Plan a frontier family-style Spring Break at the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg

The excitement of frontier times returns to the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg as the Gillespie County Historical Society celebrates Spring Break March 10, 12-17, 2012.

Families can take part in authentic frontier activities for a full week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a wide variety of hands-on activities, demonstrations and reenactments each day. There will be something for all ages to enjoy.

Scheduled exhibits include blacksmithing, spinning, quilting, fence building, and rope making. Re-enactors representing Buffalo Soldiers and Mountain men will share their culture and history. Kids can sit in a one-room schoolhouse, taste biscuits from an authentic chuckwagon, and make old-fashioned toys.

A new addition to this year’s event is a book signing featuring two local authors, Phil Houseal ,who recently published Finding Fredericksburg, and Robert Deming, who will sign his adventurous book entitled Enchanted Rock Red. The book signing will take place on Saturday, March 10, from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Both books are available for purchase at the Pioneer Museum at 325 W. Main. Houseal’s book is a guide to historical buildings in Fredericksburg. Deming’s book is a mystery and adventure centered around Fredericksburg’ famous Enchanted Rock.

During Spring Break week, the museum’s regular exhibits and buildings also will be open for viewing. Visitors can walk through one a smokehouse, blacksmith shop, and an original Sunday House.

Admission to Spring Break activities is the regular Pioneer Museum fee of $5 for adults; $3 for ages 6 through 17, and 5 and under free.

Fredericksburg is a popular destination any time of year, and especially in the springtime. This hill country town is famous for its German heritage, shopping, dining, and architecture. The new entrance to the Pioneer Museum is located right on Main Street, at 325 West Main. Parking is free.

The exact schedule of the pioneer demonstrators will vary by day. The public is invited to call ahead at 830-990-8441 to get details of each day’s events.

Visitors can also shop at the Museum Store at the corner of Milam and Main Streets. The store features an expanded and freshly-stocked collection of history books, T-shirts, gifts, classic games and toys. Information online at

Roots Music Series “Texas Rock ‘n Roll Night” – September 30

Bring your whole family to the Roots Music Series at the Pioneer Museum, 325 W. Main Street! Listen to emerging and established artists at these live, outdoor concerts. Dance on the dance floor beside the stage and under the trees. Get comfortable in your favorite lawn chair under the stars. Dine on some of the best cooking in the county with a cold beer, wine, water or soft drinks for sale. Every month brings a different genre and menu. This month is “Texas Rock ‘n Roll Night” featuring Al Staehely at 6:30 pm, George DeVore at 7:45 pm and Freddie Steady 5 at 9:15 pm. All proceeds support the Mission of the Gillespie County Historical Society (GCHS).

Gates open at 5 pm; music starts at 6:30 pm. $15 per person at the gate or $13 online. Kids under 18 are free.

Roots Music Series “Blues Night” – July 27

This is the third of four in the ROOTS Music Series of outdoor, eclectic concerts scheduled for the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas. Concerts feature both emerging and established artists in an informal, family setting. Blues Night has a great lineup:

6:30 p.m. Bobby Mack – Bobby Mack got his start at legendary Austin venues including Armadillo World Headquarters, Soap Creek Saloon, The One Knight, and The Split Rail as part of the developing Austin blues scene. He was a house regular at the famed Austin landmark, Antone’s “Home of the Blues” leading the stage every Wednesday night through the mid- 80s. Mack has released seven CDs . He is a true Texas Guitar legend from Fort Worth, Texas. Like other such North Texas guitarists as Denny Freeman, Derek O’Brien, Jimmie and Stevie Vaughan, Mack helped define the Austin Blues genre.

7:30 p.m. Omar and the Howlers – Omar started playing guitar at seven, took to hanging out in edge-of-town juke joints at 12, and joined his first band at 13. He was still Kent Dykes in those days, but by the time he hit 20 he had hooked up with a crazy party band, called the Howlers who had taken to calling him “Omar Overtone” because he tended to let his guitar feedback on stage while he dropped to the floor to spin on his back in a spontaneous, Big & Tall Store take on break-dancing. In 1976, the Howlers relocated to Austin.  Today finds Omar tighter, funkier than ever and slated with a great new release last year.

9:10 p.m. W.C. Clark – “If the blues is played right,” says Austin, Texas, native W. C. Clark, “it makes your soul feel clean.” Indeed, master guitarist/vocalist Clark – known as “The Godfather of Austin Blues” – has been playing the blues right and cleansing souls from the east side of Austin to stages around the world for over 40 years. Clark’s mix of modern Texas blues, searing guitar and heartfelt, Memphis-style soul vocals have made him a favorite of blues and R&B fans alike.

