolkamuseum.com


Continued Continue Co C u d from Previous page

t.POVNFOU)JMM ,SFJTDIF #SFXFSZ4UBUF1BSL Remains of an early brewery and the monument to the men of the 1842 Dawson Mier Expedition who drew the â&#x20AC;&#x153;black beans of deathâ&#x20AC;? after their capture by the Mexican Army at Salado Creek. See an outstanding view of downtown La Grange and the Colorado River. A Texas Heroes Day is held at Monument Hill every September featuring re-enactors and guest speakers. 414 State Loop 92 off U.S. 77 (on the bluff) Phone: (979) 968-5658 Open every day but Christmas 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Call for tour information.

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The history of the Stanzel brothersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; role in the development of fly-by-wire model airplanes. See the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Barnâ&#x20AC;? where the early work was done by the Stanzels. 311 Baumgarten St., Schulenburg (Off U.S. 77). Phone: (979) 743-6559 Web: www.stanzelmuseum.org E-mail: museum@stanzelmuseum. org Open: Monday, Wednesday Friday, and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

publications, documents, microfilmed d publication ns, local all docum um men ntss, photographs and data from the early 1800s. 855 South Jefferson, La Grange. Phone: (979) 968-6418 E-mail: library@cityoflg. com Open: Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m.

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The museum documents the early history and continuing development of Flatonia and the surrounding communities. The ground floor showcases goods and furnishings from early Flatonia homes, businesses, clubs, schools and churches, while the second floor houses the Flatonia area Veterans Museum. A separate barn contains a country life collection with a complete farm kitchen and a wide array of vehicles and farm implements.101 E. North Main, Flatonia Phone: (361) 865-3455 E-mail: arnimmuseum@ att.net; www.arnimmuseum.org; Open: Thursday-Friday, 1-4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m., or by appointment.

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A treasury of Texas basketball memorabilia ranging from Shaquille Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Nealâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s high school jersey to early basketballs and scoreboards. It opened in 2009. A Hall of Fame Room details exploits of famous Texas prep basketball players. The museum is run by Bob Springer, a former college basketball player and coach, the publisher of Texas Basketball magazine. Many items in the museum Springer collected himself over the past 40 years. Located in Carmine on the corner of Augsburg Ave. and Hauptstrasse Street. Hours vary. For more information or to set up a tour call (979) 278-4222.

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The main focus of this museum is to feature the equipment and methods used by early settlers to the area, 631 N. Main St., Schulenburg across the street from the Chamber of Commerce; Open Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and for special events. Call (979) 743-3614 for more information.

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History of Fayetteville area. Home of the Teddy Schultz model trains & railroads collection, plus history of the Baca Band and local church artifacts. 119 N. Washington on the Square in Fayetteville Phone: (979) 877 5290, email fayettevillemuseum@yahoo. com. Open most Saturdays 11 a.m. â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 2 p.m., Sunday to Friday by appointment.

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Southern Pacific Tower #3 and Southern Pacific Caboose #4743; Open by appointment. Covered railroad photo pavilion (open 24/7). Main Street at Railroad Tracks Phone: (979) 743-5366, email bandit1934@att.net

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Rotating displays on Fayette County history. Extensive collection of county genealogy,

Antique tractors on display at the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Heritage Fest every October in La Grange. Photo by Andy Behlen

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 27


The old train depot building serves as the chamber of commerce, visitors center and museum.

Photo by Andy Behlen

Carmine: The Little City With a Big Heart Carmine – “the little city with a big heart,” is right in the middle of it all. Located directly between Austin and Houston on Highway 290, it’s the perfect mid-way stop for all travelers. Carmine is home of the Texas Basketball Museum, Train Depot, many art galleries and antiques shops, and the Carmine Bank, famous for once being robbed by members of the Barrow Gang – Bonnie and Clyde. “Many people stop here for gas or a short break and then come back when they see what the town has to offer,” said Vicki LaRue of the local Economic Development Board. With a beautiful shaded park, picnic area, great restaurants and clean gas stations, Carmine is your go-to stop on your way down SH 290. Having the country’s best antiques shows scattered across surrounding areas 28 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

in the fall and spring, Carmine touts itself as the “Gateway to the Antiques Festival.” But Carmine’s antiques aren’t just on the roadsides a few times each year. Many of the historic buildings house stores that are open year around. With a wonderful blend that ranges from fine furniture to “repurposed” junk, there is something for everyone. Founded in 1883, Carmine (CarMEEN) is located in the heart of Central Texas. With thousands of cars passing right through town on SH 290 everyday, it makes the city the northern entrance to all of the other communities of Fayette County. The city was incorporated in 1973 with an active city government, an excellent consolidated school system (Round Top-Carmine I.S.D.) with the high school campus in Carmine and the elementary campus located in Round Top.

Whether it is for a day or a weekend, the small town charm and idyllic scenery of Carmine offers the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Not only is Carmine a great place to visit, it is also a great place to live; whether you are starting a family, emptying your nest, or looking for a peaceful place to retire. The quiet atmosphere, small population and friendly neighbors make it the perfect place to call home. There are also many business opportunities in Carmine that offer low taxes, local incentives and a very supportive community to established and new business owners. So, next time you find yourself driving through Fayette County, stop by and stay awhile. We’d love to have you experience all our little city has to offer!


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Northern Fayette County is Heaven for Antiquers By H. H. HOWZE The Fayette County Record

Even before former Texas Governor Rick Perry built a home near there, the tiny community of Round Top was well-known to antiquers and flea market browsers all over the United States and beyond. The Round Top antiques markets started there in 1967 but long ago outgrew its origins and spread all over the countryside – initially north to Carmine and west to Warrenton. The shows now encompass six little towns, sixty venues and thousands of vendors, quickly followed by tens of

thousands of shoppers. Traditional dates are “the first full weekends of April and October,” but in practice, many venue owners require 10-16 day booth space rental. Setting up, tearing down and moving out take another 10 days. All in all, it’s about a month of paranormal activities in the countryside twice a year. Lines of vehicles on farm-tomarket roads are the key indicator – along with miles of white tents and almost-continuous roadside attractions – that the twice-yearly event is occurring again in northern Fayette County. Rooms are booked in all area motels, B&Bs and pri-

vate homes far in advance. There’s no overall organizing authority, according to Robert Alvarado, who probably has a better grasp of the phenomenon than anyone. He has been publishing his guide to the venues, Show Daily, since 2000. It is the serious shoppers’ bible, but there’s so much to see, just wandering around also works fine for most people. Over the last several shows,

many female shoppers have affected a certain style which might be described as “gypsy cowgirl” meets “shabby chic.” It consists of tapered jeans or flowing skirts, high boots – western or high fashion – and faux-battered cowboy hats. The fashion statement has been popularized by the Junk Gypsies, a Round

Continued on next page

Carmine State Bank has been rated 5-Stars by Bauer Financial for 25 Continuous Years. 235 Centennial Street P.O. Box 341 Carmine, TX 78932 979-278-3244 | 800-720-1441 www.carminestatebank.com Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

30 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

If there’s a particular style of antiques you’re looking for (like old gas station signs and pumps, above), you can probably find multiple dealers that specialize in them every April and September in and around Carmine, Warrenton, Round Top and Fayetteville in northern Fayette County. Photo by Andy Behlen


Folk Art Aplenty at Seasonal Markets Too Continued from previous page Top mother-and-sisters act and “Shabby Chic” fashionista (and London ex-pat) Rachel Ashwell. The Gypsies’ tongue-in-cheek name for themselves reflects a departure from the rather hoitytoity tone of the original antiques show in Round Top. Although their original venue location was in Warrenton, a new Junk Gypsy “world headquarters” is located near Round Top. Ashwell’s home turf is a bed and breakfast retreat northeast of Round Top on the way to Shelby. It’s dubbed “The Prairie.” The irony is that what is now a massive middleclass phenomenon started as a rather exclusive party for wealthy Houstonians. How it grew so big – it’s acknowledged to be one of the largest markets in the country – is an interesting tale. The original Round Top antiques show was the idea of three Houston matrons way back in 1967. There was one venue – the historic Round Top Rifle Hall. Hazel Ledbetter, Faith Bybee and, most notably, philantropist Ima Hogg, were all involved with the “discovery” of the rich local heritage of European-influenced art, craft and architecture. Their interest in buy-

Pictured left, the work of beer cap folk artist Loyd Zwernemann of Carmine is an example of the unusual type of items shoppers can find among the thousands of vendors in Northern Fayette County every spring and fall. Pictured right is a view of one of the many fields filled with antiques and other ‘junque’ for sale during the spring and fall fairs. Photos by H.H. Howze and Jeff Wick

ing, restoring and furnishing 19th-century homes in the area – especially Hogg’s work at Winedale and Bybee’s in Round Top – attracted the interest of their circle of friends in Houston, some of whom bought ranches and built homes in the area. They became known locally as the “mink and manure set.”

Continued on Page 33

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 31


Shopped BeCARMINE Lately? sure to check out the Little City with the BIG Heart.

RESOURCES Carmine City Hall 979-278-3273 www.cityofcarmine.org Chamber of Commerce 979-278-4200 MUSEUMS Carmine Chamber of Commerce Museum & Visitors’ Center 979-278-4200 Texas Basketball Museum 979-278-4222 SERVICES 4s Services 979-525-5768 Carmine State Bank 979-278-3244 www.csbcarmine.com Carmine Feed & Fertilizer 979-278-3111 City Garage 979-278-3377 Darlene’s Custom Sewing 979-278-3325 Diane Langley, Realtor Associate Round Top Real Estate 979-525-1324 Honest to Goodness Growers 979-278-3053 J.R Flasowski Septic Service 979-830-3643 Kountry Chick Karaoke & DJ 713-818-2286 L.A. Mayer Enterprises Monty Mayer 979-542-798 Lila Garlin, Realtor Associate Round Top Real Estate 281-705-4647 Lisa Mayer, Broker Associate Round Top Real Estate 979-966-3686 Market Realty 979-830-9600 Round Top Farm and Ranch 979-249-5666 Wellmann Insurance 979-836-3613 Ronnie Eckhart Windmill Ranch 979-278 3270

FOOD 4G Convenience Store 979-278-3000 JW’S Steakhouse 979-278-4240 The Village Market 979-278-3333 HALLS for RENT Carmine Lions Club 979-278-3613 Carmine Hall 713-553-4122 carminehall@yahoo.com Carmine Volunteer Fire Dept. 979-278-3250 Carmine’s Muehlbrad- Albers Pavilion 979-278-3273 BUSINESSES Antique Mall 979-278-3866 Burt’s Birdhouses 979-278-3880 Carmine Antiques 979-278-4255/713-724-3250 Carmine Trading Post 979-278-4040/832-264-5516 McCall Style mccallstyle@yahoo.com Neese’s Antiques & Collectibles 979-278-3280 Old Treasures and More 979-830-7928 Stoney Creek Antiques 713-898-7667 Unique Antiques 979-278-3690 Victor’s Fine Arts 281-216-0702 West of Brazos Trading Co. 979-278-3010 LODGING Aunt Clara’s Guest House 713-569-9274 Pecan Grove Inn 979-278-3965 Umland Street Sunday Haus 832-514-9345 RV PARK Dixieland RV Park 979-278-3805

www.carminetx.com 32 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE


Pick-up trucks are the preferred shopping cart at the Fayette County antiques markets.

Photo by H.H. Howze

Thousands of Vendors Now Set Up Shop Here Every Spring and Fall Continued from previous page In 1967, Ledbetter, Bybee and Hogg recruited their antiques dealer friend, Emma Lee Turney, to set up the first Round Top show. It was scheduled to coordinate with activities at Winedale. The show was intended to be a rural entertainment for country gentry and others drawn by the restoration efforts. Ralph Willard, one of Turney’s original 22 vendors, described it as “a real sort of society thing.” There were the usual fine American and European antiques, but the hottest items were pieces of handmade 19-century Texas furniture which had suddenly become desirable due to the collecting efforts of Hogg, Bybee and others. The show became a regular event on the River Oaks social calendar in the late 60s and early 70s. As concerts and other cultural activities flourished at Hogg’s

Winedale and Bybee’s Henkel Square (including piano concerts by Hogg’s artistic protege, James Dick,) the antiques show grew too, becoming twice-yearly, originally, “the first full weekend of April and October.” Money attracted money and social cachet didn’t hurt. Quite soon, Round Top was not just another dying little agricultural town – it was re-invented, much in the manner of Santa Fe, as a cultural and artistic center. Meanwhile, in the late-1980s, down the road in Warrenton, the growing popularity of the Round Top shows was not going unnoticed. Bernitta McCormick and her neighbor B. J. Renck both opened up venues along SH 237. It was the beginning of the Warrenton shows. Now venues stretch from La Grange to Burton along SH 237 and US 290 and also shows in Fayetteville, Shelby and everywhere in between. Happy shopping.

Ashley Burns left her job as a teacher to become a clothing and jewelry designer and now sets up her booth and sells her creations every spring and fall in Round Top. Photo by David Stall

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Carmine’s AlbersMuehlbrad Park Perfect Spot for Play, Picnics The Carmine city park was created by the generous donations of the land to the City of Carmine by Mr. & Mrs. Emil Albers and Mr. & Mrs. Fred Muehlbrad. The vision and hard work of local leaders and community volunteers with the donation of materials, labor, money and time to clear and shape the land and construct and install playground equipment, benches, picnic tables, barbecue pits and the bridge across the creek and the pavilion created the park over the course of four years. The park was dedicated in 1982 as a community park for all to enjoy. In 2010, after six years of planning and raising money, which enabled the city to receive grants from Texas parks and Wildlife and the LCRA, the city installed sidewalks, new playground equipment, picnic tables, benches, more barbecue pits and lighting, as well as refurbishing some of the existing equipment and making the restrooms ADA compliant. The park and the pavilion are available to rent for special events by calling (979) 278-3273.

Fun at Carmine’s city park.

Photo by Andy Behlen

Historic Carmine Train Depot Serves as a Museum Located at 248 Sylvan Street, the building housing the museum was the actual Southern Pacific Railroad Depot building for the City of Carmine. Through the generous donation of the land by Mrs. Gladys J. Krause and the building by Mr. & Mrs. Wayne Wagner, the depot, which had been moved out of the city of Carmine was returned to the city and restored to become 34 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

the city’s historical museum. Numerous area residents have donated historical items for the museum and today it provides a historical review of Carmine dating back to its founding in 1883. The museum is open on the second and fourth Fridays and Saturdays of every month from 10 AM to 2 PM. Special tours may be arranged by calling 979.277.4613

Stuermer Store in Ledbetter.

An Old Time General Store The Stuermer Store is a working museum located in the original 1870 General Store and features antique store furniture and merchandise; crafts supplied by local artisans such as bonnets, crocheted items, painted wood designs.

The saloon is restored and operates as an ice cream and sandwich shop. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and located at 100 US 290 East at FM 1291 in Ledbetter. Their phone number is 979-249-5642.


The Communities That Make Up Fayette County Ammannsville FM 1383, 9 m. SE of La Grange

Settled during the 1870s by German and Czech immigrant farmers. The first settler in the community was Andrew Ammann, who arrived on March 12, 1870. He was a noted architect as well as a farmer.

Carmine U.S. 290, at Washington Co. line

Still an incorporated city, Carmine and Round Top share a school system. The elementary is in Round Top, the high school in Carmine. The Carmine bank was robbed by Ray Hamilton and others from the Barrow Gang in the 1930s. Now it’s known for its antique dealers.

Cistern State Hwy. 95, 12 mi. NW of Flatonia

Settled during the 1850s on a hill overlooking fertile prairie land. Water wells in the area contained such high concentration of minerals that residents were forced to build cisterns to trap rainwater for domestic use.

Dubina FM 1383, 2 mi. N of U.S. 90

First Czech settlement in Texas, beginning in November 1856. Named Dubina (Czech for“oak grove”). As favorable reports about Texas reached the old country, the number of Czech settlers entering Dubina increased greatly, and Dubina became the stopover place for Czechs entering Texas. In 1873, the railroad bypassed Dubina.

Ellinger Hwy. 71 at FM 2503

founded shortly thereafter. Fayetteville had a post office and postmaster during the Republic of Texas.

Flatonia Interstate 10 at Texas 95

Established on April 8, 1874, on land acquired by the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway, it was named for pioneer merchant F. W. Flato. At that time residents of the original Flatonia settlement, one mile southeast, and Oso, three miles northeast, loaded their homes and businesses on wagons and moved to the new location on the tracks. The post office that had been established at old Flatonia in 1870 was moved to the new town without changing its name.

Freyburg FM 956 at FM 2238

Founded about 1868 by Germans and named for a town in Germany. In 2004 the recently restored Freyburg Methodist Church celebrated its 125th anniversary.

High Hill FM 2672, 14 mi. SW of La Grange

Settled in the 1830s. According to some sources, residents of High Hill refused to allow the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway to build through their community in 1874, fearing the railroad would destroy the tranquility and culture of the town. The line went to nearby Schulenburg and many of High Hill’s residents moved there. St. Mary’s Church is on the National Register of Historic places.

1870.

Schulenburg

Nechanitz

Interstate 10 at U.S. 77

Settled in 1853 by Wenzel Matejowsky, the first settler from Bohemia to enter Fayette County, it was named after his native city in Bohemia.

Founded in 1873, when the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway built through the site, it was named for Louis Schulenburg, who donated land for the railroad. The community was granted a post office in 1874.

Muldoon

Swiss Alp

FM 3011 at FM 2145

FM 154, 9 mi. N of Flatonia

On a grant of land originally made in 1831 to Father Michael Muldoon, the Irish Catholic priest who officially “converted” non-Hispanic Texas settlers to meet the legal requirements of Mexico. The town was not platted until 1886, when the Waco branch of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway extended its line between West Point and Flatonia.

Plum Hwy. 71, 8 mi. W of La Grange

Plum Grove is the second oldest established community in Fayette County, dating to 1828. It still has its own post office, which was first established in 1880.

