Cofran's Texas . . .
Hill Country Portal
"German Heritage, Texan Hospitality"
Population (2011): 10,643
Elevation: 1,693 ft
Area: 8.58 sm
Zip Code: 78624
Area Code: 830-997
Time Zone: CST
Coordinates: 30° 16' 27" N, 98° 52' 19" W
Location: 23 mi N of Comfort
; 25 mi NE of Kerrville
, 39 mi S of Llano
30 mi W of Johnson City
; 23 mi E of Harper
Highways: US 290, 87, TX 16, RR 1631
Creeks: Winfried, Barons, Dry, Town
Parks: See below
Quick Link To: Directory Listings in Fredericksburg
City of Fredericksburg; 830-997-7521
126 W. Main St., Fredericksburg, TX 78624-3708
Web: www.fbgtx.org; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAMBER & TOURISM:
FREDERICKSBURG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
302 E Austin St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Web: www.fredericksburg-texas.com; Email: email@example.com
FREDERICKSBURG CONVENTION and VISITOR BUREAU
302 E Austin St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Web: www.visitfredericksburgtx.com; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GILLESPIE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
302 E Austin St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Web: www.visitfredericksburgtx.com; Email: email@example.com
Fredericksburg & Gillespie County Lodging: www.fredtexlodging.com
Flavorful Fredericksburg: www.fredtexflavors.com
Lodging Reservation service: www.FBGlodging.com
Texas Hill Country Wildflower Trail: www.tex-fest.com/wildflower/index.htm.
Tourism spotlight on this town.
Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail:
www.tex-fest.com/regional/index.htm. Tourism spotlight on this town.
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS: See full details for each attraction in City Directory.
ADMIRAL NIMITZ STATE HISTORIC SITE & NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE PACIFIC WAR: Dedicated to all those who served in the Pacific War. The George Bush Gallery of the Pacific War, the Plaza of the Presidents, and the History Walk of the Pacific War are all part of the park. Fee.
BAUER TOY MUSEUM: The museum contains 3,000 toys, cars, trucks, lead soldiers, airplanes, boats, dolls, guns, miniature village, a 40' diorama of the Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
FORT MARTIN SCOTT: Fredericksburg, located 2 mi SE of town. On display are artifacts, documents and fascinating details about trade in bear grease, sugar, rice, and coffee. Showcases many historical events during the year, but the favorite is the Pow Wow which has a virtual kaleidoscope of brilliant colors and native regalia. The first frontier fort in Texas, and was an active U.S. Army pre-Civil War outpost from 1848 to 1853. Soldiers were trained here, and it supported troops on scouting and patrol missions in the area. Offers living history lessons in the lives of settlers and soldiers during the 1850s. Self-guided tours with assistance of kiosk signage. Open 24x7, free. Contact City Parks: 830-997-7521.
FREDERICKSBURG BUTTERFLY RANCH: Located in the historic Loeffler-Weber House, this is an active working butterfly ranch specializing in monarch and native butterflies.
FREDERICKSBURG HERB FARM: Beautiful organic herb gardens, a celebration of scent and color. Also has a tearoom, candle shop, day spa, and retail area along with the herb gardens.
FREDERICKSBURG NATURE CENTER: Located at Lady Bird Johnson Park, this is a focus of diversity because of the local hydrology and geology. Within the 10 acres you will find 11 distinct habitats. That one small area offers so many species of birds, forbs, grasses, woody plants, amphibians, reptiles, and insects is truly amazing.
FREDERICKSBURG THEATER COMPANY: See the better-known musicals and the tried-and-tested plays on stage. Reputation for "the loudest applause in the Hill Country.Numerous plays and musicals throughout the year. Call for schedule. Fee.
FREDERICKSBURG TRADE DAYS: Weekend of 3rd Sat every month. A very large, professionally operated facility with food vendors, live entertainment, permanent buildings, and zillions of seller booths with a huge variety of goods.
HILL COUNTRY DULCIMERS: Watch as handcrafted dulcimers are crafted from scratch. A dulcimer is a narrow, often hourglass-shaped, stringed instrument having 3 or 4 strings and a fretted fingerboard, typically held flat across the knees while sitting and played by plucking or strumming.