The Roots Music Series is a fund-raiser for the Pioneer Museum. Each concert offers a different genre of music with a variety of performers each night. Get Back to Your Roots. Plan to attend one of these ROOTS Music Series. Help us make this the best season ever!
The Roots Music Series General Information:Sodas, beer, wine, food and water are for sale on the grounds (no outside coolers, beverages or bottles allowed).

Museum is at 325 West Main Street in Fredericksburg, with entrance gate on Milam Street. Bring lawn chairs. Gates open at 5 p.m. Admission: Kids under 18 are FREE! Adult tickets are $12 each at the gate. Free parking.

Net proceeds support the mission of the Gillespie County Historical Society

Save the Date for more 2013 Roots Music Series: AUGUST 17– Bourbon Street Night

Renown scholar to speak at “What’$ It Worth?” pre-event party

Dr. Kenneth Hafertepe, chair and associate professor of Museum Studies at Baylor University, will talk on the 19th century furniture and decorative arts of the German artisans of the Texas Hill Country at his Pre-Event Cocktail Reception on Friday evening, April 20, from6:30until9 p.m. inside the Historic Sanctuary and Social Hall.

The event is part of the What’$ It Worth? Appraisal event at the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg, which will be held Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, with a Rare Find$ Market and Appraisal Day.

Hafertepe’s specialties include American decorative arts and historic buildings and sites. According to Stephen Vollmer, Executive Director of the Gillespie County Historical Society, Hafertepe will use lavish illustrations to answer such questions as who were the makers of early Fredericksburg furniture; what are its distinctive features; where did the makers get their ideas and their materials; and how have these wonderful examples of Texas furniture survived to the present?

Hafertepe has published a number of books and articles, and delivered lectures at the Amon Carter Museum, the DRT Library at the Alamo, the Heritage Society of Harris County, and the Winedale Historical Center. He is currently completing two books: one on the material culture of German Texans, and a guide to the historic buildings and sites of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County.

Guests at the Pre-Event Party also will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and desserts from Amish Market, Bejas, Chocolat, Dutchman’s, Fredericksburg Fudge, Navajo Grill, Sophie’s Choice, Sugar and Smoke, and Sunset Grill, along with door prizes and silent auction.

Reception tickets are $30 for GCHS members and $35 for non-members, and include one free appraisal on Saturday. Guests are asked to RSVP to 990-8441.

On both Friday and Saturday from9 a.m.to3 p.m., shoppers are invited to the new Rare Find$ Market on the Pioneer Museum grounds. Select vendors will offer their unique items for sale to the public. Entrance for the Market is through the Welcome Center on Main Street. Admission to the Market is free and open to the public on both days.

Appraisal Day is Saturday, April 21, from9 a.m.to3 p.m. Patrons can bring their items to the Historic Sanctuary,312 West San Antonio Street. Appraisals are offered at $10 per item, with no limit on items. Large items can be appraised by bringing a high-quality photograph.

Independent antique appraisers will be on hand to gauge the value of treasures and collectibles, including furniture, paintings, sculpture, art, books, textiles, silver, glass, toys, guns, knives, vintage jewelry, clocks, and western and Fredericksburg memorabilia.

For information and to purchase tickets, call 830-990-8441, email, or visit online at

Grilled Ribeye dinner to accompany Jazz Roots Music Concert 2012 Roots Music Series on May 19

Jazz music with a side order of grilled ribeye, or thick cut pork chop with sides and dessert awaits guests at the first concert in the 2012 Roots Music Series at the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg on May 19.

Gates open at 5 p.m. for the first outdoor concert of the season. While waiting for the music to start, guests can enjoy a $10 meal with choice of grilled-to-order ribeye or pork chop, accompanied with green beans, potatoes, dinner roll, and peach cobbler.

The music begins at 6:30 with the Kris Kimura Quartet, one of Austin’s most respected groups. Their repertoire emphasizes swing a la the Nat Cole Trio, and they are equally adept on Bossa Nova, Latin jazz, Dixieland jazz, traditional jazz, classic jazz and bebop.

At 7:40 Los Jazz Vatos – a six-piece group featuring a full horn section – play crowd-pleasing polkas, cumbias, blues, Latin, soul, and hot swing. The group was formed by Grammy-winner and legendary drummer Ernie Durawa – of the Texas Tornados and Doug Sahm fame. The players feature some of Austin’s top players, and it is a rare event to see them all together on one stage.

Finishing the evening from 9:10 to the later end time of 10:30, The Magnificent 7 performs. Magnificent 7 is an Austin-based, hard-swinging, horn-driven band, that specializes in original arrangements of American swing music. Instrumentation includes four horns, bass, drums, guitar and female vocalist. They are a top performance group, but their music is also both danceable and listenable, covering swing, blues, and Latin styles.