Praha FM 1295, 3 mi. E of Flatonia

In 1858 the Bohemian settlers changed the town’s name from Mulberry to Praha in honor of Prague, the capital of their homeland. Since 1855 the community has celebrated the Feast of the Assumption on August 15. The event now attracts more than 5,000 visitors, many of them Czechoslovakian.

Round Top

State Hwy. 71 at U.S. 77

State Hwy. 237

One of the smallest incorporated communities in Texas, on the old La Bahía Road between La Grange and Brenham. Area first settled in 1826. Oldest continually celebrated July Fourth celebration west of the Mississippi, since 1851.

Settled by Bohemian and Czech immigrants in the 1850s. Named for J. E. Engle, an engineer on Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway line. Post office established in 1888 and the first store in 1890.

The county seat of Fayette County, this is where La Bahia Road crossed the Colorado River. Aylett C. Buckner settled near here about 1819 and in 1826 John Henry Moore built a twin blockhouse within what are now the city limits. A town was platted in 1837. The Republic of Texas named Fayette County in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette. La Grange was the name of Lafayette’s home, which came from his wife’s family.

Fayetteville

Ledbetter

Engle U.S. 90 between Schulenburg and Flatonia

State Hwy. 159 at FM 955

The Congress of the Republic of Texas established Fayette County in 1837, and the community of Fayetteville was officially

Established about 1865 by German settlers, who were followed by Wendish families from Serbin in Lee County.

Waldeck FM 1291 at FM 2145

Purchased in 1843 by Count Ludwig Joseph von Boos-Waldeck, who was an agent for the Adelsverein, an association of German noblemen who planned for emigration to the Republic of Texas.

Warda U.S. 77, 10 mi. N of La Grange

Named for Wartha, Saxony. Wendish immigrant A.E. Falke established a general store here in 1874 and other Wends soon arrived.

Warrenton Hwy. 237, 12 miles NE of La Grange

Founded by William Neese, who landed in Galveston in 1847 and named the new settlement that grew around his store for Warren Ligon, another early colonist.

West Point Hwy. 71, 12 mi. W of La Grange

La Grange

Famed for kolaches and barbecue, Ellinger is 11 miles southeast of La Grange. It was established as a point on the La Grange Tap spur of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway.

U.S. 77, 11 mi. S of La Grange

U.S. 290, 8 mi. E of Giddings

In extreme north Fayette County, it was the first community in the county to be served by a railroad, which reached it in

Rutersville State Hwy. 159, 5 mi. NE of La Grange

This site on the La Bahía Road was surveyed in 1838 and incorporated by the Republic of Texas on Jan. 26, 1839. Rutersville College, chartered in 1840 by the Republic of Texas, was the first Protestant college in Texas. In 1856, by an act of Congress, Rutersville College was consolidated with the Texas Military Institute of Galveston.

Intersection of Union Pacific’s north-south tracks (Waco to Victoria) and east-west tracks (Houston to Smithville, formerly MKT Railroad).

Winchester FM 153 at FM 448

First settled in 1827. The town was platted in 1857 and named for Winchester, Tenn. It was a shipping point on the Waco branch of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway.

Winedale FM 2714, 4 mi. NE of Round Top

Winedale Historical Center, in northeast Fayette County near Round Top. Ima Hogg purchased more than 130 acres, restoring the buildings and eventually donating them to UT.

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Fayetteville an Arts & Cultural Capital By PAT JOHNSON

Fayetteville, just a little off the beaten path, is for history buffs and cultural explorers alike with its museum, preserved architectural traditions as well as community celebrations like Lickskillet Days on the historic square. Our art scene is lively and diverse. You can hear Mozart in a historic hotel and see world class art exhibits at the galleries. Come explore one of the prettiest places in central Texas. There is a good reason that Fayetteville has drawn artists and musicians here for decades. Whether you are 8, 18 or 80 years old, get inspired by the unique blend of history, arts and cultural heritage. Remember to look around every once in a while, the Fayetteville landscape with its rolling hills and wildflower prairies can be the best canvas of all. Throughout Fayetteville’s history, music has always been an important part of everyday life. Traditional Czech music can still be heard on the square during the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce Lickskillet Days the third weekend in October. This family friendly event offers something for young and old. Located around the Fayetteville Town Square and SPJST Hall, the two-day event includes kids’ activities, pumpkin patch, kiddy train ride, ice-cold refreshments, hamburgers, pastries, pies & kolaches, arts & crafts, silly contests, live music, BBQ and Bean Cook-Off, horseshoe tournament, and the best parade around. The Texas Pickin’ Park is a free jam session also held under the shady trees on the town square. Traditionally bluegrass, jams are the second weekend of each month April thru November. There are always free workshops starting at 11:00 am on Saturdays. 36 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

Silouetted against the lit backdrop of the Fayetteville Precinct courthouse, a fiddler plays as part of the Texas Pickin’ Park jam session that occur the second weekend of every month, April through November. Photo by Jerry Herring

Jamming goes on all afternoon and into the evening hours. Some folks come out on Friday night for a smaller jam in the old Fire House. They ask that you only bring acoustic instruments...oh, and a good attitude. For additional information email at info@ texaspickinpark.com or contact Tom Duplissey at (512) 415-3177 Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival is proud to continue the musical tradition and is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2016. Each May, the Fayetteville Chamber Music Festival presents concerts of chamber music during which the audience sits near the musicians and experiences the music close-up. World-class musicians from New York, Hungary, Poland, Houston and Austin perform in

the 100 year-old Moravian Room at the Country Place Hotel in downtown historic Fayetteville where the natural acoustics bring a perfect warm, intimate sound to the musicians’ violin, clarinet and piano. The repertoire includes classics by Brahms, Mozart, and Beethoven, Czech favorites by Dvorak and Janacek, and Swedish pieces by Berwald, Netzel, and Stenhammar, among others. Open Rehearsals, Pre-concert Lectures, and School Concerts are included. Friday and Saturday concerts will be held May 8 through the 22nd. The Chamber Music Festival also presents house concerts throughout the year and will be performing at the Blinn College Finke Hall in Brenham, Celebrations in La Grange and Henkel Hall in Round Top.

For a complete schedule visit www.fayettevillemusic.org. Many events make the Country Place Hotel a center for the arts. The Country Place Gallery is located across the garden from the Country Place Hotel and is also the studio for local artists and architects Clovis and Maryann Heimsath. Arts for Rural Texas (ARTS), headquartered in Fayetteville, enhances the area’s exposure to the visual and performing arts. Founded in 2003, they have been augmenting school art programs in Fayette, Colorado and Austin counties with Art after School and Fine Art Assemblies. The assemblies bring individual artists and groups, such as the Houston Grand Opera and Continued on Page 38


HISTORIC INNS, B&Bs & HOTEL

StayInFayetteville.com 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 37


Festivals Pack the Fayetteville Town Square Continued from previous page the singer/songwriter Darden Smith, to perform and teach in local schools. Summer Art Camp is held annually for area school children. It provides art enrichment through five-week summer sessions. They also host art exhibitions, music events and film screenings. Check out their website for the schedule of events and times, www.artsforruraltexas.org. ArtWalk is their annual outdoor juried fine art show on the square in Fayetteville held the first weekend in May. This year on May 7th and 8th. ArtWalk promotes local, regional and national artists. There are over 60 participating artists, a schedule of performing musicians and children’s art instruction and activities. Over $6000 in award money is given to the

Czech singers and dancers performing at the annual Fayetteville Lickskillet Days on the town square.

artists selected by a judge’s panel. In addition to the art, there are wine tastings, food booths and other attractions that make for a wonderful “fresh air” event on the historic courthouse lawn. Coming this February 27th, ARTS proudly sponsors the fourth biennial ACT Exhibition and

Serving The Community Since 1917

COME BANK WITH US

Fayetteville

107 W. Fayette St. P.O. Box 9 Fayetteville, Tx 78940 (979) 378-4261 Fax: (979) 378-2934

Schulenburg

200 N. Kessler Ave. P.O. Box 52 Schulenburg, Tx 78956 (979) 743-4576 Fax: (979) 743-5082

La Grange

366 W. Travis St. P.O. Box 537 La Grange, Tx 78945 (979) 968-3200 Fax: (979) 968-4962

www.FayettevilleBank.com 38 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

Sale. This wonderful silent auction features over one hundred original creations from artists all over the United States and beyond. It is a Fayette County happening, not-to-be-missed. ACT events are known not only for outstanding art, but for the incredible ambiance, delicious food, and elegant

entertainment enjoyed by all who attend. Tickets available through ARTS, www.artsforruraltexas.org. One of Fayetteville real art treasures is a group of paintings located in St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. Recovered and

Continued on next page


History and Art Converge in Fayetteville Continued from previous page restored in the early 1990’s they were discovered to have been painted by Moravian painter, Ignaz Johann Berger, 1822 - 1901. Berger was most well-known for his religious paintings. He was commissioned to paint the images in St. John’s in the late 1800’s by the Fayetteville parishioners. The church is open during the week so visitors may view the six paintings. The Red and White Inn and Gallery has further placed Fayetteville on the art radar. The old Red and White, built in 1835, has had many businesses in it over the years including the original grocery store. Owners Joan and Jerry Herring restored the upstairs of the historic two story building into a 4-bed, 4-bathroom inn. On the first floor the Red and White Gallery shows one person and

group exhibitions. The Gallery and Inn is located at 102 W. Main Street. Check out upcoming exhibitions at redandwhitegallery.com. The gallery opened in December 2012 with Edgar von Minden’s folk art buildings of Fayetteville. Then they featured Jesus Moroles, internationally recognized sculptor and 2008 recipient of the National Medal of Arts. He exhibited work in granite, steel and paper. Other exhibitions include painter William Anzalone, watercolor artist Mary Quiros and photographer Laura Wilson. Last spring noted Houston designer and artist, Jerry Jeanmard presented works on paper from the recently published book of his work. The Red and White Gallery is open Friday from 4pm-8pm and Saturday 10am -8pm. As you work your way around

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church 207 E. Bell Street Fayetteville, Texas Masses Saturday 6:00 P.M. Sunday 10:00 A.M. Office: 979-378-2277 Website: www.stjohnfayetteville.com Email: stsjm@stjohnfayetteville.com

The Red and White Inn and Gallery has further placed Fayetteville on the art radar.

the historic square The Artist’s Vault, a unique venue is situated in the Old Bank Building. Exhibits showcase local talent as well as guest artists. Come stroll through the old bank to see what is on display on the walls and

in the vaults. Located at 123 N. Washington it is open MondayFriday 8:30 am - 3:00 pm. Artist Pat Johnson has been working in clay for over 25 years in the old Schumacher Bank Continued on next page

St. Mary Catholic Church 815 St. Mary’s Church Rd. Ellinger, Texas

Sunday Mass 8:00 A.M. Office: 979-378-2277

Website: www.stmaryellinger.com Email: stsjm@stjohnfayetteville.com

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 39


Fayetteville is on National Register of Historic Towns Continued from previous page Building on Live Oak Street. Johnson was commissioned by Fayette County to produce a bust of the Marquis de la Fayette for the County Courthouse. Her studio is open by appointment only. Other studios around the square include stained-glass artist Dick Bour who has been producing large scale stained glass projects for over two decades. Religiously themed work is a Bour Studio specialty. His store front display room is in the old Sarazin Building at 107 S. Washington. Next door is the recently opened “Johnny Applesoap, Handmade Soap and American Vintage.” Owner Emil Knodell has a terrific eye for vintage art. Everything from Bluebonnets to a self-taught painter’s portraits; funky folk art and outsider art. He is always on the hunt for early

Texas art and a range of Americana, collectables and primitive to mid-century furniture. Interesting and odd. While you’re looking at art pick up some luscious handmade soaps made with ten different fruits and vegetable oils and butters with no animal products, preservatives or chemicals. The “Natural Soap of Texas”. If you’re lucky Emil will tell you the life story of Johnny Applesoap. Another new businesses on the square will fulfill your needs for vintage Texas decor and Texasstyle apparel. LHTX by Leigh Hajovsky is fun and functional handcrafted clothing and handcrafted furniture from barn wood and other salvaged materials, as seen in “Cowboys & Indians Magazine”. Their products are designed by Leigh along with a small handful of Texan designers. The images are developed

SEASON 10 MAY 8-22, 2016 Opening concert ofW Czech compositions, in the Grand Lobby of Fayetteville Bank Other Festival performances at Country Place Hotel Tickets & Program Information:

www.fayettevillemusic.org Visiting performing artists: Week One: Bonnie Terry, violin Dimitri Murrrath, viola, Bion Tsang, cello Phillip Bush, piano Week Two: Clive Greensmith, cello, DaXun Zhang, double bass, Peter Nagy, piano, Altius String Quartet and, Festival Artistic Director Håkan Rosengren, clarinet The Festival is a Texas 501 c 3 non SUR¿W organization

40 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

Our ConcertClassics Series Continues with performances in La Grange, Round Top & Brenham Info & Tickets ON LINE March 10 13 Håkan Rosengren, clarinet Altius Quartet April 26 May 2 Håkan Rosengren, clarinet Nanako Urase, piano Funded through a matching grant program of the Frank & Jean Raymond Foundation

in-house, the silk screening is done in-house and the embellishment is done in-house. Right here in Fayetteville, Texas. Call ahead, 979 484-7179. Leigh is a busy artist doing market and Zapp Hall Antique show during Antique Week in the fall and spring. And if you love history and architecture, you’ve come to the right place, too. Fayetteville’s rich past is preserved in historic landmarks located throughout the city. Fayetteville is designated on the National Register of Historic Towns with over 400 structures on the list including a Georgian style mansion and several arts and crafts bungalows. Once a year, during Country Christmas, the second Saturday in December, Fayetteville’s Chamber of Commerce hosts their Homes Tour and invites residents and visitors to have an inside look at some

of these unique structures. The Ringing of the Church Bells and Lighting of the Luminaries surrounding the Courthouse set the scene for the horse drawn carriage rides. Tours take the curious and romantic alike about town, showcasing Fayetteville’s unique architecture and Christmas lights. Fayetteville is a magical, exuberant, colorful journey at any time of the year. Our history & culture will fascinate and inspire you. The slow and gentle pace of Fayetteville will rejuvenate you. Settle yourself into the country comforts of local inns and B&Bs, partake of our sumptuous local cuisine and treat yourself to our art and architecture. For more information on the many art’s events in Fayetteville check out the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce website, www.fayettevilletxchamber.org.


The Ross Gallery at ARTS for Rural Texas in Fayetteville.

Fayette County Filled With Art Galleries Carmine:

Victor’s Fine Arts 297 E. Thigpen, Carmine 281-216-0702 www.victorsfinearts.com Fayetteville:

ARTS for Rural Texas Tues thru Sat 10-3 (free) 114 N Live Oak, Fayetteville 979-378-2113 www.artsforruraltexas.org

979-249-4119 www.thegalleryatroundtop.com

Copper Shade Tree Fine Home 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 101 N. Live Oak Round Top (Henkel Square) 979-249-4127 www.coppershadetree.com

ARTWALK 2016 Fayetteville, Texas

May 7th and 8th Fun for Everyone RQ)D\HWWHYLOOH·V+LVWRULF6TXDUH Fine Art & Wine Tasting Food & Fun For The Children 6DWDPSP 6XQDPSP

D. Little Gallery Red & White Gallery Open: Friday: 4 to 8 p.m.; Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 102 West Main Fayetteville, Texas 78940 www.redandwhitegallery.com

108 N. Washington Street Round Top, TX 78954 979-249-3770 Fri, Sat: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun: Noon to 4 p.m. Or by appointment www.dorothylittlefineart.com

Handmade Jewelry, Lyn Foley

The Artist’s Vault 123 N. Washington St (Mailing: PO Box 72); Fayetteville, TX 78940 979-378-2221 Open Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Dancing Light Fused Glass Donna Sarafis, Glass Artist 936-436-2250 109 E. Market Street Fayetteville, TX 78940 www.dancinglightfusedglass.com Round Top:

The Gallery at Round Top Wed thru Sun, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (free) 203 East Austin, Round Top

The Orchid Tree Gallery 453 N. Washington Street Round Top, TX 78954 www.orchidtreeparkandgallery.com La Grange:

Texas Quilt Museum Thurs.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sun Noon-4 p.m. 140 West Colorado Street, La Grange 979-968-3104 www.texasquiltmuseum.org

Mixed Media, Kathy Durst

Painting, Nancy Wamsley

The Noble Swede Gallery 107 Colorado Street La Grange (979) 308-6005 Facebook.com/thenobleswede 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 41


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Lake Fayette Popular With Anglers For fishing, boating or just relaxing, one of Texas’ finest small lakes is found in Fayette County. Lake Fayette is located 10 miles east of La Grange off SH 159 near Fayetteville. Bass lovers have flocked to it for the past 30 years. You’ll need a state fishing license available at Walmart in La Grange. There is a 14-24 inch slot limit on black bass. Anglers may keep five bass 14 inches or less and one bass 24 inches or over. Lake Fayette was constructed by the LCRA and the City of Austin as a 2,400-acre cooling pond for the Fayette Power Project. Warm water discharged into the lake means that it can be fished year round. Park Prairie and Oak Thicket Parks Two parks provide access to Lake Fayette for boating, fishing,

camping or family reunions. Park Prairie and Oak Thicket parks are located on the north end of the lake. Daily access fees are charged. Oak Thicket Park At 85 acres, Oak Thicket is the largest and most developed park on the lake. Twenty RV sites with water, 30-50 amp hookups and a dump station are available. There are also cedar cabins of various sizes, screened shelters and tent sites. Amenities also include a pavilion for large gatherings, a children’s playground and a bird watching and nature loop. A multi-use trail runs from Oak Thicket Park around the perimeter of the lake to Park Prairie Park. Park Prairie Park Park Prairie is the smaller of

Deborah Johnson of Houston caught this 11.44-pound bass at Lake Fayette last May while fishing with her husband. This fish was just under the lake record of 12.25 pounds.

the two parks at 14 acres. It features a boat ramp, dock and pier, tent camping and restrooms. Potable water is available. Reservations for facilities at

both parks can be made by calling the Texas Parks and Wildlife reservation line: (512) 389-8900 (choose option 2) or on short notice (979) 249-3344. Have fun!