HISTORIC DOWNTOWN & FAMILY WEEKEND GETAWAY DESTINATION: One of the most popular destinations in the Hill Country because of its charm and diversity of attractions: German culture; B&B community (over 300 guest houses); 900 hotel/motel rooms, over 150 specialty shops downtown; 75 restaurants, 5 museums, historic sites, golf course, airport, downtown historical district with over 80 points of historic interest and significance in the district. A free self-guided walking map of the district is available at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center. K&K Tours offers a guided walking tour for a fee.
JEEP COLLINS JEWELRY WORKSHOP: Tour a jewelry factory and watch as skilled craftsmen hand create their unique silver jewelry.
(THE) PIONEER MUSEUM & VILLAGE COMPLEX: The heritage of the hearty Texas pioneers comes alive here on three acres, right in the heart of town, you'll be able to time travel to the past and see how the German settlers really lived as you visit almost a dozen historic buildings. From a blacksmith shop, typical homes, and a one-room school house to the Volunteer Fire Department Museum, and general store. Each May the Pioneer Museum celebrates Founder's Day with hands-on events, music and German food. Created in 1956 when the Historical Society bought the home, smokehouse and barn of Henry Kammlah and turned it into a small museum. Since then six major structures have been added and the museum has frontage on two streets. Includes 1849 pioneer home and general store, smokehouse, blacksmith shop, Volunteer Fire Department Museum, and White Oak schoolhouse (built in the 1920s, consolidated in 1950) and Museum store.
ROCKBOX THEATER: A professional variety live-music, Rock 'n' Roll show with 4 performances per week.
(THE) VEREINS KIRCHE MUSEUM:
Located in the center of Marktplatz. Learn about the town's German heritage. The original octagonal structure, the first building constructed in town in 1847, played a major part in the history of the town because it served as a church for several denominations, as well as a school, meeting place and fortification for more than half a century. This was the first museum the City had when the Historical Society opened it in 1935.
WILDSEED FARMS: One of the nation's largest working wildflower farms.
NEARBY & HILL COUNTRY-WIDE ATTRACTIONS:
Some of these nearby attractions include:
Nearby: ROUND UP AT HEARD RANCH: 830-997-7217; Tivydale Rd, SW of Fredericksburg. Experience history as ranch cowboys round up and work cattle; Bar-B-Q meal.
Nearby: LUCKENBACH TEXAS: 830-997-3224; RR 1376, 8 mi SE of Fredericksburg. Established as a trading post in 1849, Luckenbach consists of a dancehall, general store, and bar. This settlement has enjoyed continued notoriety for its free spirit. See Luckenbach
See local wineries complete list at Hill Country Wineries including nearby Stonewall.
PARKS: There are many state parks in the greater area as profiled on the Parks page. Local city include:
CROSS MOUNTAIN PARK: Located 1.5 mi N of downtown on FM 965, on the W side, on a hill top. The early German settlers in this Hill Country town reportedly found an old wooden cross on top of the hill that may have been left by earlier Spanish explorers who passed through the area. As a result, this area became known as Kreuzberg (Cross Mountain). The original cross has been lost to history, but today a large concrete-metal cross stands in its place. The City of Fredericksburg, which owns the property, has plans to develop the park and add facilities in the future. A master plan has been developed, but its implementation has not yet been funded and may be a few years away. At 1,951 feet elevation, it offers a panoramic view of the town and area. No vehicles permitted. Accessible by a short walk on a dirt foot trail. Park at bottom and look for "Enter Here" sign.
LADY BIRD JOHNSON GOLF COURSE: 830-997-4010; 800-950-8147;
341 Golfers Loop, Hwy 16 S, Fredericksburg, TX 78624. Located 3 mi S of downtown area at the municipal park (see below). www.golffredericksburg.com. Public, Municipal, 18 holes, 6432 yds, par 72, championship course. Has practice facilities featuring 20 hitting stations, 2 practice greens and a practice bunker. Red Bird Grille is located inside the Club House (breakfast, lunch and drinks served daily except Mondays). Open daily except Monday mornings.
