Tag Archives: Museum

Happy Birthday Fredericksburg, TX

Founded on May 8, 1846, Fredericksburg became home to 120 German settlers on 10,000 acres of land. Now home to over 700 historically significant structures, the history in this area is alive and well.

Baron Otfried Hans von Meusebach (later changed his name to John O. Meusebach) is the founding father of this area. The survival of the area did not come easy as Comanche Indians were notable in the area. In 1847, Meusebach signed one of the most credited and successful treaty (within Texas) with the tribes. The tribes agreed not to interfere with the settlers in the area in exchange for $3,000 worth of gifts.
1848 brought added security and economic assistance with the establishment of Fort Martin Scott. This fort was one of the first military outposts in Texas and is still one of the few restored museums / sites depicting the new Texas independence.
Frederickburg CVB / Credit Gillespie County: 1896 Early Parade
The Civil War did not go unnoticed this far south in Texas either. The majority of residents favored the Union, however not all. In 1862, a Confederate colonel and his soldiers came into town. This led to the death of 76 Germans who had plans to join the Union army. This event became known as the 1862 Massacre at Nueces.
Fredericksburg CVB / Credit Gillespie County: July 4 Parade
Other unique Fredericksburg history:
  • Schoolmaster and inventor Jacob Brodbeck – Successfully flew his own self powered flying machine. This was almost 40 years prior to the Wright Brothers flight.
  • Sunday House – Per European custom, farmers lived in town and traveled to their farms daily, each settler received a small lot for a home and 10 acres in the country for farming. Soon, these settlers adapted to the “American” custom of living on their properties in the country. The lot in town did not go unused as these farmers built small homes for the purpose of having a place to stay on the weekends, to attend church and gather with others.
  • Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site.
  • Pioneer Museum
  • Gillespie Country Country Schools Trail – 16 sites dating back to the 1880’s, including Lyndon B. Johnson’s first schoolhouse.
  • Vereins Kirche ( SocietyChurch) – one of the first buildings to be built in town.
  • Kaffeemuehle (Coffee Mill) – octagonal building served as various congregations, a school, community hall and a fort. The actual building was destroyed but a replica was built in 1935 and has been relocated to the Marktplatz.
  • National Museum of the Pacific War – Dedicated to everyone who served in WWII under Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. Admiral Nimitz was a five star admiral hailing from Fredericksburg. The museum now hosts the AdmiralNimitzMuseum, the George H.W. Bush Gallery, the Garden of Peach, the Pacific Combat Zone, the Memorial Wall and the Plaza of Presidents.
If you are interested in learning more and visiting some of these areas, please visit the FredericksburgVisitorsInformationCenter. They will be able to provide a map of the Walking Tour of the Historic District which will bring you to 30 historical sites within Fredericksburg.

To plan a trip to Fredericksburg, located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, call (830) 997-6523 or  1-888-997-3600 (toll-free in the U.S.) to request a free visitor information kit or go to www.VisitFredericksburgTX.com for a complete list of accommodations in Fredericksburg and Gillespie County.

Related Posts:
Fredericksburg, TX – An Introduction
The Enchanted Rock

Historical Information from the CVB of Fredericksburg.