Lake Fayette hosts a number of fishing tournaments throughout the year.

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 43


The S.P.J.S.T. Hall as it looked at its dedication in 1910.

The S.P.J.S.T. Hall as it appears now, a Texas Historic Landmark.

S.P.J.S.T. Hall a Gathering Place In Fayetteville for More Than a Century S.P.J.S.T., the initials for Slovanska Podporujici Jednota Statu Texas (Slavonic Benevolent Order of the State of Texas), is known in English as the Slavonic Benevolent Order of the State of Texas.. This fraternal organization was founded by Texans of Czech descent in 1896 and for many years, Fayetteville was its headquarters. This was due to the fact that the central figure in administering the affairs of the Society, Secretary J. (Jan) R. Kubena, had his personal business operations located in Fayetteville. Known as the “Daddy of the S.P.J.S.T.”, Kubena (great-grandfather of Mayor Ronald Pflughaupt) administered the affairs of SPJST out of a single room in his general merchandise store until his death in 1938. In February 1910, Fayetteville’s Lodge No. 1 voted to purchase some land to build a meeting hall so that it would have a place for its members to meet and celebrate the old customs. In just a few months, S.P.J.S.T. Hall #1

44 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

(also a dance hall) and two ancillary buildings a - concessions stand (or beer bar) and the old kitchen buildings - were built. The first meeting in the hall was held on October 9, 1910. J. (Jan) R. Kubena was president at the time. Restrooms, the baseball field, and a new concessions stand and ADA restrooms are later additions to the S.P.J.S.T. complex. In 2008, Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. listed the SPJST Hall # 1 dance hall on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2014, the Texas Historical Commission recognized Fayetteville’s S.P.J.S.T. Lodge No. 1 as a significant part of Texas history by awarding it an Official Texas Historical Marker. The designation honors the lodge hall as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL), which is a legal designation for historic structures that have maintained their architectural integrity and it comes with a measure of protection. The RTHL status extends to the concessions stand (or beer bar) and the old kitchen buildings. A

dedication ceremony to commemorate the unveiling of the marker was held on Sunday afternoon, November 16, 2014 at the lodge hall on FM 159 next to the baseball field. Fayetteville’s S.P.J.S.T.Hall has always been a gathering place for the entire community. Along with lodge activities, there have been many dances, graduations, wedding receptions, meetings, high school plays, and even basketball games held in the old hall. The kitchen and concession stand were also used when the circus came to town and for FFA stock shows. The Do Your Duty Club used wood-fired stoves in the kitchen to bake their Kolaches that raised money for the Seth Thomas clock on the precinct courthouse on the square. One of the most noteworthy early celebrations occurred when the World War I soldiers returned home to Fayetteville. Uniformed soldiers led by the Baca Band marched around the town and to the S.P.J.S.T. Hall. For more information, leave a message at (979) 968-3545.


Staying The Night Can Be An Artful Experience Fayette County has many interesting and unique lodging choices, often filled with the beautiful antiques and collectables for which the area has become famous. When Joan Herring began developing the cabins, houses and inns of Blackbird Farm Lodging, she added original and important art into this special mix. Today her properties include paintings, ceramics and photographs from highly collected Texas artists such as William Anzalone, Laura Wilson, Pat Johnson, Charles Schorre and Mark Kohler. At Market Street Inn in Fayetteville, Joan and her partner Mary Quiros acquired a stunning Laura Wilson photograph to grace the entrance, then added special pieces from Mary and Evan Quiros’ collection of stained-glass windows and vintage MaxwellParish calendars. The Inn, which was recently photographed for a national life-style magazine, includes paintings by Rob Erdle, Bruce Williamson, Dorothy Bertine and Kathy Durst. A large-scale acrylic by Mary is showcased in the upstairs lobby as is a lithograph

by internatioally renown painter Alex Katz. The Blackbird Farm Art Collection is very eclectic, with folk art by Santa Fe’s Ed Larson, Wisconsin artist Arne Nyen, Florida’s Missionary Mary Proctor and Fayette County’s Dorothy Shelby and Mary Anne Heimsath. There are luscious pastels by Jeri Salter and fanciful pieces by Anne Vela, Larry McEntire, Aly Winningham and Kiki Neumann. Charming wooden whirligig sculptures by Mark Kluck, collages by Houston’s Jerry Jeanmard and an original lithograph by Joan Miró demonstrate the wide range of artistic expression. Local artists are well represented too, with works by painters Clovis Heimsath, Dick Smith and Michael Clann. There are photographs in the collection by Geoff Winningham, David Michael Kennedy, Jerry Herring and Joan Bueling-Herring. Andceramics by Susan Budge, Joyce Joe, Jim Bob Salazar and Marsan Saqr. “We’ve stayed in different rooms over the last few years, and it’s like going to a

new art gallery each time,” wrote a guest. Joan agrees, “No two rooms are alike, so you could create your own art tour by staying at a different location every time you visit. Now that sounds like fun.”

A photograph by Laura Wilson hangs in one of the bedrooms at the Red & White Inn on Fayetteville’s Historic Square.

Elegant Fayetteville Lodging

A luxurious 5-bedroom Inn, two classic Texas country houses and a 4-room Inn on an historic square — art and antique filled lodging in and around Fayetteville near Round Top. Contact Joan at 713-818-9766 or Joan@BlackbirdFarmTexas.com www.BlackbirdFarmTexas.com 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 45


Fayetteville ArtWalk Keeps Growing Each year, the first weekend in May, fine artists from all over Texas and beyond descend upon the picturesque small town square of Fayetteville to show and sell the very best of their creations. Started many years ago as a small local artist event, ArtWalk has grown and morphed into a juried art show of the highest caliber and boast award monies for the attending artist of over $6000.00 to sweeten the visit. This year at ArtWalk 2016 over sixty artists will shop their wares in the beautiful Texas sunlight amid the sounds of bluegrass music and festival fun for two days during the most beautiful time of year in central Texas. Come to stroll through the outdoor booths and meet the artists who created the original pieces. Enjoy a glass of wine at the Wine Tasting Booth, or just sit and enjoy the casual concert

coming from the gazebo. There are lots of free activities for the children too. ARTS, Arts for Rural Texas, the sponsoring nonprofit is centered in Fayetteville but serves the entirety of Fayette and surrounding counties. The mission of ARTS is to bring the arts to the rural community with an emphasis on educational opportunities for the kids. At ArtWalk kids can create their own art at the children’s booth or just get that face painted for nothing but a smile. ArtWalk is an important source of funding for the ARTS programs like Art After School which offers free art classes in seven different rural school districts and the Fine Art Assemblies that bring performers like Houston Grand Opera and Ballet Austin to the local schools. The attending artists are invited to donate one piece of original art

Local artist Lyn Foley showcases her work at Fayetteville’s ArtWalk.

that will later be auctioned to support these important programs. ArtWalk is more than just a great fine art show. It is a festival celebrating the best of Ameri-

can small town life. Fayetteville cannot be out done for small town charm and friendliness. Come for the art and stay for the fun, May 7th and 8th, 2016.

Christmas a Magical Time in Fayetteville By Cathy Chaloupka

The Fayetteville Precinct courthouse all lit up for the holidays.

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Preparing for that magical holiday time of the year in Fayetteville is no easy chore with music, carriage rides, tours of homes and museum, kid’s activities, arrival of Santa and pet costume contest to account for. But for the 20th year, this historic community is going to do just that on Saturday, December 10, 2016 from 10 am to 9 pm. With over 400 structures to claim on the National Registry of Historic Towns, this proud community with its spirited locals (and hosts of volunteers) regularly manage to pull off an event that’s fun for the entire family and always educational thanks to the tremendous preservation that this great hometown can acclaim through its forefathers. Fayetteville is located on Highway 159 a short distance from La Grange and zip code 78940 for GPS users. For more information contact Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce at (979) 378-4021 or email at info@FayettevilleTxChamber.org. Go to www.StayInFayetteville. com and check Fayetteville’s unique lodging facilities and stay for the entire weekend of fun-filled events and experience small town “Fayetteville, the way Texas used to be.”


The 2015 Fayetteville Lickskillet float.

Lickskillet Days Celebrates 40 Years in Fayetteville Since 1976, Fayetteville has set aside the third weekend in October to celebrate the area’s German and Czech heritage. You won’t want to miss the festivities this year starting Saturday October 15 through Sunday 16, 2016. Experience an authentic small town Texas festival - there will be something for everyone. On Saturday this family friendly event will offer something for young and old around the Historic Fayetteville Town Square including a kids’ activity area, a pumpkin patch, ice-cold refreshments, hamburgers, pastries, pies & Kolaches, arts & crafts/folk art vendors, live music entertainment, and raffles. Shops will be open on the Square too. If you are curious about the area,

tours of the historic Courthouse, jail, and Fayetteville Heritage Museum will also be given. Just down the road, SPJST Hall will be hosting their annual BBQ and Bean CookOff, along with a horseshoe tournament and live music. Bring your lawn chair and don your dancing boots for Lickskillet’s old fashioned street dance back on the Square. Sunday, all the festivities continue on the Square along with the ever-popular Lickskillet Days Parade featuring unique floats, trail-riders, and antique cars. Stay after the parade and enjoy a catered meal served at the Old Fire Station on the Square, enjoy more music, shop the square and vendor booths, check out the kid’s activi-

ties again, watch the Fayette-Czech Singers & Dancers, and stay to see who wins the raffle items. Over the years, German and Czech immigrants called this small community home, naming and renaming it many times. At one time, Fayetteville was named Lick Skillet (Lickskillet). Supposedly, latecomers to the numerous community festivals, who complained that all the food was gone, were told to “lick the skillet.” So don’t’ be late! For more information contact Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce at (979) 378-4021 or email at info@ FayettevilleTxChamber.org. Go to www.StayInFayetteville.com and check Fayetteville’s unique lodging facilities and

stay for the entire weekend of fun-filled events and experience small town “Fayetteville, the way Texas used to be.”

The massive skillet on display on the town square during the festival.

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Monument Hill/Kreische Brewery State Park in La Grange takes on a special glow during the holiday season during its Trail of Lights Program.

La Grange Alive With History By JEFF WICK The Fayette County Record

Back in 1838 the Texas Congress tried to establish the Capital of the Republic of Texas in La Grange. Even then folks knew how special this place was. Thanks to a veto by Sam Houston, La Grange never became the capital, but what was the government’s loss was the gain of those who love the small town-charm of this place. By Fayette County standards, La Grange is actually a big town. It’s Fayette’s biggest city (with a population approaching 5,000) and the county seat. Rising above downtown is the historic 125-year-old courthouse, designed by famed architect J. Riely Gordon. It underwent a massive restoration in 2005. 48 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

Surrounding the courthouse on all four sides is a bustling town square filled with boutiques and shops – everything from a bakery, a barbeque joint and meat market, to a gourmet cookware store – all housed well-preserved historic buildings. The downtown square is the site of a Farmers Market every Saturday morning year-round. The historic centuries-old Muster Oak juts out into the street downtown. It was where generations of local service men and women have gathered before going off to battle during the Texas Revolution, the Indian Wars, the Civil War, the SpanishAmerican War and World Wars I and II. Just a block off the downtown square is the Texas Quilt Museum which draws visitors from all over the world to a collection of exhibits that changes several times a year.

Nearby is the historic train depot and museum, and opening late in 2016 will be the Texas Heroes Museum, which will be housed in the old county jail, which sits a block off the town square to the south. Speaking of Texas heroes, on the limestone bluff overlooking La Grange (which was carved by the scenic Colorado River that flows through town) sits Monument Hill/Kreische Brewery State Park, where the remains of numerous Texas revolution-era soldiers are buried. The Fayette County Fairgrounds, located just north of La Grange on Highway 77, not only hosts the annual Labor Day Weekend County Fair but also the Best Little Cowboy Gathering and the Best Little Quilt Show in Texas. Adjacent to the fairgrounds is the Texas Czech Heritage and Continued on next page


The courthouse square business district in La Grange plays host to numerous festivals throughout the year, like La Grange Uncorked, above, during which area wineries set up tasting stops in local shops.

La Grange Knows How to Throw a Party Continued from previous page Cultural Center, a massive complex devoted to keeping the history of Czech settlers alive. La Grange is also home to several festivals – often centered around food and drink like La Grange Uncorked (happening March 19, 2016) and Schmeckenfest (Dec. 1, 2016) and Oktoberfest. One of the nation’s premier “listening room” concert venues is in La Grange. The Bugle Boy regularly plays host to Grammy winners, who love the intimate feel of the former WWII army barrack-turned concert hall. La Grange is home to a Class 4A school district of 1,882 students that is often

state-recognized for its academic achievements. La Grange High School is also the alma mater of former NFL All-Pro Johnnie Johnson and current Cincinnati Reds star pitcher Homer Bailey. La Grange’s St. Mark’s Medical Center is a 65-bed 100,000 square foot modern hospital, which was built in 2005. It has a clinical affiliation with St. David’s HealthCare in Austin. Visitors often use La Grange as a base-camp of sorts for exploration of other parts of Fayette County because La Grange has several major hotels, grocery stores, and a wide array of restaurants. Whether its a day-trip here, or a long weekend, La Grange can be your capital city for enjoying Fayette County. 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 49


Casino C i H Hall ll R Restoration t ti SSaves a LLa G Grange Architectural A hit t l G Gem This year La Grange completes work on a $3.25-million project that was years in the making. The Historic Casino Hall building, built in 1881 – which has served the town as everything from a school to a fire house to a senior citizens center – is being returned to its former glory and will become the new La Grange Visitors Center on the first floor, and a sparkling special events venue in the upstairs ballroom. Completion is expected in mid-2016. Despite the name, the building was never a actual casino, but was built by the La Grange Casino (Social) Society. For more information about the hall, or to rent it, contact the city of La Grange at 979-968-5805.

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The massive Casino Hall at the corner of Franklin and LaFayette Streets in La Grange had undergone a $3.25 million restoration.

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t

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2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 51


Fayette County Fair Gets Bigger and Better Since 1927, the Fayette County Fair has treated local folks and area visitors to the biggest party between Houston and Austin. In the last couple of year’s big-name entertainers like Merle Haggard and ZZ Top have helped propel total attendance of the event to about 50,000. The fair is always held the Thursday-Sunday of Labor Day Weekend. In 2016 that’s Sept. 1-4. It all happens at the Fayette County Fairgrounds just north of La Grange on Highway 77. The four day-extravaganza is packed with events too numerous to mention, but here are a few that are always included: * A Queen’s Contest on opening night. * A Saturday morning parade through downtown La Grange. * A Carnival.

ZZ Top’s performance last year drew 19,000 to a concert Saturday night at the Fayette County Fair.

* Weekend Barbecue cookoff. * Softball Tournament. * Petting Zoo. * A wide array of local food vendors and live music at the German-Czech Mart. * Fine Arts Exhibits.

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* Livestock shows. * A Country Store. * Talent Show. * Headline performers every night on the main stage. * Horseshoe and washer pitching tournaments.

* A Commercial Exhibit Hall filled with vendors. Season tickets go on sale in July, sold by candidates for Fair Queen, or one-day admission tickets can be bought at the gate. Also see www.fayettecountyfair.org.


2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 53


Award Winning Bakery %FMJt%SJOLTt(JGUTt(BT

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A Few Words About Kolaches, Our Areaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Iconic Food A true kolache, despite what big-city franchises might try to tell you, are sweet pastries baked with a generous dollop of fruit (or cream cheese, cottage cheese or poppy seed) in the middle. And boy do the bakeries in Fayette County know how to make these traditional European treats. Each place has their own variations, but every one is great. All the places listed here also sell amazing pigs-in-the blanket (klobasniky). t8FJLFMT#BLFSZBU8 4UBUF)JHIXBZJO-B(SBOHF $BMM"MTPBWBJMBCMF at Village Market in Carmine. t)SVTLBT#BLFSZBU 85FYBTJO&MMJOHFS $BMM t-VLBT#BLFSZBU/.BJO 4USFFUJO-B(SBOHF s/RIGINAL+OUNTRY"AKERYISAT +ESSLER!VE53 IN3CHULENBURG  

ST. MARKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MEDICAL CLINIC - FLATONIA Judy Vire, RN, FNP, BC.........................361-865-3302 FAMILY PRACTICE (*Including Pediatrics) Laura Birnbaum, MD*.......................979-542-9000 Teresa Kinsfather, DO......................979-542-4357 Bill D. Nolen, DO.................................979-242-5878 Enrique Tobias, MD............................979-968-2000 La Grange Family Health....................979-968-8493 Giddings Family Health......................979-542-7400 Sain Ashraf, DO* Wess Blackwell, MD* Thomas Borgstedte, DO Wm. Mike McBroom, MD Schulenburg Clinic................................979-743-3520 Michelle James, MD* Donald Kocurek, MD Pam Slaton, FNP

In addition to the eateries listed to the left, which all serve great kolaches, you can find wonderful homemade kolaches at numerous church picnics held in our area. Above, folks from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Fayetteville show off the hundreds of kolaches they make every year for their annual festival. For a schedule of church picnics see Page107.