LADY BIRD JOHNSON MUNICIPAL PARK: 830-997-4010; 800-950-8147; 341 Golfers Loop, Hwy 16 S, Fredericksburg, TX 78624. Located 3 mi S of downtown area. www.golffredericksburg.com. 150 acre park includes facilities for golf, camping, sports (softball, baseball, basketball), swimming, picnicking, and fishing. Olympic-size pool, six tennis courts, open-air pavilions and Pioneer Pavilion (an enclosed pavilion), accommodates up to 500 for special events. RV park with 113 spaces with full hook-ups and tent camping. RV reservations: 830-997-4202
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL PARK: Located on 10 acres adjacent to the Elementary School, includes baseball/soccer fields, a walking/jogging track, outdoor basketball court, playground, picnic pavilion, restrooms and adequate parking.
FRANTZEN PARK: A quaint little park located in the 400 block of S Orange St along the Barons Creek. Picnic tables.
MARKTPLATZ (MARKET SQUARE): The well-known park in the heart of Fredericksburg includes pavilions and a playground for individual use and is the site for festivals creating some of the ambiance for which Fredericksburg is known. Public rest rooms.
OAK CREST PARK: Located 2 mi S of Main St on Hwy 16. A great place for ball games, Oak Crest has 1 regulation sized, lighted baseball field, with two newly completed Little League sized, lighted fields. It also boasts adequate parking available adjacent to the fields next to the Race Barn.
OLD FAIR PARK: Located 3 blocks S of Main St at the corner of S Lincoln and E Ufer streets, just E of HEB. Has 2 regulation little league baseball fields, that are converted to soccer in the fall. Has soccer/multi-use field and playscape equipment.
TATSCH HOUSE: Meeting facility available for rental for family reunions, rehearsal dinners, meeting, showers, etc. Offers a comfortable atmosphere in an ideal location. Designed for gatherings of 60 to 80 people (indoors). Full kitchen, tables and chairs. Outdoor fenced-in patio. Reservations: 830-997-4202.
TOWN POOL: Closed indefinitely due to structural problems.
Parks in the surrounding area include:
Nearby: LYNDON B. JOHNSON STATE & NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARKS: In Stonewall, on Hwy 290 E, 16 miles E of Fredericksburg. The park complex encompasses 700 acres and has a visitor center, historic areas, tours, exhibits, and hiding trails. Ranch Bus Tour reservations: 830-868-7128 x 231. These tours visit the Texas White House, LBJ birthplace, cemetery and ranch. Hour and a half tour departs from visitor center at park. Fee. See Parks
Nearby: SAUER-BECKMANN LIVING HISTORY FARM: At the LBJ State Park, 830-644-2455. Visit a living history farmstead of the pioneers. See how the farm families of a century ago lived. Learn about seasonal activities such as sausage making, sheep shearing, canning, etc.
Nearby: ENCHANTED ROCK STATE NATURAL AREA: 915) 247-3903; RR 965 N (18 mi N of Fredericksburg); This 1,643-acre park is home to the second largest granite outcrop in the US, and provides opportunities for hiking, rock climbing, rapeling, camping and picnicking. Fee.
Nearby: OLD TUNNEL WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA (Bat Tunnel): Old San Antonio Hwy, 12 mi S. Open nightly June through October. View a colony of Mexican free-tail bats as they fly out for their nightly hunt.