Laramie, WY & the Wyoming Territorial Prison

Laramie was my next destination, home of the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Territorial Prison. Yes – I said prison. I was excited!
Getting back onto the I-80 from Happy Jack Road.
I arrived in Laramie and this is the view. I don’t think you can ask for anything better!
Laramie is home to the University of Wyoming. From what I could see there really wasn’t anything else in the town other than the school and housing.
Chief Washakie is one of the statues on campus.
Chief Washakie (“Shoots on the Run”) was a warrior who led a band of Shoshones to the Treaty of Fort Laramie council meetings in 1851. He is well known for his leadership in fighting and friendliness with the white pioneers. He had a distinct sound heading into battle as he carried with him a balloon of dried buffalo hide filled with rocks which earned him the name “The Rattle” or “Gourd Rattler”. Chief Washakie later became a scout for the US Army. He is known as one of the most respected leaders in Native American history, even honored by the US Government by naming a US Outpost on a reservation as Fort Washakie. This is the only US Outpost ever to be named after a Native American and the only Native American to have a full military funeral. The dining hall (see in the background) is also named after Chief Washakie (not nearly as cool as a Fort or County but none the less).
His life was pretty interesting, you can read more about him here and here.
I think this is the most popular statue at the University of Wyoming – Wyoming Cowboys / Cowgirls.
Wyoming Territorial Prison can also be found on the outskirts of Laramie.
The prison was built in 1872 and its as creepy as it is old, well as long as you are touring it by yourself. Crazy me was roaming around Wyoming and where do I choose to go? A old prison, go firgure. In 1890, the prison was renamed the Wyoming State Penitentiary. The prison was open for 30 years, housing over 1,000 men and only 12 women along the way. Outlaws like Butch Cassidy, Dan Parker, Clark “the Kid” Pelton and Eliijah Canary were all housed here.
In 1903, the prison became the stock farm for the University of Wyoming. In 1989, local citizens fought to have the building restored to a historical landmark and here it is today.
The prison offers self guided tours and give yourself a couple hours because the property is extensive. You can tour the prison museum, Warden’s house, Horse Barn exhibit, Box Car house, Broom Factory (where the prisioners worked), Church and the Ranchland.I don’t have a lot of pictures of inside the buildings as I was attempting to take videos and kind of run thru it as it kind of freaked me out. Have I mentioned that already? Walking through old buildings alone isn’t really the kind of thing that I’m super excited about. One building was filled with two floors of individual cells and rooms used by the prisoners and you could hear every little noise. I was bound to get the heck out of there but I also wanted to see everything the landmark had to offer.
The property also showcased part of what would have come with the livestock holdings from the University of Wyoming.
A small western town was also built on the property all decked out for Halloween. I suppose this would be a good place to go for haunted houses or tours. I’ll leave that up for one of you to tell me how it is.
The view definitely wasn’t bad though, that’s for sure!
After all my fright and the sun beginning to set, I figured it was a good time to get the hell out of there (I really was creeped out). But the views, man, I’ve wanted to go back since before I left.
The entire way back to Colorado, I would see these land for sale signs and the land was pretty cheap if I remember right. Wouldn’t that be an adventure to just settle out in the middle of nowhere.
I can dream.
Back on the road.

George H.W. Bush Presidential Library

President George H.W. Bush (or Daddy Bush) was President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. It seems that some of the more recent President’s have established Presidential Libraries throughout the US. The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library was established in 1997.

Come to find out the “Library” is more of a museum than a library (who would’ve thought). As you walk through the museum we follow President Bush’s life, we get to know his family and learn where he found his values and what his parents were like, his childhood, his military career, how he met his wife, his family, and his career in politics. He now lives in Kennebunkport, Maine with his wife Barbara. (As a child, we vacationed in Maine yearly and I remember one year driving by his home and having the secret service tell us to turn around, kind of cool.)

The main purpose of our trip to College Station, Texas was to see the President Bush Presidential Library. Here are some highlights of our trip.

Upon arriving at the Library you will see how beautiful the building is itself…
“The Beast” may be the most classified car you may ever see…
… equipped with bullet proof windows (as thick as telephone books) and bullet proof tires where if they are shot the car can keep traveling. It also comes with a remote car starter with a bomb detector (I have one of these on my car too), self healing fuel tank, extra oxygen, and layered with kevlar throughout.
(Coming to a dealership near you in 2025).
A huge baseball lover, President Bush played baseball at Yale and even kept a glove in the top drawer of his desk while in office.
In 1947, the Bush’s bought this car for just under $1,700.00 and moved their family from Connecticut to Texas.
I made it just in time, the White House was expecting me. Little did I know I had a full day ahead…
A speech had to be made…(I think my point came across)…
… followed by a very important black tie dinner (my dress was cut out of the picture at the right)…
…unfortunately my dinner was cut short due to a very urgent top secret meeting I had to attend…
Back to the “library”, we were able to see President Bush’s office…
and reflect on his achievements…
This is part of the Berlin Wall which came down in 1989. This was remarkable to see.
We then found the library…children’s books.
You will also be able to see momentous from his year in the military, letters he sent home after his plane was shot down, family memories, the Gulf War, life in the White House and post White House. We even got to sit in a replica of his desk in the Oval Office and experience his love for sky diving. There is so much information, it is truly remarkable.
Finally, here is my favorite picture from the museum…
I think this was the highlight of his career!
Check it out – it is part of your history.

For More Info: http://bushlibrary.tamu.edu/
To see if a Presidential Library is near you: http://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries/visit/