CARDIOLOGY Austin Heart...........................................979-242-5677 Phillip E. Burket, MD Long Cao, MD Paul Pagley, MD Matthew Selmon, MD, FACC David Tschopp, MD, FACC Srinath Vemuri, MD Stanley Wang, MD, JD, MPH Suzanne Wetherold, MD OBSTETRICS/GYNECOLOGY Shannon Juno, MD.............................979-968-2700 PEDIATRICS Crystal Banks, MD..............................979-542-0710 Richard Grout, MD.............................979-968-2000 Amy Jatzlau, MD.................................979-542-0710 ORTHOPEDICS Sandy Bahm, MD...............................979-242-2205 Russell Clark, MD................................979-242-2387

GENERAL SURGERY Russell Juno, MD................................979-968-2700 General & Laparoendoscopic Surgeons of Central Texas..................979-242-5605 Albert L. Chorens, MD Anant Praba, MD Daniel A. White, MD PODIATRY Paul Gee, DPM....................................979-242-2205 Gerald Zeringue, DPM.....................512-447-2025 EAR, NOSE & THROAT Andrew L. deJong, MD.......................979-693-6000 Paul Fulmer, MD.................................512-656-1196 Thomas Salzer, MD............................979-680-8808 Steven Wright, MD.............................979-680-8808

HOSPITALIST Amanda Rosenaur, CFNP................979-242-2300 ALLERGY Paul Jantzi, MD....................................800-362-9633 DERMATOLOGY Daniel Ladd, Jr., DO...........................512-451-0139 UROLOGY David W. Freidberg, MD...................512-341-2200 David Phillips, MD..............................512-443-5988 Steven H. Pickett, MD........................512-416-0444 3HWHU 5XÎ? 0' NEUROLOGY/NEUROSURGERY Herbert Edmundson, MD................713-772-4600 William H. Fleming, MD.....................877-362-7832 Byron Neely, MD...............................979-968-6500 J. Bradley White, MD, PhD.................800-793-9106

979.242.2200 One St. Markâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Place Â&#x2018; La Grange, Texas Located just North of La Grange on Hwy. 77

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FOR MORE INFORMATION N ON ON ST. ST. MARKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S MARKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S PHYSICIANS, PHYSICIANS CALL 979.242.2205 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 55


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The Fayette Public Library is located at 855 S. Jefferson St. in La Grange.

LG Library a Great Resource The Fayette Public Library building, at 855 S. Jefferson St. in La Grange also houses the Fayette Heritage Museum & Archives, which had rotating exhibits highlighting local history. The library has an extensive selection of books as well as numerous computers for public use. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a playground and gazebo on the scenic tree-

filled library grounds, which encompasses a whole city block. Library Hours of Operation are: Tues. - Thursday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Sunday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Closed www.edwardjones.com

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2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 57


Swinging and Singing at La Grangeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Little Cowboy Gathering In what seems like eight short years, The Best Little Cowboy Gathering In Texas has grown into one of Texasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; premiere country and western swing dance music festivals. Always held the second full weekend in March, the event includes three days of dance music on two stages. The Saturday lineup offers concertgoers the option to sit and enjoy the music or get up and dance on a wooden floor. Of the two stages, one is La Grangeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous dance hall built in 1923 with a beautiful wood floor and high roof for great acoustics. For tickets you need to act fast as the dance hall is closed after the first 500 reserve seats are sold. The second stage is an outdoor pavilion that

58 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

can be enclosed with vinyl sides if the weather requires it. For the first time this year, a wooden floor will be installed in the pavillion for all those that love to dance. Typical lineups include Darrell McCall, Tony Booth, Curtis Potter, Landon Dodd, Jody Nix, Rocky King, Jason Roberts, Jeff Woolsey, Jake Hooker, K.R. Wood, and many more country western artists. This year we are happy to have Johnny Bush as one of the featured entertainers. Saturdayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities at the main stage include: t,38PPEBTQJSited cowboy entertainer who joins us each year; t5IF"MM4UBS(JSM#BOEUXP Continued on next page

The dance floor is always a good place to be at The Best Little Cowboy Gathering. Photo by Claude Cash


Cowboy Gathering Always Second Full Weekend in March Continued from previous page hours of beautiful harmonizing old western and country songs; t+PEZ/JY'JEEMF&YUSBWBHBO[B+PEZ/JYCFDPNFTUIFCBOE EJSFDUPSPWFSTJYUPFJHIUGJEEMFST for a wonderful one hour special FYQFSJFODFPGDMBTTJDGJEEMFUVOFT t5IF-BLF5SBWJT'JEdlers - a talented group of high TDIPPMLJETXIPQMBZXFTUFSO swing and old style hits; t#JMMZ.BUBUIFHSFBU DPVOUSZBSUJTUXIPQMBZT#PC 8JMMTNVTJDMJLFOPPUIFS t5IF"MM4UBS(JSM#BOEXJMM NBLFBSFUVSOUPPQFOGPSUIFMFHFOEBSZ+PIOOZ#VTIUPDPODMVEF

the main stage entertainment. 5IFFWFOUBMTPJODMVEFTB CBSCRDPPLPGG IPSTFEFNPOTUSBUJPOT EVUDIPWFODPPLJOH EFNPOTUSBUJPOT BSUTBOEDSBGUT WFOEPST CMBDLTNJUIEFNPOTUSBUJPOT BOEBTUJDLIPSTFSPEFP (SFBUIBNCVSHFSTBSFTFSWFEVQ GSPNUIF'BZFUUF$PVOUZ'BJS HSPVQ$BUFSFENFBMTGPS'SJEBZ BOE4BUVSEBZBSFBMTPBWBJMBCMF XJUIBEWBODFQSFTBMFQVSDIBTF 1SPDFFETGSPNUIFFWFOU benefit local area youth scholarships. Visit the website for an NJOVUFWJEFPUPVS UJDLFUT prices and more details: www. bestlittlecowboygathering.org.

The 8th Annual Best little cowboy gathering in texas Thursday, March 10th thru Sunday, March 13th, 2016 ALWAYS THE SECOND FULL WEEKEND IN MARCH

Fayette County Fairgrounds, 1 Mile North on Hwy. 77, La Grange, TX

MAIN STAGE LINEUP FEATURING JEFF WOOLSEY 2 RANCH NORTON LANDON DODD 2 JASON ROBERTS K.R. WOOD2 KRISTYN HARRIS DEVON DAWSON 2 GINNY MAC JEAN PRESCOTT 2 BROOK WALLACE JODY NIX 2 LAKE TRAVIS FIDDLERS BILLY MATA 2 JOHNNY BUSH Dance Hall is closed to the public and reservations are limited to the first 500 Dance Hall Schedule

Thursday: Rance Norton + Curtis Potter Darrell and Mona McCall + Tony Booth

Friday: Rocky King + Jeff Woolsey Jake and Tommy Hooker Saturday: Jody Nix + Billy Mata PLENTY OF ENTERTAINMENT BBQ Cookoff 2 Jody Nix Fiddle Extravaganza Chuckwagon Exhibits2 Sunday Cowboy Church Dutch Oven Demonstrations 2 Children Events Andalusian Horse Demonstrations Western Arts & Craft Show and much more!

PROCEEDS BENEFIT YOUTH SCHOLARSHIPS For more Info, visit us at:

BESTLITTLECOWBOYGATHERING.ORG

Self Contained RVs Park FREE Beer and Setups Available - BYOB

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 59


Visit the Jersey Barnyard: A Taste of Farm Life By FAITH FRERICHS

The Jersey Barnyard invites everyone to spend some quality time on its beautiful centuryold dairy farm with family and friends The Jersey Barnyard offers guided or self-guided tours that helps bring you into a glimpse of what farming life is all about. This fourth generation farm has seen feasts and the famines over the past 114 years. The family’s hard work and determination has led the farm to diversify and reinvent itself in order to survive ever-changing demands. While at The Jersey Barnyard, take a deep breath, relax and take it all in. Guinea fowl bring smiles and laughs at their antics. Precious chickens, pigs, goats, turkeys and more await visitors. Baby Jersey calves love new people. You can even hand bottle feed them milk.

You can hand bottle-feed baby calves at the Jersey Barnyard.

But the best treat for visitors is a hayride through the rolling hills of the farm, up to the dairy, and hand-milk the gentle dairy cows. The farm’s offerings don’t stop there. Knowing your food source

is becoming an important decision families make every day. The Jersey Barnyard offers 100% grassfed Grade A raw milk, 100% Grass-Fed beef, free range eggs, farm-raised pork, local honey,

The Gift Place

organic free-trade coffee, raw milk cheese, and the list keeps growing. These quality products as well as farm related gifts, Texas souvenirs, and hand dipped ice cream are available in the gift shop. The Jersey Barnyard offers fun-filled events throughout the year, with an Easter Egg Hunt in the spring and a pumpkin patch in the fall. Visit The Jersey Barnyard website for more information on the dates and times. Follow The Jersey Barnyard on FaceBook, Instagram or the website, www.texasjersey.com. Whether La Grange is your hometown or you are just passing through, don’t miss an opportunity to go on an educational tour of the farm or just come out and visit the store. The Jersey Barnyard doesn’t feed the world, just close friends and neighbors.

at

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979.242.5146 or 1.800.688.0272 3611 W. State Hwy. 71, La Grange M-F 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. & Sat. 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 60 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE


Building Trust You Can Depend On ESTABLISHED 1982

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Tourism Website Caters to County Visitors Most people are interested in the “three pillars” of Fayette Co. tourism – Heritage, Countryside, & the Arts. Visitors to Fayette County are like snowflakes, says Larry Jackson. Every one is different. “That’s what makes a tourism website so valuable,” Jackson says. “You can custom tailor the information you want and create the perfect trip to Fayette County.” The website he is touting is www.VisitFayetteCounty. com, a project of the Fayette County Tourism Association. “You never know exactly

what visitors might want to see or do,” says Vicki La Rue, chair of the all-volunteer board of directors of the Fayette County Tourism Association. Recently her husband noticed some tourists stopped along a highway near Carmine and worried they might be having trouble and need help. Instead, he discovered, they just wanted to see “the real Texas.” They were international visitors who had flown to Houston and then driven to the Formula One races in Austin. They wanted to see a ranch on their way back to Houston. Fortunately, he knew just where to take them – and did! “We can’t serve every tourist who comes to Fayette County quite that well,” says Jackson, “but our web site comes close.”

Jackson, the public relations chair for the organization, says it’s the close cooperation of all areas of the county that makes a robust, informative web site possible. “We have an incredible depth of information,” says Kirk Pate of Flatonia, who spearheaded its compilation. “We list every restaurant, every B&B, every museum, every concert venue, everything we can think of that visitors might want to know about,” Pate says. Most people are interested in the “three pillars” of Fayette County tourism – Heritage, Countryside, and the Arts. Each of these can be explored in depth on www.VisitFayetteCounty.com. “But every visitor, every potential tourist, is unique, with unique interests and outlooks,” says Jackson. “Using our web site,

they can personalize their plans, whether they are looking for antiques or art galleries, whether they are day-trippers from Houston or northern snowbirds coming here for the season.” The tourism association is a non-profit organization supported by Fayette County and all of the cities in the county, along with businesses, chambers of commerce, museums, concert venues, arts organizations and similar groups. “There is so much to see and do in Fayette County,” says La Rue. “The more you find out about our county, the more likely you are to stay a little longer and see a little more. And that’s our goal as an organization – to get visitors to stay another day and enjoy our hospitality a little longer.”

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Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Celebrates 8th Year in 2016 The Fayette County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo has grown into one of the largest CPRA (Cowboys Professional Rodeo Association) rodeos in the nation. This year’s event will be held August 12-14, 2016 at the Posse’s rodeo arena three-miles south of La Grange on FM 609. This three day event will include bronc and bull riding, muttin’ bustin’, trick riders, and barrel racing. Concessions will be on site during the event, and there will be live music and entertainment for your enjoyment. There will also be a pageant, and crowning of the Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Royalty for the year.

Spectators get up-close to the action at the Fayette County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo.

Photo by Tom Wood

Brush Up on Your Golf Game Here Fayette County boasts two nine-hole golf courses that are open to the public – and two disc golf courses. The La Grange golf course is at Frisch Auf! Valley Country Club, but non-members can play there. It’s located at 576 Country Club Drive at the base of the bluff formed by the Colorado River. Call (979) 968-6113 for more information. The Flatonia course is at 1245 E. Highway 90 and opened in 1993. For more information call (361) 865-2922. Carts are available for rental at both courses. If disc golf is your game, Snow Farm is a 21- hole course

located in the far northern tip of Fayette County on Muske-Ulrich Road. Call ahead for reservations from owner/operator Randon Dillingham at (979) 278-3536. Built in 2012, there is now a free disc golf course at the Fayette County fairgrounds as well.

Golfing is open to the public at the course at Frisch Auf! Valley Country Club in La Grange.

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The Buzz About Rohan Meadery By SCOT ERIN BRIGGS

Wendy and John Rohan have been transforming honey into mead for seven years at their meadery at Blissful Folly Farms outside La Grange. Bottling is an involved process, but the Rohans are aided by many helpful hands.“We all started as home brewers,” said Wendy, gesturing toward her helpers. She says she and John experimented for years before they decided to turn their hobby into a business. The Rohans moved to the area eight years ago. But they were neither strangers to the post oak savannah nor to the art and science of fermentation. John’s great-great-grandfather immigrated from the Czech Republic to High Hill. And both Wendy and John have backgrounds in science—Wendy

studied biology and chemistry and John was a student of chemical engineering. “There is so much science around yeast,” said Wendy who teaches seventh and eighth grade science at La Grange Middle School. Different yeasts are used depending on the flavors they want to bring out. When the couple first considered making mead, Wendy worried that their only customers would be folks who frequent renaissance festivals, where mead is served as a kind of brewed artifact. But the mead made at Blissful Folly Farms is different from what you might find at a renaissance festival, says Wendy. The Rohans found their niche aligned neatly with their heritage and the meads produced at Blissful Folly are Czech-style meads. “When we

John Rohan, Wendy Rohan, Ashley Gaas, Michael Gamble and Cooper Dalhart take a break from the business of bottling at Rohan Meadery northwest of Oldenburg. Photo by Scot Erin Briggs

tried Czech and German meads, we fell in love,” said Wendy. Even the glass “corks” the meadery uses are German designed and made in the Czech Republic. Fayette County is home to more Czechs per capita than any other in Texas according to the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center. And the meadery’s location has proven a good one. “We had a lot of local support early on,” said Wendy. Blissful Folly is a 30 acre farm located four miles northwest of Oldenburg. Wendy credits their success in part on a growing interest in where and how food is produced. “We could not have done what we have without the slow food movement and the local food movement, without people who care about where their food comes from,” said Wendy. Generally, the meads take close to six months to produce and then may be aged further to develop flavor before they are offered for sale. Environmental factors, even in the relatively stable climate of the meadery, influence that time-

line. The science of fermentation becomes more art at this point as the mead makers are looking for qualities in the taste, smell and look of the mead to determine whether it’s ready for bottling. The meadery attracts a wideranging clientele with customers driving from as far away as Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and the valley. “It’s nice because we’re centrally located,” said Ashley. Since the Rohans established their meadery, eight other meaderies have cropped up in Texas. Wendy notes similarities in the way mead makers are reimagining and Texans are rediscovering the beverage. “I think it’s trending to the more wine-like meads—away from the cloyingly sweet and toward the more nuanced flavors,” said Wendy. To Wendy, the future looks bright. She sees a growing interest in the process and the product, especially among her younger customers. “Millenials are great at asking questions,” said Wendy. “They’re looking for something that has quality, something that has a story.” 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 65


La Grange is Home to Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center With its rich heritage, it’s no surprise that La Grange is the hub for celebrating the Czech culture in Texas. Over 80 percent of the Czech-Moravian families who settled in Texas at some time lived in Fayette County before they spread out across the state. Celebrating that colorful heritage, which deeply enriches this community, is the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center. At its 70-acre site neighboring the Fayette County Fairgrounds just north of La Grange on Hwy. 77, is the multifaceted home of the Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center. A replica of a late 19th and early 20th century Czech-Moravian community is

being developed there, which includes authentic old Czech homes, businesses and an old dance hall. There’s a wall depicting the names of Czech settlers who helped to found the city, an amphitheatre built into a hill on a bank facing the mighty Colorado River, self-guided walking trails with legends in English and Czech, and a gift shop and library to trace your Czech ancestry. Work is ongoing on the varied aspects of this celebration of culture.

Why La Grange?

In December of 1995, at a meeting of Texans of Czech Ancestry, members voted to support Continued on Page 68

The Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center opened in La Grange in 2009.

134 N. Washington La Grange, TX 78945

979-639-5034

julie@julie-b.com www.julie-b.com 3OHDVH¿QGXVRQLQVWDJUDPMXOLHEODJUDQJH

66 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE


2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 67


Czech Center Hosts Events Year-Round Continued from Page 66 the project of building a statewide Czech cultural center with a library, museum, and archives. Before that, a statewide request was sent asking for any communities that were interested in such a facility to present a proposal. Proposals were received from the cities of Caldwell, Ennis, La Grange, and Temple. After a thorough examination of each of the proposals, including a visit to each site and a meeting with city officials, the TOCA Board Members selected the La Grange proposal. Fayette County was selected as the site for the Center because of its significance in the history of Texas Czechs. It has the largest Czech population per capita and the most Czech communities of any county in the state. Many

Czech-related historical sites and events, as well as prominent Texas Czechs, can be linked to Fayette County, which has the distinction of having had more immigrants from the Czech lands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire settle there in the second half of the nineteenth century than any other county in Texas. Other reasons for selecting La Grange included the location and the amount of land offered and the fact that Fayette County is historically significant in Texas-Czech history. Ground breaking for the new building designed by Roger Kolar, architect, was held in June of 2008. Another major component of the TCHCC, now on the site, is the large Sanford Schmid Amphitheater that overlooks the Colorado River Valley with stadium type seating for 400. The

Hoelscher Haus donated to TCHCC by Henry and Esther Hoelscher was moved to the site on Oct. 19, 2005. It houses the Polka Lovers Club of Texas Museum. In July of 2003, a Wallachian Bell and Belfry, from the Roznov region of Moravia and on exhibit in Washington, D. C. in 1995, were donated to the TCHCC by the Czech Heritage Society of Texas and were moved onto the TCHCC site. An additional farmhouse, donated to the TCHCC by the Migl family, was moved to the site and restored by the Migl family. The Bucek Building (originally a fur trading company) donated by Mr. Roy Bucek was moved to TCHCC on May 11, 2005. The Texas Czech Heritage and Cultural Center is open: MondayFriday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on

Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact them at (888) 785-4500. The center is located at 250 West Fairgrounds Road in La Grange.