EVENT CALENDAR: For full details on each event see Chamber web site and
Festivals & Events
January: Windows on Texas Music Festival; Midnight Volksmarch; Gillespie Co. 4-H & FFA Livestock Show; Gem & Mineral Show
February: Masken Ball; Gun & Knife Show; Hug In
March: St. Francis Xavier Parish Fest; Hereford Association Sale; Mud Dauber Festival & Ball; Country Peddler Show; Nimitz Museum Program
April: Gun & Knife Show; Outdoor Expo; Spring Herb Fest; Spring Real Antiques Show; Pitapat Dance; Wildflower Run & Walk
May: Crawfish Festival; Founder's Day Festival; Intertribal Pow-Wow; Memorial Day Service
June: Artists Invitational Show; Country Peddler Show; Hill Country Golf Classic; June-
August Parimutuel Horse Racing; Volkssport Festival; Stonewall Peach JAMboree & Rodeo; Antique Tractor & Engine Show
July: Children's 4th of July Parade; Night in Old Fredericksburg Festival; NIOF Parimutuel Horse Racing; Vor Schuetzenfest; Hill Country Auto Swap Meet & Car Display; Chili Pepper & Salsa Festival at Wildseed Farms
August: Gillespie County Fair; Bundes Schuetzenfest; Ecumenical Peace Program; Doss Community Fair
September: Fritz Fest
October: Oktoberfest; Hill Country Cycle Tour: St. Joseph's Hall Craft Sale; TX Mesquite Art Festival; Nimitz Symposium; Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest
November: Die Kunstler von Fredericksburg Art Show; Veterans Day Salute; Gun & Knife Show; Regional Christmas Lighting Tour Begins;
Country Peddler Show: County Fairgrounds
November: Real Antiques Show (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web www.texasantiqueshows.com)
November (Thanksgiving WE): Peddler Show-Perfect Street of Shops. www.peddlershow.com
December: Jaycee Santa Claus Parade; Kinderfest: At Pioneer Museum Complex; Pearl Harbor Program; Stonewall Heritage Society Gala; Candlelight Tour of Homes; Zweiter Weihnachten (Marketplatz, marketplace): winter wonderland, Mainstreet, holiday lighting, outdoor ice skating rink; market & festival. New Year's Eve Dance
Every First Fri, FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK: Downtown Fredericksburg, 10a-8p. www.firstfriday-fbg.blogspot.com. Ten fine art gallery open for exhibits, casual art talks, demonstrations, entertainment, with wine from local wineries. Every First Friday, all year.
Every Fri-Sun: LIVE ROCK-N-ROLL ON THEATER STATE: At ROCKBOX THEATER: 830-997-7625; 109 N Llano, Fredericksburg, TX 78624. A professional variety, live-music, Rock 'n' Roll show with 4 performances per weekend. www.rockboxtheater.com
FREDERICKSBURG TRADE DAYS: 830-990-4900; 210-846-4094; 11382 US Hwy 290 E, Stonewall, TX 78671. Weekend of 3rd Sat Every Month. Acres of vendors. Biergrten, live music. Fri-Sat 9a-6p. Sun 9a-4p. $3 Parking for 3 days. www.fbgtradedays.com. Also see Hill Country Market Days, Trade Days, Farmers Markets
MAPS: Google, more; Birds Eye View-Main Street; Birds Eye View-Off Main Street
HISTORY: Handbook of Texas Online: Handbook of Texas Online: "The town was one of a projected series of German settlements from the Texas coast to the land north of the Llano River, originally the ultimate destination of the German immigrants sent to Texas by the Adelsverein. In August 1845 John O. Meusebach left New Braunfels with a surveying party to select a site for a second settlement en route to the Fisher-Miller Land Grant. He eventually chose a tract of land sixty miles northwest of New Braunfels, where two streams met four miles above the Pedernales River; the streams were later named Barons Creek, in Meusebach's honor, and Town Creek. Meusebach was impressed by the abundance of water, stone, and timber and upon his return to New Braunfels arranged to buy 10,000 acres on credit. The first wagontrain of 120 settlers arrived from New Braunfels on May 8, 1846, after a sixteen-day journey, accompanied by an eight-man military escort provided by the Adelsverein. Surveyor Hermann Wilke laid out the town, which Meusebach named Fredericksburg after Prince Frederick of Prussia, an influential member of the Adelsverein. Each settler received one town lot and ten acres of farmland nearby. The town was laid out like the German villages along the Rhine, from which many of the colonists had come, with one long, wide main street roughly paralleling Town Creek. The earliest houses in Fredericksburg were built simply, of post oak logs stuck upright in the ground. These were soon replaced by Fachwerk houses, built of upright timbers with the spaces between filled with rocks and then plastered or whitewashed over.
