Walking Tour – 408 West Austin – John Walter Home (Austin Street Retreat)

From Cross Mountain, go back towards town, turn right on West Austin Street.

John Walter, a bartender, bought this property in 1867 for $50, and built the log cabin on the right for his family. Behind and to the left of the log cabin was a rock kitchen, connected to the back of the cabin by a durchgang, or enclosed walkway. The addition to the left of the log cabin was built in front of the old kitchen. In 1876, Walter was elected sheriff and tax collector for Gillespie County, a post he held for 10 years. After the county’s third jail burned down in1885, Walter used the kitchen as a jail.

In the 1976, new owners added the faux-fachwerk addition to the left of the log cabin. The walls are made from concrete block and the wood and plaster facade laid over that. Today, the John Walter Home is better known as Austin Street Retreat, Fredericksburg’s premiere guesthouse complex.

The Original Texas Star Trail Ride – February 28 to March 8

480_A_IMG_1477Join us as we ride The Original Texas Star Trail through Fredericksburg, Luckenbach, Stonewall, Johnson City, Blanco, Fischer, Wimberley and Driftwood. Each year, about 300 people take part in the 112 mile ride. It’s the experience of a lifetime and one you will not forget. We cross 40 cattle guards through more than 20 Texas Hill Country ranches, including the LBJ Ranch. Spectators welcome! Please visit the website for more information.

Phone: (512) 791-2503

Corner of North Bowie & West Austin Street – William Bierschwale Home

Alfred Giles was born at in Middlesex, England, on May 23, 1853 . At 17, he apprenticed at an architecture firm in London for two years. In 1873 he emigrated to the United States, settling in Texas in 1875. When he started his own architectural practice in San Antonio in 1876, Reconstruction was coming to an end in Texas, and soon, Giles’ business was booming. Giles designed buildings all across the Hill Country featuring local materials, mainly stone.

The William Bierschwale House was started in 1889. William was County Clerk and a was elected as a Representative to the state Legislature.

Walking Tour – 312 West Schubert – The Christian Crenwelge Place

Christian Crenwelge, who owned the property across the street, purchased this land in 1872 and operated a molasses press. In 1903, Crenwelge built the frame house on the corner for his daughter and her husband, but sold the house in 1906. The property changed hands many times until McAdoo White bought in 1974 and began landscaping the grounds, creating a beautiful creekside patio.

Northwest Corner of Orange and Saint Mary’s Street – St. Mary’s Catholic Church

Mariekirche, or the Old St. Mary’s church is one of old Fredericksburg’s landmarks. When the building next door was built in 1906, the original church was remodeled to be a parochial school. When the new school building was built across the street, the old church fell empty once again. For several years, restoration funds were collected through Wild Game Dinners and Damenfests.

St. Mary’s history goes back almost to the city’s founding. The Catholics, who were among the first settlers, worshipped in the Vereins Kirche, and in the home of John Leyendecker, a schoolteacher. In 1847, Fr. Dubois, a Frenchman who later became bishop of Galveston, and Fr. Salazar, a Spaniard, arrived here to hold mass, the first Holy Mass in Fredericksburg. Although they were only here for two weeks, the local Catholics were inspired to build their own church.

The original townlot was granted to Gerhard Rehmann, who, in 1854, conveyed the lot to members of the Roman Catholic Church for $18 cash. Included in the conveyance were the lots where the St. Mary’s Elementary School now stands. For many years this was where the St. Mary’s rectory stood. In the summer of 1849, Fr. Menzel, a native of what is now Czechoslovakia, arrived as minister. Since the church had not been finished, services were held in the Rectory. When he returned to his homeland and year and a half later, he had left behind a large wooden cross to replace the ones left by Spanish missionaries.

In 1853, Bishop Odin of Galveston, who was later transferred to New Orleans, administered the first sacrament of confirmation in the city. In 1859, a popular Jesuit priest, Fr. Weinninger, spent three weeks here. A popular missionary of the day, the parishioners pleaded for him to return. He asked that a church be built as a condition of his return. Work on the Marienkirche started in 1860 and was finished during the early days of the Civil War. The Church’s most distinctive feature is its stone spire, a strong reflection of the homeland Gothic. It has recently been restored. “New” St. Mary’s supplanted the Marienkirche in 1906, more finely detailed and delicate in appearance but equally Gothic, and is one of Texas famed Painted Churches.

Admiral Nimitz Foundation Distinguished Speaker Series with George P. Shultz – March 4

Join us in Fredericksburg, Texas, the birthplace of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, for the initial event of the 2015 Admiral Nimitz Foundation Distinguished Speaker Series, at 304 W. San Antonio Street.  Featuring George P. Shultz, former Chairman of President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory board and Secretary of State from 1982-89.  All tickets include dinner and open bar.  Cocktail Party begins at 6 pm, Remarks and Q & A at 7 pm, followed by Dinner.  Signed copies of Issues on My Mind: Strategies for the Future by George P. Shultz will be available at the Cocktail Party.  To be held at the St. Mary’s Parish Center.  Space is limited and is on a first come basis.  To purchase tickets immediately, contact Laura Nelson at (830) 997-8600 ext. 200 or nelson@nimitzfoundation.org

Individual tickets are $250.

419 West San Antonio – Hoffman-Keller House

In February 1869, Johann Hoffman built the house of solid limestone with two rooms on the first floor, and a large bedroom and storage room on the second floor. The front room, larger in size, was the combination bedroom and sitting room. The smaller room behind it was the kitchen. Originally there was a narrow, ladder-like stairway that led out of the kitchen into the storage room (or rumpelkammer) at the back of the second floor. A small window in the east wall lit the stairway. Martin Keller, a Cain City farmer, bought the house when he retired. By 1938, the Kellers had died, and the family sold the home. It passed through several hands and many of the changes seen today were made, perhaps including the removal of the plaster that originally covered the limestone walls.

Continue down San Antonio to Edison Street and turn right, towards Main Street.

Wings of Freedom Tour happening Wednesday through Friday at airport

Fly in a B-series bomber and fighter aircraft – just like what was flown during WWII during the Wings of Freedom Tour happening this Wednesday, April 6 from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., Thursday, April 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Friday, April 8 from 9:00 a.m. until noon at the Gillespie County Airport. Make plans to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience with 30-minute flights in an authentic B-17 or B-24 or an hour flight in a P-51 Mustang fighter. Cost: $425 per person. Walk-through tours are $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 years and younger. For information, call 800-568-8924.

LBJ’s 106th Birthday Celebration – August 27

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical ParkLBJ at the buffet will celebrate the 106th anniversary of President Johnson’s birth on Wednesday, August 27.

Visitors are invited to the Visitor Center first for a welcome kit, park permit and information on the day’s activities. The public can see a film about the President and the Texas Hill Country along with many exhibits. Throughout the day, visitors can visit the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm and participate in old-time family games and see how President Johnson grew up in the Texas Hill Country. While at the park, make sure to see the presidential exhibits, pack a picnic basket, enjoy the Pedernales River and visit the park store for park and historical-related souvenirs.

There will also be a wreath laying ceremony at his gravesite in the Johnson Family Cemetery by representatives from Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio at 10 am.

For more information on this and other park events, view  or call (830) 868-7128, ext. 222.