Upcoming Events Czech Conversational Language Classes: 1-4: p.m. 2nd Sundays of each month. $10 per person per class. Please call to register. Through July 2016: Museum Feature: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Printed Word,â&#x20AC;? Display of the Czech-Texas Newspapers May 15: Slavnost May Fest Oct. 14-15: Heritage Fest and Muziky

TASTINâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; TEXAS TOURS Road Trippinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, Wine Sippinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Fun! Between Austin, Houston and San Antonio, in one of the most historic and scenic areas of Texas are unique wineries, historic sites, museums, restaurants and shops, just waiting to be discovered and enjoyed by you.

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Colorado Valley Quilt Guild Keeps Quilting Tradition Alive Colorado Valley Quilt Guild has kept the quilting tradition alive in Fayette County ever since forming in 1998. The group provides free lectures and demonstrations to the public during monthly meetings. The guild makes small and large quilts which are donated to the Family Crisis Center and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). The guild produces “Deputy Bears” – stuffed animals which are placed in emergency vehicles to be given to children in emergency situations. Every year the Guild supplies quilts to St. Mark’s Hospital in La Grange and the Gardenia Janssen Animal Shelter to be auctioned in their fundraisers. Another major service project by the Guild, called “Quilted Stories,” brings the tradition of

quilting into local schools. The program started three years ago and promotes literacy and the art and craft of quilting. Guild members produce small quilts accompanied by story books. As teachers read the books in class, students pass the quilt around as a visual aid to see and feel while listening. The Guild now has 175 quilts and books rotating between 17 schools in Fayette and surrounding counties. Colorado Valley Quilt Guild sponsors the annual Best Little Quilt Show in Texas, held the last Friday and Saturday in February. This year’s event takes place Feb. 26 and 27. Admission is $7. Proceeds held the group put on monthly programs and pays for quilt fabrics, batting and books for all of the Guild’s community service projects.

Every year, La Grange Mayor Janet Moerbe signs a proclamation declaring February as Quilt Month in La Grange in honor of the Colorado Valley Quilt Guild. Pictured with her are members of the Colorado Valley Quilt Guild: (from left) Mary Margaret Read, quilt show chairperson; Janice Raabe, president; Kathi Babcock, third vice-president; Bobbie Elliott, first vice-president; Carolyn Bisbee, treasurer; and JoAnne Hill, second vice-president. The quilt draped across the mayor’s desk will be given away in a drawing to be held at the 2017 Best Little Quilt Show in Texas. The 2016 Quilt Show takes place on Feb. 26 and 27. Photo by Andy Behlen

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Texas Quilt Museum a Must-See in Downtown La Grange La Grange became the unofficial quilting capital of Texas on Nov. 13, 2011, as the Texas Quilt Museum opened in downtown La Grange. Ever since a steady stream of tour buses has been descending upon the two-building complex that also includes a massive 75foot mural and turn-of-the-century garden at 140 W. Colorado St. Their total attendance has now climbed past 40,000. Continued on next page

Opening day Nov. 13, 2011 was a busy one at the Texas Quilt Museum and things havenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t slowed down since.

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This 13 x 85 foot outdoor mural depicting traditional 19th century quilts graces one wall of the Texas Quilt Museum.

La Grange was an Easy Choice for Quilt Museum Continued from previous page “These are quilts like you’ve never seen before,” said Karey Bresenhan, co-founder of the museum, who also founded the Houston International Quilt Festival The museum was the idea Bresenhan and her cousin Nancy O’Bryant Puentes, who together have written a trilogy of books on Texas Quilts. The choice to bring the museum to La Grange was an easy one, said Bresenhan. “La Grange is right in the middle of Austin, Houston and San Antonio. It’s a crossroads to all these areas,” Bresenhan said prior to the museum opening. Even before the museum opened this area was already home to a vibrant quilting community. The Colorado Valley

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Quilt Guild holds “The Best Little Quilt Show in Texas” in La Grange every February. But the museum has sparked even more interest in quilting locally. The quilts on display change every few months. In addition to a gift shop, the museum also houses the Pearce Memorial Library and Material Culture Center which features reference books about quilting and fabric collections. The museum’s hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $8 per person but is $6 for seniors, students and groups of 20 or more when arranged in advance. For more information check out www.texasquiltmuseum.org or call them at (979) 968-3104.


Quilt Museum Complex Also Includes Material Study Center and Flower Garden Housed in the Texas Quilt Museum complex, The Pearce Memorial Library and Material Culture Study Center’s database currently lists 4,112 items (books, monographs, journals, periodicals,and textiles). To encourage further study and research of quilting and textiles, and even browsing, the Library is now open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

An example of the items in the Pearce Library: This French red and white toile from 1830.

Many quiltmakers were also gardeners, and many quilt patterns were inspired by flowers, plants, trees, and nature in general. So Texas Quilt organizers decided to create a period garden adjacent to the Museum that would be typical of “city gardens” in Fayette County and Central Texas around the time of the museum’s buildings, about 1890, through the 1930s. They named the garden for a beloved Depression-era quilt pattern, “Grandmother’s Flower Garden.”

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2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 75


Five Reasons You Should Visit The La Grange Farmers Market By Elaine Thomas

1. Mingle with the locals on Saturday morning on the Courthouse Square because they know what’s good. 2. Choose from locally grown, wholesome produce that has been harvested hours – rather than days – earlier. 3. Look for unusual varieties of in-season fruits and vegetables and be adventuresome - try something new. 4. Strike up conversations with growers to learn what they grow, what gardening practices they follow and why. 5. Support local growers by putting dollars in their pockets, so they’ll be encouraged to return home and plant more seeds. * The Farmers Market is held ever y Saturday morning on the courthouse square in La Grange Pictured right: For the best selection at the La Grange Farmers Market, come to the Courthouse Square early on Saturday mornings. Gardeners like William from the nearby community of Roznov often sell out well before noon. Pictured below: A child holds tight to her Farmers Market turnips. Photo by Elaine Thomas

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240 West Colorado | La Grange, Texas | 979.968.8555

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Monument Hill State Park Showcases Nature, History Situated on a bluff overlooking the Colorado River, this beautiful state park is one of the hidden gems of the system since it’s only a day park and no camping is allowed. The name Monument Hill refers to the 48-foot art-deco stone monument inside the park commemorating heroes of the Texas War for Independence, including the men of the Dawson Massacre and Mier Expeditions, that are buried on the park grounds. In the Mier Expedition, which was a response to the Dawson Massacre, a group of 176 Texan revolutionaries trying to avenge those massacred at Salado Creek were captured, marched toward Mexico City, and attempted an escape, General Santa Anna ordered that they all be executed, but the Governor of Coahuila

begged for mercy. Santa Anna’s compromise was to draw from a jar of beans anyone who drew one of the seventeen black beans was to be executed and those that drew a white bean were spared. The 17 men who drew black beans are buried at Monument Hill. Texas Heroes Day is an annual event at the park on the Saturday closest to September 18. It’s a day of ceremonies and music and exhibitions honoring those who fought and died for the Republic of Texas. The ruins of the Kreische Brewery are also located at Monument Hill State Park. It was the third largest brewery in the State of Texas at peak of it’s popularity. Heinrich Kreische began a brewery on this site in 1860, utilizing the cool waters of the Colorado to help bottle his beer. The Kreische brewing op-

Ladies dressed in period attire prepare to place wreaths on the grave at Monument Hill State Park as part of the annual Texas Heroes Day event.

eration did not continue because despite having six children, none of them had children of their own. The elder Kreische died in 1882. The park is located at 414

State Loop 92 in La Grange. It’s open seven days a week yearround and admission is free. Hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and it is closed on Christmas Day.

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)+VWVXZWĂ&#x2026;\ Ă&#x2026;\ The Bugle Boy not only XZW^QLM[TQ^MKWVKMZ\[ Z\[ but takes the healing ng and educational o power of music into the surrounding community through outreach XZWOZIU[QV[KPWWT[ T[ nursing homes as well as programs for hospice spice patients and veterans.

Experience Original, Live Music In One Of Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Premier Listening Rooms THE BUGLE BOY offers concerts by regional, national, and international, independent artists, performing original works that include blues, folk, jazz, rock, swing, country, western and singer/songwriters. A favorite venue of both artists and audiences, we also serve coffees, espresso, milkshakes, wine and beer. The Bugle Boy Foundation is supported by generous donations from music fans like you! Concerts are sponsored by the Bugle Boy Foundation

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La Grangeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Listening Room The Bugle Boy is an intimate concert hall housed in a World War II army barracks located in La Grange. Doors opened in January of 2005 and shortly after, The Bugle Boy became one of the premier listening rooms in the country. As a non-profit organization, The Bugle Boy Foundation also sponsors music outreach programs in the community. What is a â&#x20AC;&#x153;Listening Room,â&#x20AC;? you ask? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s just what the name implies: a space where you go to listen. Talking is discouraged during performances. A Listening Room environment creates the best and most intimate experience that an artist can share with an attentive audience. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s like having a personal, live concert in your own living room. Artists who perform at The Bugle Boy have great things to say about this special listening environment, many stating it is their favorite venue to play. The audience often drive a great distance to see their favorite artists in this room and helped The Bugle Boy earn a spot on the Austin Chronicleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Of Music Poll as #7 Best Venue outside Austin City Limits. The focus is on original, independent singer/songwriters, who perform folk, blues, rock, jazz, swing and everything in between. The venue also attracts â&#x20AC;&#x153;bigger nameâ&#x20AC;? artists like Ray Wylie Hubbard, Ray Benson, Joe Ely and others. In addition to wonderful music, the Bugle Boy is a non-smoking establishment and offers coffee, assorted teas, fine wines and beer. Bugle Boy takes its name from the Andrews Sistersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 1940â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hit â&#x20AC;&#x153;Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.â&#x20AC;? The barracks now housing the Bugle Boy originated at the WWII Camp Swift Infantry Base in Bastrops. Since doors opened in January of 2005, The Bugle Boy has presented

more than 1,000 performances of original, independent music and has become one of the premier listening rooms in the country. In 2008, supporters of The Bugle Boy created The Bugle Boy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, to sustain and elevate original live music through the operation of the listening room as well as many music outreach programs in the community. The Bugle Boy sponsored â&#x20AC;&#x153;BluzSkoolâ&#x20AC;? programs in all Fayette County elementary schools, a blues harmonica clinic which encourages creative expression. The Bugle Boy is an ambassador of two programs benefitting the elderly or infirmed. Music & Memory provides personalize iPods to nursing home residents, particularly helpful to dementia and Alzheimer patients, and Swan Songs provides personal concerts to patients in Hospice care. Soldier Songs & Voices provides free guitar and songwriting workshops exclusively for Veterans and Active Duty Military, hosted by professional touring musicians. All outreach programs are provided at no cost to the recipients. The Talent Trust is a program that helps up-and-coming artists promote a CD project. The Bugle Boy has awarded these funds to five artists to date, with one CD Grammy nominated for Best Americana album. In January 2012, the Bugle Boy became the first â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fair Tradeâ&#x20AC;? music venue in Texas, in recognition of our payment guarantees to performing artists. The Bugle Boy relies on your donations and a dedicated crew of volunteers to sustain the high quality of our programs. For more information on the Bugle Boy and its outreach programs, or to see their performance schedule, visit thebugleboy.org


WoodmenLife® the people who live in them. We provide opportunities for charitable involvement, as well as quality products and at no additional cost, just for being a member: ˆ Discounts and special rates from various hotels, car rental agencies, entertainment, and technology companies2 ˆ The WoodmenLife Prescription Drug Savings Card 3 ˆ Up to $500 for repairs if your home is damaged in a natural disaster WoodmenLife products include: ˆ Life Insurance ˆ IRAs ˆ Annuities 1

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2. WoodmenLife has entered into sponsored marketing relationships with companies that agree to offer discounts to WoodmenLife members. WoodmenLife is not affiliated with these companies and does not administer these discounts for products or services. 3. The Prescription Drug Savings Card is not an insurance policy and does not provide insurance coverage. In addition, the card cannot be used in combination with a prescription card issued by a health insurance provider. WoodmenLife and ScriptSave® reserve the right to discontinue this program at any time and are not responsible for the actions of any participating pharmacy. Discounts are only offered through participating pharmacies. 4. An individual becomes a member by joining our shared commitment to family, community and country, and by purchasing a WoodmenLife product. Not all products are available in all states. Not all Representatives are licensed to sell all products.

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Train Buffs Will Love Railroad Depot Museum The La Grange M-K-T (Katy) Railroad Depot is located at its original site adjacent to the tracks at the intersection of North Washington and Lafayette Streets. The building, which has waiting rooms, an office and a freight area, was completed in November 1897 by the Taylor, Bastrop and Houston Railway Company to replace the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first station, which burned in March of that year. The T,B&H was soon taken over by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. Passenger service continued until the 1950s and the depot received and dispatched freight as late as the 1970s. Highlights of the museum exhibits include the original pot-belly stove, M-K-T safe, and stationmasterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desk, in addition to numerous historic

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The Railroad Depot Museum in downtown La Grange is open Saturdays.

photographs and a gold-headed can presented to James Converse in 1880 in appreciation of his successful efforts to bring a railroad to La Grange. There also

are hands-on exhibits for both adults and children. The museum opened on April 29, 2006. Adjacent to the museum are a pair of historic railroad cabooses.

Photo by Russell Bennett

Located right next to the tracks, the La Grange Railroad Museum is open every Saturday (except occasional holidays) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Courthouse Celebrates 125th Birthday in 2016 The Fayette County Courthouse is the heart of the downtown La Grange historic district. Here’s a look at some of the history of the 125-year-old building: San Antonio architect J. Riely Gordon designed the Fayette County Courthouse, as well as 13 other Texas county courthouses, in addition to the state capitol in Arizona. This is Fayette County’s fourth courthouse. On April 9, 1891, the cornerstone for the current Fayette County Courthouse was laid by the local Masonic Lodge. A celebration with dining and dancing, attended by about 2,000 people, went on into the early hours of the next day. The three-story building is a masonry and stone Romanesque Revival structure with a clock tower rising over the main entrance. All offices and the courtroom are arranged around a 30-foot by 30-foot square central courtyard. The exterior walls are built of Belton white limestone, complemented with blue sandstone quarried at the nearby Fayette County community of Muldoon. Red Pecos sandstone stringcourses (decorative horizontal moldings) and pink Burnet granite columns and steps add to the richness of the building. At the base of the clock tower is a large stone slab on which is carved a large American eagle. On the corners of the tower and above the entrances are dragons carved out of the eight ridge points. The roof is covered with Spanish tile made from slate. The central courtyard, which was closed-in to make space for a vault and more offices in 1949, was reclaimed during the restoration of the courthouse and now is filled with plants and a fountain. The courtroom,

The current Fayette County courthouse was completed in 1891.

Photo by Russell Bennett

85-feet by 42-feet in size, is shaped like a half moon and has been used as a set for several movies, including “Michael” featuring John Travolta. The upper courtroom gallery can seat 500 people. When the Fayette County Commissioners’ Court formally accepted the new building on December 1, 1891, the total cost was $99,407.04. Funding for the construction was provided by the sale of 90 $1,000 bonds. In late February 1893, the courthouse was lit with electricity for the first time. In 1913, the basement and the first floor were flooded with five feet of water. After a complete restoration, the Fayette County Courthouse was rededicated on June 25, 2005. It stands as a time-honored symbol of justice in Fayette County. The courthouse is open daily until 5 p.m. and visitors are welcome to walk around, but please be aware Renovations to return the atrium at the center of the courtthat county business and trials may be going on. Volun- house to its former glory (it had for decades been closed up teers also open the courthouse for visitors most Saturdays. and used for storage) were completed in 2005. 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 81


Las Fuentes Mexican Restaurant & Bar

Voted BEST Mexican Food, Salsa and Cocktails in Fayette County

Catering Available

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The Colorado River is beloved by fishermen, boaters and wildlife. Birds seen on the river include bald eagles and roseate spoonbills.

Photo by Bobby Bedient

Scenic Colorado River Flows Through La Grange By H.H. HOWZE The Fayette County Record

The Colorado River is probably the most defining natural feature in Fayette County. The river was a corridor for settlement and transportation in frontier times. Today, tamed by upstream dams, it provides residents and visitors alike with access to the natural – and human – history of the area. Ten miles downstream from the Fayette-Bastrop County

line is the first public access to the river at the Lower Colorado River Authority’s Plum Park. The Colorado River as it flows from Plum to La Grange is full of surprises around every turn – and there are a lot of turns. Several species of birds frequent this stretch of the river: barred owls, green and blue herons, American egrets, hawks, crows, green kingfishers and black vultures. Further

downriver, a sheer white chalk bluff rises 200 feet on the east side while needle-nose gar snap at dragonflies and butterflies on the smooth surface. A two-hour float from Plum brings travelers to the broad mouth of Rabb’s Creek. This is where William Rabb and his family, members of Stephen F. Austin’s “Old Three Hundred,” settled on a three-league headright (about 12,000 acres) in 1822. The young settlement of

La Grange was established in the 1830s on the east side of a pre-historic “buffalo crossing.” Today the LCRA maintains a convenient boat ramp for river tourists under the Business 71 bridge. The river authority also provides a river guide to other put-ins and take-outs along the river. Below La Grange, the next public take-out is White Rock Park on river left, a short but scenic one hour float.