The colonists planted corn, built storehouses to protect their provisions and trade goods, and prepared for the arrival of more immigrant trains, which came throughout the summer. Within two years Fredericksburg had grown into a thriving town of almost 1,000, despite an epidemic that spread from Indianola and New Braunfels and killed between 100 and 150 residents in the summer and fall of 1846. The first two years also saw the opening of a wagon road between Fredericksburg and Austin; the signing of the Meusebach-Comanche Treaty, which effectively eliminated the threat of Indian attack; the opening of the first privately owned store, by J. L. Ransleben; the construction of the Vereins-Kirche, which served for fifty years as a church, school, fortress, and meeting hall; the formal organization of Gillespie County by the Texas legislature, which made Fredericksburg the county seat; the founding of Zodiac, a nearby settlement, by a group of Mormons under Lyman Wight; the construction of the Nimitz Hotel; and the establishment by the United States Army of Fort Martin Scott, which became an important market for the merchants and laborers of Fredericksburg, two miles east of town. After the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1849, Fredericksburg also benefited from its situation as the last town before El Paso on the Emigrant or Upper El Paso Road.
Religion played an important part in the lives of the German settlers of Gillespie County. Devout farmers drove as much as twenty miles into town for religious services and built Fredericksburg's characteristic Sunday houses for use on weekends and religious holidays. Though most of the original colonists were members of the Evangelical Protestant Church, there were also Lutherans, Methodists, and Catholics. Initially, all communions held services in the Vereins-Kirche, but in 1848 the Catholics built their own church, which was supplanted in 1860 by the Marienkirche (old St. Mary's Church). Also in 1848 the German missionary Father Menzel erected a large wooden cross on Cross Mountain just north of Fredericksburg. The Methodists withdrew from the Vereins-Kirche around the same time, and another group left the Evangelical Protestants in 1852 and formed Zion's Evangelical Lutheran Church under Rev. Philip F. Zizelman. Their church building, completed the following year, was the first Lutheran church in the Hill Country.
The German settlers were also passionate believers in the importance of education. The first school in Fredericksburg was established under Johann Leyendecker, in whose home Catholic services were held immediately after the town's founding. Leyendecker was succeeded as teacher a year later by Jacob Brodbeck, who was in turn succeeded by Rev. Gottlieb Burchard Dangers. In 1852 Heinrich Ochs replaced Dangers; Ochs remained an important figure in the community until his death in 1897. The first public school, with August Siemering as teacher, and the first official Catholic school in Fredericksburg were established in 1856.
Fredericksburg, like many of the German communities in south central Texas, generally supported the Union in the Civil War. Still, despite widespread opposition to slavery and secessionqqv on philosophical grounds, a number of Fredericksburg residents supported the Confederacy. Charles H. Nimitz organized the Gillespie Rifles for the Confederate Army and was later appointed enrolling officer for the frontier district. The Fredericksburg Southern Aid Society subscribed more than $5,000 in food and clothing for Confederate soldiers in 1861. In general, however, the people of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County suffered under Confederate martial law, imposed in 1862, and from the depredations of such outlaws as James P. Waldrip. Waldrip, the leader of a notorious gang, was shot by an unknown assassin beneath a live oak tree outside the Nimitz Hotel in 1867.
The bitter experience of the Civil War strengthened the traditional German determination not to get involved in state and national affairs. The Germans tried to maintain their independence by steadfastly refusing to learn or use English. The first newspaper in the county was the German-language Fredericksburg Wochenblatt, established in 1877, and a teamster who drove freight from Austin to Fredericksburg in the 1880s claimed that the local sheriff, who spoke German and broken English, was the only person in Fredericksburg who could act as an interpreter for him. The most authoritative history of early Fredericksburg was Fest-Ausgabe zum fuenfzig-jaehrigen Jubilaeum der deutschen Kolonie Friedrichsburg, written by Robert G. Penniger for the town's fiftieth-anniversary celebration in 1896. Not until after 1900 were the first purely English-speaking teachers employed in Fredericksburg's public schools.
