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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gruene - A Cute Little German Town in Texas

This house reminded me of my upbringing in the 1950s.
Today we visited Gruene, Texas - a whole town on the national historic register. It started out in the 1840's as a German enclave when Texas was still a separate country. Henry Gruene set up a grist mill on the Guadalupe River. He also purchased a cotton mill to separate the seeds from the cotton. A small company town developed around the mill. The town had a general store - a dance hall - among the other company homes in the community. 

After the cotton industry died a terrible death to the boll weevil - the town went ghost. In 1950s - a developer was canoeing down the river - saw the old water tower - and explored the town on the bluff. The buildings were in relatively good shape. the guy bought the town - and restore the buildings. He worked to get the town on the national historic register. Today it is a tourist mecca. 

The town can be found halfway between San Antonio and Austin - just off I-35. The old wooden dance hall still hosts top music attractions. Today the place was pretty quiet - but by th time we left town - the parking lot was filling. 

Lulu loved the shops - I like the architecture. The Germans erected plain - functional - but durable buildings. 

This bed an breakfast had 31 rooms - right next to the dance hall.

Buildings on historic register

The wooden dance hall looks like a fire trap
Lots of two stepping goes on here

The bar in the dance hall

The wooden dance hall

The 80 foot tall water tower
provides 40 psi water pressure

Everything is ready for xmas


Mill work shops

Grist mill restaurant

Gift shops

Road signs

Corrugated buildings - steel coated with zinc

Hand dug well about 5 feet wide - 30 feet deep


Plain German building
Everything for sale

Lulu's grandmother's kitchen


Railroad sign

Beer Garten

General store

Henry Gruene's mill office

Company store

New company store

Food and drink 

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