(979)366-9341 3689 S. Hwy 77 Giddings, TX 78942

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St. Mark’s Medical Center Offers Advanced Technology Close to Home By ELAINE THOMAS

Whether you are a resident or a visitor, contact St. Mark’s Medical Center in La Grange if you experience a medical emergency or need to make health care decisions. Our local hospital offers comprehensive health services, advanced technologies and medical specialists that rival those of major metropolitan institutions. “With a team of excellent, highly skilled physicians and caring, dedicated staff, we strive to deliver top quality care at a modern, well-equipped hospital that is state-of-theart in many respects,” says President and Chief Executive Officer, Shane Kernell.

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St. Mark’s celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its opening in the summer of 2015.

Partnership with Austin Heart Recently, St. Mark’s Medi-

cal Center opened the doors to a brand new cardiovascular imaging center that offers the latest diagnostic technology right here

in La Grange. This endeavor, in partnership with Austin Heart, brings advanced capabilities, as Continued on Page 86


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St. Mark’s Provides Wide Array of Services Continued on Page 86 well as the expertise to diagnose and care for heart and vascular disease in a sophisticated, comfortable environment. A trusted name in heart health, Austin Heart is the largest provider of cardiac and vascular services in Central Texas through its 13 Central Texas office locations. St. Mark’s Cardiovascular Imaging Center has recently added two new 4D cardiovascular ultrasound systems to its existing line-up of cutting edge technology offered to residents with heart disease. The broad range of progressive equipment available at the Cardiovascular Imaging Center allows the team of dedicated Austin Heart cardiologists to benefit from streamlined data with easy access to precise, relevant information, making it possible to provide fast

A St. Mark’s Nurses Station.

and accurate diagnosis of cardiac and vascular issues close to home.

Orthopedic Excellence in La Grange A comprehensive offering of orthopedic services is performed at

St. Mark’s Medical Center, including hip and knee replacements. These specialized services are rarely available in rural hospitals; however, they are a cornerstone of healthcare options provided at St. Mark’s Orthopedics. “We expanded St. Mark’s

Medical Center’s orthopedic care to treat musculoskeletal trauma, sports injuries, degenerative diseases, infections, tumors and congenital disorders. Our specialists in orthopedic care are outstanding professionals and our hospital’s sophisticated diagnostic imaging equipment enables us to perform diagnostics quickly and efficiently. We have a multi-slice CT and MRI equipment, which make that possible,” Kernell explains. Also, physical therapy delivered by highly trained personnel is readily available at St. Mark’s, which allows patients to receive a complete circle of care from the emergency department to treatment through rehabilitation. This availability is especially important to area residents, who are grateful to have access to Continued on next page

Visit Milton’s showroom in nearby Smithville, TX.

Quality for every room in your home. “We Service, Finance and Deliver What We Sell”

Power & Lift Recliners

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Home of Fine Furniture 206 NW LOOP 230, SMITHVILLE

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512-237-2432


St. Mark’s Has 65 Beds, 100,000 Square Feet Continued from previous page excellent healthcare where they live rather than having to drive to Austin, Houston or San Antonio.

In An Emergency

St. Mark’s emergency department is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a medical team specifically trained to handle any emergency. The team is comprised of a medical director who is board certified in emergency medicine and nursing professionals certified in advanced cardiac life support, pediatric advanced life support and trauma nursing care. A multi-disciplinary team consisting of local, county and statewide services provides rapid response to any critically injured patient. Our hospital has strong relationships with all the healthcare agencies in the community, including ambulance services and an air-transport service and the emergency department has two rooms designated specifically for patients arriving with chest pain. The laboratory at St. Mark’s Medical Center offers a comprehensive range of tests onsite to support its physicians, as well as other hospitals and healthcare entities. The lab services are fully accredited by COLA, which is the premier independ-

ent clinical laboratory education, consultation, and accreditation organization, with proficiency testing monitored by the American Proficiency Institute. Consulting pathologists are board certified in anatomic and clinical pathology with subspecialties in cytopathology, dermatopathology and hematopathology. A Level IV Trauma Designated Facility, St. Mark’s Medical Center has met and maintained the standards directed by the Texas Department of State and Health Services. This level of care provides initial evaluation, stabilization, diagnostic, surgery and critical care services, plus transfer to a higher level of care, if necessary.

The St. Mark’s Healing Garden at night.

Patients requiring the highest level of acute care for vascular or heart procedures or brain surgery frequently are referred to our affiliate, St. David’s HealthCare in Austin. “Being affiliated with St. David’s, which is one of the largest, most highly regarded health systems in Texas, is extremely beneficial for St. Mark’s Medical Center,” Kernell says. “St. David’s has an outstanding reputation for managing very complex health issues, especially in emergency situations.”

Online Access to Medical Records

“To keep pace with the broad availability of web-based informa-

tion and access, St. Mark’s has recently redesigned www.smmctx. org to be functional and mobile friendly,” Kernell shared. “One of the many online features is an interactive “Patient Portal” which allows patients access to their personal St. Mark’s medical history at any time. Patients and their caregivers have the opportunity to review or print their exam information, allergies, procedures, test results, vitals and other information from their medical record. The functionality is not only convenient, but can prove to be an invaluable tool in the event emergency care is necessary.”

10 Years of Service and Counting

Primarily serving the residents of Fayette and Lee Counties with a population base of approximately 50,000, St. Mark’s Medical Center is a 65-bed, 100,000-square foot not-for-profit hospital. St. Mark’s Medical Center celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015. “At St. Mark’s Medical Center, our mission is to provide quality, compassionate healthcare and promote wellness for our community using modern technology that is delivered by caring professionals,” Kernell adds.

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Historic Faison Home One of Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Oldest Houses The N.W. Faison House, one of the oldest in Fayette County, boasts original furnishings of the wealthy Faison family, whose members occupied the home for nearly 90 years. Relatively unaltered since its construction in the mid-19th century, it was the home of one of the earliest settlers of the area, Nathaniel W. Faison (18171870), a military hero, land baron, and benefactor of the African American community after emancipation. The structure is recognized at the state level of social signifigance because it is one of the first few residences in Texas to be solely owned by an AfricanAmerican freedwoman, Louisiana Brown (1819-?), to whom Faison deeded the home in 1870. The antique furnishings, artwork, and everyday household items reflect the history of early Texas. The N. W. Faison House and Museum is located at Faison House at 822 South Jefferson. To arrange a tour: call Marie Watts at 713-6289065 or email marie.watts@faisonhouse.org To donate to preservation efforts contact Arnold Romberg President of the Faison Preservation Society at 979-968-9416.

The Faison Home is open only on special occasions or by appointment. Photo by Russell Bennett

A Beautifully Preserved Pioneer Home 822 S. Jefferson, La Grange, Across from the Library Open 2nd Sat. each month 1-4 pm and by Appointment Contact Marie Watts at marie.watts@faisonhouse.org

713-628-9065

VISIT THE

M-K-T RAILROAD DEPOT MUSEUM

Activities: )JTUPSJD4JUFTt1JDOJD"SFBt)JLJOH5SBJMT

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(VJEFE5PVSTt4DFOJD7JFXT 8JMEMJGF7JFXJOHt(FP$BDIJOH High on the bluff overlooking La Grange 414 State Loop 92 La Grange, TX 78945

(979) 968-5658

Free Admission 0QFOBNQN%BJMZ

260 N.Washington, La Grange, Texas 1 Block north of the Square, just behind the Quilt Museum Info at Chamber of Commerce 979-968-5756

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 89


Shopping Abounds in Downtown La Grange The square in downtown La Grange offers an abundance of unique shops. You will find an assortment of boutiques, a jewelry store, clothing and antique store that caters to men and even a gourmet kitchen shop. The Le Petite Gourmet Shoppe recently moved into a much larger space and is the place to find the latest kitchen utensils, gadgets and speciality products. Twice a month, Chef Mike Morphew conducts a cooking class. Heritage Hallmark is a Gold Crown store and recently celebrated their 32nd year in business in downtown La Grange. Jewelry with soul, is the best way to describe Richard Schmidtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jewelry. The family store offers very unique jewelry. The Schmidtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Jewelry store has been located on the square since 1977. More than half a dozen other boutiques have very unique items that offer something for everyone. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find kolaches at Lukas Bakery Monday through Saturday morning, coffee at Latte on the Square and Barbeque for lunch at Prauseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. The square is centered around the courthouse and offers plenty of free parking and handicap accessible parking. Just a sampling of what you might find in downtown La Grange.

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Texas Heroes Museum Opening in La Grange When the La Grange Main Street Visitors Center moves out of the “Old Jail” in mid-2016, a new museum will start moving in. The new museum will be named the Texas Heroes Museum. The Texas Heroes Museum will honor veterans of all conflicts in which Texans have been involved, from the time of the Texas Revolution to present day conflicts. In addition we will honor non-military heroes, such as the Texas Rangers, modern law enforcement officers, first responders, and workers on the home front. Displays will include artifacts such as weapons and equipment of the era, photographs, and personal stories of heroism. The museum will continue to display artifacts of the Old Jail, built in 1883. Visitors can see the one remaining jail cell – definitely not a fun place to live. Displays include old jail artifacts and memorabilia from the seven sheriffs in charge of the jail during its operation from 1883 to 1985. One of the first displays will tell the story of the men who fought in the Battle of Salado Creek and those who were killed later that

day in the Dawson Massacre; the Somervell Expedition and its offshoot, the Mier Expedition, which resulted in the infamous “Black Bean Incident,” along with the grave site and monument for the Fayette County volunteers who died to preserve Texas independence. Additional displays will honor famous Texas heroes, such as Audie Murphy, Chris Kyle, and Admiral Nimitz. More displays will tell the stories of unsung local heroes. Other displays will recount the history of conflicts in which Texans served and the contributions Texans have made in preserving freedom. The displays will illustrate the evolution of weap-

ons used in these conflicts. The museum will routinely change displays so that visitors who return will have new material to see. Become a member so that you and your family can enjoy free visits for an entire year. Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ Texas-Heroes-Museum-945783692165484/. The museum is a 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization. If you have artifacts or family history you would like to donate or loan to the museum, please contact us at TexasHeroesMuseum@gmail.com or by mail at PO Box 1110, La Grange, TX 78945. For more information, call Charles Murray at 979-968-6715.

The new Texas Heroes Museum will honor veterans of conflicts ranging from the Texas Revolution to modern day.

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Downtown La Grange Home of One of Texas’ Most Famous Trees On the La Grange courthouse square, jutting out into the street at the corner of Colorado and Washington streets stands a centuries old oak tree that since the days of the Texas Revolution has served as a gathering point for local soldiers before they went off to war. On one of the two historical markers near the tree, it states: “Wives, mothers and sweethearts have bade farewell here and sent their men to war.” Seeing this “Muster Oak” should be part of any trip to downtown La Grange.

La Grange doesn’t have a movie theater, but Main Street’s Movie Nights on the Square draws hundreds of viewers to its summer showings.

La Grange a ‘Main Street’ City In 2016, La Grange celebrates 20 years of being an officially recognized Texas Main Street City. This program strives to revitalize historic downtowns, and the program has certainly worked here. Building vacancies are few and far between in downtown La Grange. Most of the downtown structures have been renovated in the last 20 years, while trying to maintain and respect the historical features of the buildings. The Main Street Program also runs a number of downtown activities and festivals usually in and around the courthouse square that keep downtown vibrant and filled with people, even as La Grange also grows outward.

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Downtown La Grange’s Muster Oak.


La Grange Welcomes 13,000 Cyclists Every April The scenic, winding country roads of Fayette County make this area a magnet for cyclists year-round. But every April more cyclists converge on Fayette County than anywhere else in the world. La Grange is the overnight stopping point for the MS 150, the largest charity bike ride in the world, which raises money for multiple sclerosis research and treatment. This year’s MS 150 is April 16-17. Some 13,000 bikers make their way from Houston to Austin in the two-day event and for the last 31 years La Grange has served as the extended pit-stop. Last year over $20.3 million was raised for the National MS Society and since the MS 150 started more than $200 million has been raised. The Fayette County Fairgrounds turns into bicycle-central. Dozens of circus tents go up where bikers rest and relax from the ride in from Houston. Bands perform and community

The first night of the MS 150 was rained out last year so the thousands of riders converged on the La Grange courthouse square to begin their Day 2 ride into Austin. Photo by Andy Behlen

members come together to make sure all the bikers and support staff are fed and taken care of. Even if you aren’t riding yourself, the Day One finish line at the fairgrounds is a sight to behold. Hundreds form lines on either side of the road to cheer the riders on through their last few yards as an announcer spouts biographical details

about many of the bikers as they pass through. Even after they finish, not all the riders stay at the fairgrounds. Many local families open up their homes to host the same riders year after year –but most local hotels and campgrounds are filled to the brim that weekend as well.

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Fun at Camp Lutherhill just north of La Grange.

Thousands Attend Area Camps Every Summer Canoeing, Hiking, Swimming and more. Fayette County has become camp-central for all ages to have fun in the summer amongst the scenic natural beauty of this area.

Camp Lone Star

Camp Lone Star in La Grange opened in 1941. This camp offers Teen, Family and Day camps (ages 5-14) from June to August. Campers learn what it means to belong to the body of Christ and allows them to experience God’s creation with outdoor activities and being renewed in faith. Some facilities include: archery, canoeing, swimming, hiking, song time, Bible study, and large group activities. Camp Lone Star also hosts retreats, church events and swim meets during the summer. Visit www.lomt.com for more information.

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Camp Lutherhill

Camp Luther Hill’s mission statement is “A place for all people, of every generation to experience the love of Christ in unique settings and new ways.” Since 1954, this camp has been used as a place to worship, study and play together for youth and families in La Grange. Enjoy Challenge Courses, games, swimming, high ropes and other activities. Lutherhill Retreats are also offered from October to April each year. Visit www.lutherhill. org for more information.

Camp Winchester Camp Winchester outside La Grange is run by the Seale family and held on their 40-acre ranch. They have experience in running horse-led camps and ministries and are keen to share this passion

for the animals, and the Lord. Visit www.campwinchester. org for more details.

Camp Lost Pines

Camp Lost Pines covers 40 acres in Warda and is used year-round for summer camps, retreats, spring and fall outings and academic programs. At a capacity of 125 plus campers, they can enjoy swimming, a game room, basketball volleyball, soccer, baseball, disc golf and more. Visit www.camplostpines. com for more details.

Camp Tejas

Two other camps are located just over the Fayette County line. Camp Tejas – around since 1981 – is a Christian camp and retreat center near Giddings where more than 6,000 campers attend each summer.

Opportunities are endless when it comes to fun: Scavenger Hunts, Mud Wars, Wall and Zip Lines, Sports Tournaments (football, volleyball and basketball), Swimming, Archery, Hayrides and more are all offered at Camp Tejas. The camp also hosts retreats and Lights of Tejas bringing in over tens of thousands of visitors a year. Visit www.camptejas. com for more information.

Pine Cove Camp

Pine Cove Camp – around since 1964 – is located between La Grange and Columbus and offers several type of summer camps: Overnight Youth, Family, Day, Base and Safety. At this camp, visitors can expect bible studies, water sports, rope courses, ziplines, team games, and more. Visit www.pinecove.com/ crier-creek/ for more information.


The Schulenburg Historical Museum offers visitors a glimpse at Schulenburg’s past. One of the museum’s prized exhibits is the original horse-drawn and handoperated water pumper used during the early years of the Schulenburg Volunteer Fire Department. Photos by Andy Behlen

Schulenburg: Halfway to Everywhere By ANDY BEHLEN The Fayette County Record

Schulenburg sits about halfway between Houston and San Antonio on Interstate 10 and about halfway from Waco to the Gulf Coast on US 77. The town has long been a stopping point for travelers on the long trip – first by railroad and later by automobile. Just about anyone who has ever made the trip knows about the two iconic restaurants along the Interstate, Frank’s Restaurant and Oakridge Smokeshouse. Both are definitely worth making a stop. But Schulenburg has so much more to offer the adventurous traveler who treks a little further off the highway. The Hitching Post is a great place to start any visit to Schulenburg. Owner Donnie Dittrich can set you up with a new cowboy hat and a pair of sharp-looking boots – essential gear when walking the streets of Schulenburg. While waiting for Donnie to crease your new hat, grab a cup of coffee and a cone of hand-dipped Blue Bell Ice Cream at his convenience store next door.

A couple dances on Main Street in Schulenburg to the music of Mark Halata and Texavia during the Schulenburg Sausagefest, held the first Saturday in April in Downtown Schulenburg.

For such a small town (pop. 2,750), Schulenburg has an inordinate number of museums. The Schulenburg Historical Museum, located at 631 North Main Street, is a great place to start

any visit. The museum chronicles Schulenburg’s history. Some of the museum’s treasures include the town’s original horse-drawn fire engine and Continued on next page 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 95


The Schulenburg Historical Museum boasts the second-largest collection of barbed wire in Texas.