As the town grew in size and importance, however, its self-imposed isolation was beginning to break down. The first Gillespie County Fair was held in 1881 at Fort Martin Scott and moved to Fredericksburg in 1889. The fair, celebrated as the first in Texas, soon attracted relatively large numbers of visitors to Fredericksburg. The town got its first electric-light company in 1896 and its first ice factory in 1907; by 1904 the estimated population had risen to 1,632. Another factor in Fredericksburg's decreasing insularity was the construction of the San Antonio, Fredericksburg and Northern Railway, the first train of which rolled into Fredericksburg on November 17, 1913, and was greeted with a three-day celebration. The railroad was reorganized as the Fredericksburg and Northern in 1917 and remained in operation until July 25, 1942, when it died, a victim of improved roads and automobiles.
By World War I a number of residents of Fredericksburg considered Penniger's editorial newspaper too pro-German. Another symbol of change was the spring 1928 vote to incorporate, a move the people of Fredericksburg had resisted for eighty-two years because they preferred to use the county as the unit of local government: why, they reasoned, pay two sets of public officials when one would suffice? At the time of the vote Fredericksburg was the largest unincorporated town in the United States, and the increasing size and complexity of both the town and the county made a change necessary. The 1930 United States census, the first in which Fredericksburg was included, gave the town's population as 2,416. Thereafter the population grew slowly but steadily, reaching 3,544 in 1940, 3,847 in 1950, 4,629 in 1960, 5,326 in 1970, and 6,412 in 1980. As Fredericksburg grew it became the principal manufacturing center of Gillespie County. At various times it has had a furniture factory, a cement plant, a poultry-dressing plant, granite and limestone quarries, a mattress factory, a peanut-oil plant, a sewing factory, a metal and iron works, and a tannery. As early as 1930, however, the town was also becoming known as a resort center, with a tourist camp and hunting and fishing opportunities; a significant part of the town's economy continues to depend upon its ability to attract the tourist trade. One of the organizations that has helped make Fredericksburg an important tourist center is the Gillespie County Historical Society, founded in 1934 to preserve local history and traditions. Its immediate goal was the completion, with the help of the Civil Works Administration, of a replica of the Vereins-Kirche, which had been torn down in 1897. When it was completed in 1936 for the Texas Centennial celebration, the structure became the home of the Pioneer Museum. After the museum was moved in 1955 the new Vereins-Kirche became the home of the Gillespie County archives. Another local structure of some historical significance is the Admiral Nimitz Center in the old Nimitz Hotel, commemorating native son Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, a hero of World War II (see NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE PACIFIC WAR).
In the 1980s Fredericksburg had thirty-eight restaurants, thirteen motels, a resort farm, a campground, three art galleries, and twenty antique stores. In addition, the town was the site of a number of annual events, many of which recall Fredericksburg's German pioneer past, which attracted visitors from throughout the state. Among these events were the Wild Game Dinner (for men only) in March and the Damenfest (for women only) in October, both of which benefit the Fredericksburg Heritage Foundation; the Easter Fires Pageant; the Founders Day celebration, on the Saturday nearest May 8, which benefits the Gillespie County Historical Society; A Night in Old Fredericksburg, in July; Oktoberfest; and the Kristkindl Market and Candlelight Homes Tour, both in December. The Gillespie County Fair is held in Fredericksburg on the third weekend in August; the fairgrounds are also the site of racing meets on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July and a hunter-jumper horse show in June. In 1990 the population was 6,934, and in 2000 the community had 8,911 inhabitants and 910 businesses."
HISTORIC GILLESPIE COUNTY COUNTRY SCHOOLS: 830-669-2243; www.historicschools.org
AVAILABLE SERVICES: Gas: yes; Convenience Stores: yes; Restaurants: yes; Lodging: yes; Grocery Stores: yes; Banks: yes; Vehicle Repair: yes; Hospital: yes; Med Clinic: yes; Post Office: yes; Public Schools: yes; Cemetery: yes
CEMETERIES: Der Stadt Friedhof (E side of town; contact: Glen Treibs, 830-997-7356); Greenwood (N); Catholic (W side)
OTHER PROFILES: Wikipedia; Podunk Profile; City Data
MEDIA COVERAGE: Latest News (Topix); Fredericksburg Standard Newspaper
WEATHER: Weather Underground
Fredericksburg Independent School District
Local airport (see below)
We welcome submission of updates, additions, corrections & digital photos, without compensation.
BUSINESS & ORGANIZATION DIRECTORY
Click: Fredericksburg Listings