Guests can purchase a meal and refreshments of wine, beer, sodas, and water. Parking is free. The Pioneer Museum is located at 325 West Main Street in Fredericksburg, with event entrance on Milam Street. All museum buildings will remain open until 7 p.m. for Roots guests.

Admission is $12. Students high school age and younger are free. A $2 discount is available for advance online ticket sales or web page printout at

Net proceeds support the mission of the Gillespie County Historical Society.

Upcoming concert dates and genres are:
June 23 – Swing Night
July 28 – Multi-Culture Night
Aug 18 – R&B/Blues Night
Sept 22 – American Decades Night

For information: 830-997-2835.

Roots Music Series “Electric Blues Night” – July 26

Bring your whole family to the Roots Music Series at the Pioneer Museum, 325 W. Main St.! Listen to emerging and established artists at these live, outdoor concerts. Dance on the dance floor beside the stage and under the trees. Get comfortable in your favorite lawn chair under the stars. Dine on some of the best cooking in the county with a cold beer, wine, water or soft drinks for sale. Every month brings a different genre and menu. This month is “Electric Blues Night” featuring The Peterson Brothers Band at 6:30 pm, Bobby Mack at 7:45 pm and Chris Duarte Group at 9:15 pm. All proceeds support the Mission of the Gillespie County Historical Society (GCHS).

Gates open at 5 pm; music starts at 6:30 pm. $15 per person at the gate or $13 online. Kids under 18 are free.

Kinderfest 2013 at the Pioneer Museum – December 7

Children ages 10 years and younger are invited to bring their stockings this Saturday, December 7 to the Pioneer Museum for the annual Kinderfest, a special children’s Christmas event held from 2:00-3:00 p.m. at the museum at 325 W. Main St., in Fredericksburg. The museum admission is free via the S. Milam Street entrance from 2:00-3:00 p.m. for children accompanied by an adult. On tap will be story-telling, crafts and refreshments, and a visit from St. Nikolaus, a.k.a Santa! For more information, call the Gillespie County Historical Society at 830-997-2835.

Pioneer Museum Easter Egg Hunt

EasterCome for some ‘old-fashioned fun’ on the Pioneer Museum Grounds, 325 West Main Street. Perhaps even a visit from the Easter Bunny!

Children ages ten and under are invited to an Easter Egg Hunt on the museum grounds. There will be a special area for toddlers.

Admission is free. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The egg hunt will begin promptly at 10:30 am.

Cookies and lemonade will be served.

Alamo Images: Changing Perceptions of a Texas Experience – March 5 to April 10

photoBeginning March 5, Gillespie County Historical Society will present “Alamo Images: Changing Perceptions of a Texas Experience,” an exhibition organized by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University in Dallas and produced by Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in the Vereins Kirche.

Through photographs, illustrations, artwork and text, “Alamo Images” presents a story that has captivated several generations of audiences. The exhibition explores what the Alamo means to Texans and the role of Mexican-Texans in the Texas Revolution. Dozens of photographs and artworks give viewers of this exhibition interesting visuals to illustrate the history of the Alamo as mission, fort and shrine, as well as the drama of its siege and fall in March 1836.

The Gillespie County Historical Society presents “Alamo Images” as a means to promote ongoing dialogue about the significance of the Alamo as a Texas experience, as seen through its various representations in popular culture.

The exhibition will be available to the public from Tuesday, March 05 to April 10 . For more information about viewing hours or to arrange group visits, contact
Evelyn Weinheimer at 830-997-2835.

Humanities Texas develops and supports diverse programs across the state, including lectures, oral history projects, teacher institutes, traveling exhibitions and documentary films. For more information, please call Humanities Texas at 512.440.1991.

Gillespie County Historical Society Golf Tournament – October 25

A vintage-themed, charity golf tournament is set for Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at the prestigious Boot Ranch Golf Club and will benefit the Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg. The format will be a four-person, best ball scramble with registration starting at 10:30 am and shotgun start at 11:30.

The round of golf at this exclusive, award-winning golf destination will integrate archery, cowboy poker, skeet shooting, driving with a hickory-shafted driver, putting with an old fashioned putter and complimentary on course food and beverage. Following the tourney, players and their spouses or guests will enjoy a social hour and awards ceremony, a steak and quail banquet, live and silent auctions, and music by Mike Blakely and his band. Green fees are $750 per player and include golf cart, team caddy, social hour, dinner for golfers and their spouses/guests, and a memorable keepsake. Proceeds of the tournament will support the mission of the nonprofit Gillespie County Historical Society’s Pioneer Museum- to preserve the history of Fredericksburg and the Texas Hill Country. Individual players and teams are currently being accepted. For further information please call Tom Hutton at 830-669-2944 or Larry Jackson at 830-456-9384 or Pioneer Museum Executive Director, Stephen Vollmer at 830-997-2835 or go online at or