Continued from last page a ceremonial sash worn by “The Flying Bull,” a Holstein bull calf that the Carnation Milk Company flew to Schulenburg from Wisconsin in an airplane in 1929 as part of a publicity stunt. The museum also holds the second-largest barbed wire collection in Texas. The Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum, located at 311 Baumgarten Street, showcases the history of the Victor Stanzel Company, which built model airplanes in a Schulenburg factory from 1929 to the early 2000s. Some of their early models, which are on display in the museum, were powered by gasoline and could reach speeds of over 100 miles per hour. Next door to the city museum,

travelers can get a taste of the area’s culture by visiting the Texas Polka Museum. Located at 625 North Main Street, the museum houses numerous artifacts from early polka bands from the area like Julius Pavlas and the Gold Chain Bohemians and Adolph Hofner and the Pearl Wranglers. Those bands are largely forgotten today, but in the 1930s and 40s their music could be heard on the radio from coast to coast. The Gold Chain Bohemians performed on a weekly radio show broadcast nationwide from the Cozy Theater at the Von Minden Hotel, located just around the corner from downtown at 507 Lyons Avenue. The hotel was built in 1927 and still showed films

on the big screen until last year. From there, head over to Wolters Park to see the oldest building in town – the Wolters Family Log Cabin. The Wolters were one of Schulenburg’s most influential families. They donated land to the City for the park, which now bears their name. Joseph Wolters built the cabin in Austin County near Industry in 1835. The Wolters Family moved it to Schulenburg for preservation in 1941. Wolters Park is also home to a historic Bedstedt Iron Truss Bridge. The bridge was built around 1888 at Mulberry Creek, a few miles south of Schulenburg. The bridge was replaced in 2007 and moved to Wolters Park, where it

now w carriess foott trafficc acrosss the creek that runs through the park. Another famous bridge, Piano Bridge, sits across the Navidad River just a few miles east of Schulenburg. The bridge was built in 1885 and connects the two farming communities of Dubina and High Hill on Piano Bridge Road. The bridge got its name from the old wood planks that would bounce up and down like piano keys as cars crossed. The county partnered with the Texas Department of Transportation to restore the bridge in 2012. The new boards no longer bounce, but the bridge’s name stayed the same. Those looking for a place to eat might try Schulenburg’s newest restaurant, Garden Company Café and Marketplace, located at 217 Kessler Avenue (US-77). Schulenburg residents have been shopping for plants and flowers at the Garden Company Nursery for years. Owners Jeff and Stevie Thompson converted the old farmhouse that served as the business storefront into a restaurant in 2014. Inside, Chef Kenny Kopecky dishes out brick oven pizza and some of the finest gourmet fare to be found anywhere in the county. Of course, these are just a few suggestions. Visit the Greater Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce to find out more. The Chamber is located at 618 North Main Street. Call them at (979) 743-4514.

Patrons of Sengelmann Hall in Schulenburg enjoy some live music.

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Blinn: A College in the Country Blinn College’s campus in Schulenburg provides educational opportunities rarely available in rural communities as small as Fayette County. Blinn’s Schulenburg campus offers a variety of academic transfer, dual credit, workforce training and continuing education classes to fit the needs of any student. The Schulenburg campus brings Blinn’s strong academic programs to small-town Texas while maintaining the comfortable environment and one-onone attention that help students achieve their learning goals. In addition to Blinn’s rich selection of academic credit courses, the Schulenburg campus offers a variety of basic and advanced computer technology courses, certified nurse aide, welding, electrician license renewal, Czech and English as a second language.

Blinn College offers college courses and workforce education at it’s sattelite campus in Schulenburg.

According to figures compiled by CollegeForAllTexans.com, Blinn College students who take 30 credit hours in the 2015-16 academic year will save thousands in tuition and fees compared to students at both public and private universities across the state. At just $4,974 for 30 credit

hours, Blinn’s out-of-district tuition and fees offer students a savings of $3,345 (40.2 percent) compared to state residents at the average Texas public university. The average tuition and fees for Texas residents at a public university is $8,319. A recent study found that

the Blinn-Schulenburg campus made an $11.1 million impact on the region, including $9.2 million in additional income generated by former students. For information on course offerings and student registration, visit: www.blinn.edu/schulenburg or call 979-743-5200.

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The Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum showcases the model planes once manufactured at the Stanzel factory in Schulenburg.

History Takes Flight in Schulenburg By LINDA STALL

In Schulenburg, art can be found in an unlikely but extraordinary place: the Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum. As a young man, Schulenburg native Victor Stanzel was fascinated by flight. Like many of his generation, his first exposure to flight was the sight of military airplanes flying overhead his home. To pursue his love of aircraft, Victor studied drafting and welding. He may never have thought of himself as an artist, but visitors to the museum will see that among his many

talents he was indeed an accomplished sculptor, graphic artist, and commercial design artist. In the early 1920s Victor refined what had been a hobby, carving solid, true scale ornamental models of military aircraft. He began with meticulously carved and decorated Curtis Falcon AC-3s, selling them to the cadets in flight training at Kelly Air Force Base. To stay current on aviation trends he studied industry publications of the time, such as Popular Aviation and Aviation Digest. In the 1930s he began advertising his ornamental models for sale in the same magazines.

These beautifully detailed military aircraft models demonstrate Victorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s artistic skill. Victor worked first from his motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home. His brother Joe joined the business after graduating from high school. As their business grew they hired staff, built a manufacturing building, and traveled extensively to promote their models. The business grew from ornamental models, to tethered flying models, kits and ready-to-fly models, even amusement park rides. In 1933, they built their first full-sized amusement ride, Continued on next page

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The museum includes several historic buildings that were once part of factory and a reproduced drafting room where the Stanzel brothers researched and designed their model aircraft, which were once sold across the nation.

Continued from previous page the “Fly-A-Plane.” In 1936, their “20th Century Stratos-Ship” was placed on exhibit at the Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas. True renaissance men, the Stanzels designed the company’s manufacturing equipment, packaging, marketing displays and advertising. They personally developed the company advertising artwork and logo designs. Victor studied drafting so that he could do his own blue prints for the balsa wood model kits, and later the plastic flying models. The blue prints themselves stand alone as art, “suitable for framing.” Visitors to the Stanzel Model Airplane Museum will

be impressed with the scope of the Stanzels’ creativity. The packaging artwork is distinctly evocative of its time, capturing images of happy children enjoying flying model airplanes. But beyond the “toy” or the “model” one sees images that stand alone on their artistic merit. Crisp images and bold colors catch the viewer’s eye. Utilizing strong primary colors, their signature look, the packaging and advertising illustrations attract the attention of the consumer. The images are designed to illustrate the movement of the flying model airplanes. The airplanes are shown climbing and swooping, simple brush strokes create the motion of flight.

Visitors to the museum can view vintage advertisements that appeared in magazines and comic books of the period, such as the ones shown above and below.

The museum displays give the visitor an opportunity to see examples of the artwork separately before they were incorporated into the store displays and product packaging. These preliminary designs allow the viewer to appreciate the true artistic quality of the images. Images designed to entice buyers as intrigued by flight as Vic-

tor Stanzel was as a young boy in the fields near Schulenburg watching military aircraft overhead. Victor Stanzel and Company began in 1930, finally closing its doors in 2001. The Stanzel Family Foundation operates the Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum. For more information visit www.stanzelmuseum.org.

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Heavenly Paint The stunning interior of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Dubina was originally painted in 1909.

Photos by Andy Behlen

By ANDY BEHLEN The Fayette County Record

Their efforts are almost incomprehensible today. All they had were simple tools like block and tackle, hand saws, hammers, chisels, and most importantly, brushes. But they were able to raise steeples that are still taller than most modern buildings in Fayette County and carve altarpieces rivaling anything on this side of the Atlantic. Marble and gold leaf were much too expensive, but they had paint. Statuary and sanctuary fixtures had to be ordered from Europe and shipped across the Atlantic. They would have arrived by rail to Schulenburg, Flatonia or La Grange. From there, parishioners would have transported such items by wagon to country churches scattered around the county. Continued on Page 102

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D E T N PA I

S E H C CH U R

Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church FM 1383 Dubina community. Featuring simple stenciling and framed Stations of the Cross with words in Czech, the church is just west of Weimar off old Hwy. 90. Other than Sunday, the church can be viewed from the entry only. It can be opened for groups. Just north of the church is the old Dubina grocery. Following the road around the corner will take you over the “Piano Bridge” – one of the few remaining iron bridges in Fayette County. Painted: 1909; Architect: Leo Dielmann Mass Times: Weekends: 8:45 a.m. Sunday Picnic: Sunday before 4th of July Church related information on Dubina - Call (979) 725-6714

To book a tour or for more information, please call (866) 504-5294 or see our web site: schulenburgchamber.org

Dubina’s Stations of the Cross with words written in Czech.

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Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Catholic Church in High Hill deservedly carries the name “Queen of the Painted Churches,” with floral designs, portraits and textures painted on nearly every square inch of the interior.

St. Mary: Nativity of Mary, Blessed Virgin 2833 FM 2672, High Hill Community. Elaborate faux-marble columns and vaulted ceilings make this church one of the ones not to miss. The grayish blue stone capping the buttresses and accenting the brick was quarried from the nearby town of Muldoon.

The High Hill church is illuminated by Tiffany-designed stained glass.

Built: 1906; Architect: Leo Dielmann; Painted: 1912; Artist: Stockert and Kern Mass Times: 6:30 p.m. Saturday Picnic: Labor Day Sunday Church related information on High Hill - Call (979) 743-3117

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Expert craftsmanship went into the intricately carved altars at High Hill.

Painted Churches: Certainly One of Fayette County’s Biggest Attractions Continued from Page 100 Just imagine High Hill’s Tiffany-designed stained glass, or Ammannsville’s intricately carved Infant of Prauge statue, swaddled in quilts and bouncing across creek bottoms in a rickety waggon. The Czech and German immigrants who peopled Fayette County in the second half of the nineteenth century were content to scratch an existence out of the dirt, but they demanded nothing but the finest for their houses of worship. The churches brought civilization, beauty and learning to what would have been an alien landscape for those early settlers. 102 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

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The photo above shows some of the statuary at St. John the Baptist Church in Ammannsville. Left, a passage from Proverbs written in Latin above the altar reads, â&#x20AC;&#x153;My delights were to be with the children of men.â&#x20AC;?

St. John the Baptist Church 7745 Mensik Rd., Ammannsville community. The Catholic church and a school opened in 1890. Destroyed by the hurricane of 1909, the church was rebuilt. It burned shortly thereafter and had to be rebuilt a second time. Built: 1918; Painted:1919; Architect: John Bujnoch Artist: Fred Donecker and Sons Mass Times: Weekends: Sunday 9:30 a.m. (Odd Months). Sunday 8 a.m. (even months). Church related information on Ammannsville - Call (979) 743-3117

Pictured above, the interior of St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church in Praha. The church has been undergoing renovations for the last year. Right, Rev. Gabriel Maison and a pair of parishioners inspect the progress after a work day in

St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church of the Assumption 821 FM 1295, Praha community Located just south of the railroad tracks that run parallel to SH 90. Prior to the coming of the Czechs, Praha was called Mulberry by the Anglo settlers. Praha has a huge gathering every year when thousands descend on the church grounds for a veteranâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reunion. Built: 1895; Architect: O. Kramer Artists: Gottfried Flury, Rev. Louis Netardus, and Gene A. Mikulik Mass Times: Weekends: Saturday 4:30 p.m. Sunday 8 a.m. Picnic: 8/15 & Sun. before Veterans Day Church related information on Prahaâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Call 361-596-4674 t1-&"4&/05& St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church at Praha has been closed for renovations since last year. According to Rev. Gabriel Maison, pastor of St. Maryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, the church should re-open for Easter services in 2016, if all goes as planned.

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Get a Taste of the Town at Schulenburg Sausagefest Polka, Pivo and Pork – mix the three together and stuff them onto Main Street in Schulenburg and you have the Schulenburg Sausagefest, held the first Saturday in April. The event celebrates the sausage-making tradition popular among the Czechs and Germans of the Schulenburg area. This year’s event takes place on April 2, 2016. The day starts with “The Wurst Run Ever,” a fun run beginning at 9 a.m. The opening ceremony begins at 11:45 a.m. This year’s music entertainment runs from noon to 10 p.m. and includes performances by the Shiner Hobo Band, the Czechaholics, Mark Halata and Texavia and Texas Dream Band. A homemade sausage cookoff takes place all day long with awards presented at 7 p.m. Attend-

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ees will have the opportunity to taste samples from the cookoff and vote for a people’s choice award. Visit www.schulenburgsausagefest.com for more information.

Local Shop Knows the Hat Trade Photo by Andy Behlen A cookoff team stuffs and ties sausage links on Main Street in Schulenburg.

By ANDY BEHLEN The Fayette County Record

Donnie Dittrich stood over a steam-bellowing contraption inside the Hitching Post in Schulenburg last week, gently applying moisture and heat to a felt cowboy hat. “I guess I was about 14 or 15 years old when I started,” Dittrich said. “My dad showed me how.” It was a size seven silverbelly, but the front and back felt a little loose on the customer’s head. Dittrich carefully tugged at inside of the hatband until it fit just right. He then began trimming the brim to the customer’s specifications as he took a phone call to handle some farm business. “Put phosphorus and potash out. We’ll come back in January with nitrogen. Yeah, 40 pounds an acre would be good,” he said before hanging up the phone. He worked carefully with a homemade felt cutter that looked like a miniature carpentry square, taking just a quarter inch at a time. “If you take too much, you can’t put it back on,” he said. Round slices of felt sat atop the shaping table after he reached the desired brim width, in this case three inches. When Donnie’s father Henry Dittrich opened the Hitching Post in 1973, boots, hats, and jeans were standard attire in Fayette County. The farm hand might work in rough cowhide boots while the banker wore a pair of shiny snakeskins, but they all shopped at the Hitching Post. In today’s retail environment, the shopper doesn’t even have to leave the house. “The Internet is killing the mom and pops,” Dittrich said. Independent stores like the Hitching Post, however, offer a personal touch that online outlets cannot provide. Shoppers can look at thousands of styles of boots online; Dittrich will let customers try on any of the dozens he keeps in stock without ever asking for a credit card. Besides, what kind of Texan would buy a hat over the Internet anyway?


Schulenburg Festival

The National Party of Texas The Schulenburg Festival draws some of the biggest names in country music, such as the Randy Rogers Band, pictured above on stage at the Festival. Below, a group of equestrian riders makes their way down Main Street during the Grand Festival Parade, held on Sunday of the event. Photos by Andy Behlen

The first weekend in August every year, thousands of folks flock to Schulenburg for the annual Schulenburg Festival, which has been dubbed the “National Party of Texas.” This year’s festival is Aug. 5-7, 2016 and will include three nights of rodeo performances, the grand Festival Parade, numerous bands, cookoffs, game food booths and a carnival. Most of the events are centered in and around Wolters Park. Visitors can enjoy some unique and

unusual attractions such as the cow chip throwing contest, egg toss, cow patty bingo and dunking booth featuring the Schulenburg High School cheerleaders. The Festival weekend is also when Schulenburg natives flock home as most class reunions are scheduled to coincide with the Festival. For a full schedule of Festival events visit www.schulenburgfestival.org.

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A view of the Praska Pout, also known as the Praha Picnic, held every year on August 15, the feast day for the church’s namesake, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Photos by Andy Behlen

Life’s a Picnic:

The Magic of Fayette County’s Church Feasts By ANDY BEHLEN The Fayette County Record

T

here is no better way to experience the culture of Fayette County than to visit one of the annual picnics put on by the Catholic churches scattered throughout the countryside. The Czech and German settlers who came here in the mid- to late-1800s were predominantly Lutheran or Catholic. As soon as they got their fields plowed and their cabins build, they joined together to build churches. Every year during the summer, usually around the time of the feast day of the church’s patron saint, parishioners would gather together for a big feast. The tradition lives on in the small Catholic communities of High Hill, Praha, Ammannsville, St. John, Dubina, Cistern, Holman, Plum, Ellinger, Fayetteville, and Hostyn. The practice came over from the Czech and German lands. In the old days, each family would bring a chicken from their coop, 106 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

or a pot of potatoes or green beans picked from their garden, a jar of peaches or pickles, and maybe a loaf of bread. When the entire parish got together for the feast, there was enough food for everyone. And the meal was often free. If you come to one of the picnics for nothing else, come for the meal. The recipes often date back to the late 1800s when Czech and German settlers founded the churches. Traditional fare invariably consists of fried chicken, german potatoes, sauerkraut, green beans and pickles. The meal also includes either beef stew or sausage, depending on parish tradition. While the meals are no longer free like they were in the old days, they are still a deal – usually $8 to $9 a plate. Each community puts their own spin on the meal. In Ammannsville, the cooks use cracker crumb breading for the fried chicken. The ladies of St. Wenceslaus Church in Holman save a few

Local folks shoot the breeze under the pecan trees at the Ammannsville Picnic.

of the boiled potatoes and mash them up with the potato water to create the all-important mashka, which they add to the sauerkraut. The men of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Plum grind, stuff and smoke homemade sausage before the picnic and serve it at the meal. Those who eat inside the hall at St. John get treated to sliced tomatoes picked fresh from local gardens, but only if it rained enough that year. The bands that perform at these picnics play both kinds of

music – polkas and waltzes. The summertime picnics form a sort of concert circuit for bands like the Shiner Hobo Band, Mark Halata and Texavia, the Red Ravens, and that young group from another part of Texas where some Czechs settled, the Ennis Czech Boys. Many of the songs they perform came over from the Czech lands in the 1800s. If you visit one of the picnics, you’ll likely hear locals singing along Continued on next page


.VTJD 'PPEBOE'VO/FBSMZ&WFSZ4VOEBZ Continued from previous page in Czech to standards like â&#x20AC;&#x153;A JĂĄ SĂĄmâ&#x20AC;? (All By Myself) and â&#x20AC;&#x153;KdyĹž Jsme Opustili Prahuâ&#x20AC;? (Farewell to Prague, or the Shiner Song, depending on whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s singing). But other tunes were inspired locally, sometimes by the picnics themselves, as in the case of the great Dujka Brothers number â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grandpa Drank Too Much at the St. John Picnic.â&#x20AC;? The picnics are regular stops for the red- and white-festooned dancers of the Polka Loverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Club of America. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know how to dance the polka or waltz, just ask one and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll happily teach you. Each parish holds an auction at their picnic to raise money for the church, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s often the churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest fundraiser of the year. For those visiting from out of town, it can be a great opportunity to bring home a piece of Fayette County culture. Parishioners donate items to sell in the auction like pickles, noodles, homemade molasses, baked goods, local crafts and an-

tiques. Each parish usually has a few venerable matrons who produce masterpiece quilts for the auction. But be prepared to spend thousands of dollars if you want one of those. Bring the kids and grandkids, too. The grounds at each picnic are filled with old-fashioned games for the kids like ring toss, dunking booths, cake walks and train rides. And when the kids run out of quarters for the games, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to dip into your biergarten fund to keep them happy. Most of the picnics have a recycling station set up where they pay the kids in quarters to pick up aluminum cans from around the picnic grounds. Many of the churches are on the famous Painted Churches Tour. If you plan on visiting the Painted Churches, you could schedule your trip to coincide with one of the picnics. We wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t say which picnic is the best â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that might start a holy war â&#x20AC;&#x201C; but you can always visit them all and decide for yourself.

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2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 107


A Union Pacific train at sunset passes Flatonia’s Tower No. 3, a retired control station previously operated by Southern Pacific Railroad.

Photo by Andy Behlen

All Aboard!

Hitch a Ride to Flatonia for History and Fun

F

latonia is a town on the tracks. The trains haven’t stopped in a few years, but the City is in talks with Amtrak and Union Pacific to bring passenger service back to Flatonia for the first time in decades. Until then, you’ll have to arrive on rubber tires, but it’s definitely worth the ride. Trains, cattle and oil brought wealth to this small town situated at the southwest corner of Fayette County. Old, yet architecturally significant buildings line both North and South Main Streets in downtown Flatonia – remnants of a past when everything social was centered in downtown. Today, Flatonia remains a bustling community. The town is filled with friendly people who appreciate their heritage and relish their history. Flatonia and the surrounding area continues to rely on farming and ranch108 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

ing as one of its main sources of revenue, while recent oil and gas production is beginning to play into the town’s economic wellbeing. Fairs, festivals, music, food, architectural landmarks, recreational opportunities are only a few of the attractions that lure people to the rolling hills and lush fields in and around Flatonia. If a person is looking for a prime example of small town Texas, then Flatonia is the place to be.

CZHILISPIEL A benchmark on the Flatonia social scene is the town’s annual Czhilispiel festival. Drawing more than 10,000 festival goers each year, Czhilispiel is held on the fourth full weekend in October in downtown Flatonia. This annual event has been going on for more than 45 years, and every year the crowds get larger, the music gets louder and the food gets tastier. It’s hard to beat

a Czhilispiel weekend in Flatonia. Czhilispiel is a Czech German flavored festival featuring more than 200 Czhili cooking/showmanship contestants, 75 BBQ Bean cooking teams, continuous musical entertainment, and one of the State’s largest Biergartens. The festival also hosts contests to pick the best Margarita, bravest Jalapeno Eater, a 5K Run/Walk, plenty of arts & crafts, a judged car and truck show, and a variety of other options to make your visit to Czhilispiel a memorable one! Visit www.chilispiel. com or call (361) 865.3920 for more information.

Central Texas Rail History Center At one time, the railroads ruled this small Central Texas community. Farmers, ranchers and merchants depended on the trains to deliver the necessities of

their livelihood. For the town’s citizens and those from surrounding communities, train transportation was their connection to the outside world. Today, the history of the rails in Flatonia lives at the Central Texas Rail History Center, located at 114 South Main Street across from the post office. The Center houses many historical artifacts, model train displays and photographs from when ‘rail was king’ in Flatonia. Across from the Center stands old Tower No. 3, which was built in 1902 and served as a switching facility just west of downtown at the interlocker. Located at the interlocker is the Rail Photo Pavilion, a covered, elevated facility that affords rail fans an up-close view of trains traveling East-West and North-South. The photo pavilion is located only blocks from the Central Texas Rail

Continued on next page


Continued Continue Co C ed from previous page History Center. For additional information visit the Center’s website at www.railcrossroadstx. com or call (713) 471-8068.

E. A. Arnim Archives and Museum The E. A. Arnim Archives and Museum was established in 1988 and has grown to be one of the largest museums in rural Central Texas. It is devoted to preserving the cultural history of small town life in Flatonia and its surrounding communities. The ground floor of the main building is a showcase of goods and furnishings from early area homes, businesses, clubs, schools and churches. The second floor houses the Flatonia area Veterans Museum with displays of uniforms, flags, weapons, war memorabilia and a special “Wall of Honor” with more than 300 photos of local veterans in uniform spanning the decades from

day. World d Warr I to the presentt d ay. A separate barn contains a country life collection with everything from a complete farm kitchen to a wide array of vehicles and farm implements spanning decades of local agricultural use. Historical photographs, letters, documents, and advertising memorabilia throughout the exhibits in both buildings add an extra layer of detail to the story of Flatonia. The museum is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m., or by appointment. For additional information call (361) 865.3455, email arnimmuseum@ att.net or visit our website at www.arnimmuseum.org.

Crawfest A Flatonia Chamber of Commerce event for the past 12 years, Crawfest is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing festivals in Fayette County. Held

Flatonia Crawfest attendees enjoy some firey mudbugs.

annually in April, the festival is a feast full of good food and fun. In addition to Gulf Coast crawfish and shrimp, the menu includes Joel’s BBQ sausage, corn on the cob, potatoes, beer, wine, and live music and dancing. Crawfest is held at the American Legion Hall and additional information can be obtained by emailing www. flatoniachamber.com or email

flatoniacofc@sbcglobal.net. You can also call the Chamber office at (361) 865-3920.

Golf Course Flatonia’s nine-hole golf course has been described by many out-of-towners as the “best kept secret in Fayette County.” With oak tree lined fairways and a scattering of water Continued on Page 111

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 109


Photo by Beverly Ponder

Event Remembers Praha’s Nine Fallen

T

he small Fayette County Community of Praha lost it’s youth at the end of World War II. The town lost nine service men – out of a population of less than 100 – over the course of a year from 1944 to 1945. Those men are remembered each year in one of the most historic and moving Veterans Day programs held anywhere. The memorial service in Praha always takes place on the Sunday before Veterans Day, Nov. 6 in 2016, on the grounds of St. Mary’s Church in Praha.

E. A. Arnim Archives & Museum

Two buildings house a unique collection that will take you on a journey back through Flatonia’s cultural and historical past to its founding in 1873. Hours: Thursday and Friday 1 – 4 p.m. Saturday 10 a.m. to noon and 1 – 3 p.m. Available for special tours by appointment.

361-865-3455 or arnimmuseum@att.net 101 E. North Main St., Flatonia, Texas www.arnimmuseum.org 110 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

The Praha Veterans Club held its first Veterans Day program Nov. 11, 1962, an event that would grow to be one of the most notable observances each year in Texas. The annual event was started under the direction of the late Rev. Marcus Valenta, a World War II chaplain and survivor of Pearl Harbor who had come to St. Mary’s Parish in 1954. Praha resident Ernest Chaloupka recalled Father Valenta meeting with a small group of veterans at the cemetery to organize the club in 1962. It would be under his direction that memorial services were first held. That was also a year when the national holiday was on a Sunday. On other years, the observance – now known as All Veterans Day in Praha – is held on the Sunday before Veterans Day. Chaloupka, Adolf Masek, Edwin Mikulik and Charles Lev were among those who helped Father Valenta with that first observance. The club was formally organized in 1968 with Chaloupka as chairman; Masek, vice chairman; Lev, secretary; Mikulik, treasurer; and Julius Jasek, director. The activities occur near Praha’s own little “national cemetery,” which was created within the confines of the larger parish graveyard to honor the nine Praha men who gave their lives during World War II. Praha’s war dead from World War II include Rudolf L. Barta, a machine gunner killed in the invasion of Normandy; Robert V. Bohuslav, who manned a bazooka and was killed in North Africa; Anton Kresta Jr., killed in action on Luzon in the Philippine Islands; Joseph Lev, killed by a sniper on Luzon; Edward J. Marek, killed by machine gun fire on Peleliu Island; George D. Pavlicek, died in France from wounds received in action; Adolph E. Rab, a cannoneer killed in North Italy when an enemy shell landed near his foxhole; Jerry R. Vaculik, killed in action in France. Also, there is an empty grave honoring Eddie Sbrusch who was captured in the Philippines and was lost at sea when the ship transporting him and other prisoners of war to Japan was torpedoed by an American submarine. The All Veterans Day program typically includes a mass at 9:30 a.m.; memorial service at 11; and flyovers by the U.S. Air Force and a flower drop over the cemetery by the Commemorative Air Force. Following that at the hall, there is the serving of a Praha-style fried chicken dinner.


Czhilispiel Keeping It Spicy in Flatonia By H.H. HOWZE The Fayette County Record

What’s in a name? Take “Czhilispiel” for instance. The famous chili cookoff and community celebration with the funny name (which this year will be held Oct. 23-25 in downtown Flatonia) causes newcomers to want to know: Exactly what kind of word is that? “We needed a catchy name,” said the late Dan Beck, former 155th District Judge. Beck was the man most often given credit for initiating the annual event. “The ‘Chilympiad,’ one of the

A lady from Round Top brought us the high chair her husband had as a child. We replaced the missing parts and restored it to it’s original condition and it is now the focal point in their kitchen. We can do the same for your family heirlooms.

original chili cookoffs, was already a big deal.” Chili plus “spiel” (German for “play”) was Beck’s suggestion. Long-time Flatonian Edwin Zapalac claims credit for the “z” in “czhili.” “It acknowledges that there are Czechs as well as Germans in town,” he said in a phone call. That was actually year two.

Call Len Waska at 361-865-9326 or email us at lwaska@att.net

We offer services from simple stripping for the customer to refinish, all the way to complete restoration including duplication of missing parts, hardware replacement, veneer repairs or replacement, chair caning and lamp rewiring.

visit us at

The Old Depot during Antique Week

Herzik was from Praha and still practices law in Katy, according to Beck, his old employer and friend. The centennial was a one-time event. Why did the chili cookoff re-appear the next year with the unusual name? “We needed a doctor.” Beck said. “Flatonia was a one-doctor town and old Doc Moorehead had died. It was a one-lawyer town too – but there were three of us,” he added with a chuckle. The idea was to raise money to help send a young person to medical school Photos by Beverly Ponder who would agree to come back and serve the town for at least five years. It worked like a charm. “We got a committee together and decided to continue the cookoff and dedicate the proceeds to the medical education of a Continued from Page 109 young woman. She graduated and hazards, the Flatonia course is practiced medicine in Flatonia for a challenge to any player…no a lot longer than five years,” Beck matter your skills. Carts and said. clubs are available for rent and “At one time it claimed to be a practice range is open and the second-biggest cookoff in ready for your warmup swings. Texas with 150 to 175 cookers,” The clubhouse is open Tuesday Beck recalled. He estimated the through Thursday from 11 a.m. current number at 50 to 60. to 5 p.m. and Friday through Now music is a big draw. Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is always lots of bands, lots For more information visit www. of dancing and lots of beer. flatoniagolf.com or call the The big show takes a big tent, clubhouse at (361) 865-2922. and Czhilispiel boasts the “World’s Finding Flatonia Largest Tented Beer Garden.” Flatonia is the center Czhilispiel clearly still brings a point between two of Texas’ lot of welcome cash into the local fastest growing areas. The economy. Czhilispiel 44 takes town is centrally located place Oct. 23-25, 2015. For more halfway between Houston information visit: www.flatonia and San Antonio on I-10. chamber.com/czhilispiel.

The first cookoff – without the distinctive name – was part of the town’s centennial celebration in 1973. Beck wants to set the record straight as to whose idea the first chili cookoff really was: “Mike Herzik was a young lawyer – even younger than me – and he came up with the idea of a chili cookoff to help celebrate the centennial.”

Lots to do in Flatonia

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 111


Above, the E. A. Arnim Museum and Archives located at 101 E. North Main in Flatonia. Below, a historic covered wagon on display at the museum.

Arnim Archives and Museum Offers Unique Look at Flatonia’s History The E.A. Arnim Archives & Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the Flatonia area, including its people and its culture, and making its collections available to the public for both research and entertainment. E.A. Arnim, Sr. and partner Jonathan Lane opened the Arnim & Lane Mercantile Store on Flatonia’s North Main Street in 1886, when the town was still in its infancy. Arnim’s eldest son, Judge E.A. “Sam” Arnim, Jr. spent a lifetime amassing an extensive collection of objects of local historic significance. In 1988, the Judge’s widow, Ann, had the idea of establishing a museum in Flatonia in his memory. The Flatonia State Bank offered its building, located across the street form the old Arnim & Lane store, to house the Arnims’ original collection along with a wealth of additional donations from numerous other families with deep roots in Flatonia history. The museum’s exhibits illustrate the settlement, early history and continuing development of 112 | 2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE

Flatonia and the surrounding communities. The ground floor of the main building is a showcase of goods and furnishings from early Flatonia homes, businesses, clubs, schools and churches, while the second floor houses the Flatonia area Veterans Museum. A separate barn contains a country life collection with everything from a complete farm kitchen to a wide array of vehicles and farm implements. Located downtown in the old Flatonia State Bank Building. 101 E. North Main Flatonia, Texas Hours: Thursday & Friday 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.


Outstanding in the Field Fayette County Attracts :LOGÁRZHU/RYHUV

A Fayette County field in bloom.

Photo by Jerry Herring

Fayette Faye Fa yett ttee County’s Cou ount nty’ y’ss ““painted paain inte teed roadsides” are now worldwide tourist attractions on a par with other famous “destination” foliage-watching opportunities. Usually by the first week of March, Texas wildflowers – first bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush, later Indian blanket, and Black-eyed Susan – are already popping up along the highways and byways of Fayette County. For bloom updates, visit sites such as www.wildflowerhaven. com, www.wildflowersightings. org and www.texasbluebonnetsightings.com. The Texas Department of Transportation will start providing sightings sometime in March at (800) 452-9292. Locally some of the best wildflower drives are along Highway 71 through La Grange, Highway 159 and 237 between La Grange and Round Top and along Interstate 10 between Flatonia and Schulenburg.

2016-2017 VISITORS GUIDE | 113


Fayette County Parks Parks Reservation Center (512) 389-8900 more than 48 hours in advance. For reservations less than 48 hours in advance, call the park at (979) 249-3504.

Boat Ramp Park in La Grange: Easy access to Colorado River for fishing, tubing, and canoe trips. Boat ramp, volleyball court, picnic tables. Open daily dawn to dusk. Handicap accessible. Located under Business 71 bridge over river.

Flatonia City Park: This park has a swimming pool, playground, sand volleyball court, baseball and softball fields, and a covered pavilion.

The Kanoe Klassica race starts from Plum Park on the Colorado every August.

tive camping with picnic tables, fire rings and grills. Permit information 1-800-776-5272, Ext. 3366.

Railroad Park in FlatoMonument Hill & nia: Flatonia is one of the few cities Kreische Brewery State in the U.S. to have a railroad with Historic Sites: On â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Bluffâ&#x20AC;?: both North-South and East-West routes. Railfans love this park, including the nearby elevated platform thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a â&#x20AC;&#x153;picture-taking place.â&#x20AC;?

Plum Park on the Colorado: Canoe put-in on the river between Smithville and La Grange. $5 fee per vehicle to enter. Primi-

Wooded park with monument to Texas heroes of Mier and Dawson expeditions (1840s). Home and ruins of historic brewery built by early German settler. One mile south of La Grange off US 77. Open daily from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.; no fee. 414 State Loop 92, La Grange (979) 968-5658;

Wolters Park in Schulenburg: Includes swimming pool, basketball court, gazebo and playground. Also includes Jacob Woltersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 1835 log cabin. Located at south end of Bohlmann Street.

Oak Thicket Park at Lake Fayette: On 2,000-acre Fayette Lake. Features RV and tent sites, screened shelters, pavilion, picnic facilities, hiking trails, a sandy beach, playground, cabins and a boat ramp. Reservations: call Texas

Park Prairie Park at Lake Fayette: Boat ramp, 12 tent- only campsites, and picnic facilities make a comfortable base for recreation at Lake Fayette. Group camping area (up to 24 people) with screened shelter (sleeps four) electricity, three campsites, picnic tables, and a grill. Reservations: see information above for Oak Thicket Park.

White Rock Park in La Grange: Day-use park (23.5 acres), one of the largest on the lower Colorado River. Operated by the City of La Grange, (979) 968-5805.

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What You’ll Find At The Only Quilt Museum In The Southwest…

Upcoming Exhibit Schedule

 Changing exhibits in three spacious, high-ceilinged

JANUARY 7-MARCH 27

galleries within meticulously restored 19th century buildings, winners of Preservation Texas and Main Street awards

 A Museum store featuring quilt-themed products and artisan-created gifts

 Quilts…History in the Making, a specially designed 13x85 foot outdoor mural painted by a well-known Texas muralist

 Grandmother’s Flower Garden, a period “town” garden

typical of Texas gardens between 1893-1930, planned to inspire creativity and contemplation

 The Pearce Memorial Library and Material Culture Center,

where research can take place in a quiet setting, and researchers can apply for a grant to conduct extended study

 Space for educational lectures and presentations

 Modern Quilt Guild at the Texas Quilt Museum (Museum Curator Dr. Sandra Sider will give a lecture “Designing Quilts in the 21st Century: Modern Quilt Guild” on Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.)  SAQA: Wild Fabrications  Quilts: A World of Beauty - Prizewinners from the International Quilt Association  The Magna Carta Quilts

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MARCH 31-JUNE 26  Antique Ohio Amish Quilts, the Darwin B. Bearley Collection  Selections from the Book 500 Traditional Quilts (Gallery tour on April 2 at 3 p.m.)

JUNE 30-SEPTEMBER 25  Ruby Jubilee  Animal Instincts (Annie Helmericks-Louder)  SAQA: On the Fringe

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SEPTEMBER 29-DECEMBER 18  New York Beauties (Bill Volckening collection)  Marvelous Medallions from the 500 Traditional Quilts Book  Terrie Hancock Mangat solo show OPEN Thursdays through Saturdays ......10 - 4 Sundays ................................................. Noon - 4 Check website for holiday scheduling ADMISSION General .............................................................$8 Seniors & Students ..........................................$6 Tours of 20+ when arranged in advance .....$6

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2016 - 2017 Fayette County Visitor's Guide

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