The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Harley takes his role as navigator seriously!

2023-12-3 Kreische Brewery & Monument Hill TX

 The last post for this trip is finally at hand. We went to see the Kreische Brewery and Monument Hill. We checked in at the Visitor's Center not knowing what to expect. The first thing we saw was that the grounds were being decorated for Christmas.

Next we saw this beautiful mural painted on tile squares. The subject was gruesome but it was beautifully done.

After the decisive Battle of San Jacinto in 1856, tensions were high between the Mexican Republic and the newly formed Republic of Texas. On 10 September 1842 a Mexican force led by general Adrian Woll marched to San Antonio. Fifty-four men from Fayette County met nearly 400 of Woll's soldiers thirty-six men died. An expedition of 400 men marched towards the Mexican town of Mier where they were met by 3000 Mexican troops. The Texans surrendered after a bloody battle. President Santa Anna ordered all 176 of the remaining prisoners executed but the Mexican leader in charge refused to obey and a compromise was reached to execute 10% of the prisoners. What followed was the Black Bean Episode.
The Mexican leader placed 17 black beans and 159 white beans in a pot. The prisoners were blindfolded and forced to choose a bean. Those that got the black beans were executed.

This is where the Monument Hill Tomb came into being even though the men were not killed on this spot.

Next up was the Kreische Complex. It was not what we were expecting to see. We had a nice walk across the grounds. One of the groundskeepers working on Christmas decorations gave us a shortcut to take which was a nice walk but you could actually do quite a bit of hiking here if you wanted.

This is the front of the Kreische house.

I seem to have lost some pictures. I know I took one of this sewing room. It was very tiny unlike this illustration. A sewing machine would have taken up half the room.

Outside doors and windows were open so you could see into rooms which were decorated.

The house was wide across but not very deep from front to back.

This was the back of the house.

Durinf the 1850s and 1860s, Kreische's primary profession was stonemasonry. In the 1870s, he listed himself as a brewer. He began the operation of a three-story brewery located in a spring-fed ravine behind his home. By 1878, the brewery produced 774 barrels of lager making it the third largest in Texas. Local small sized brewing was hugely affected by the rise of railroads and commercial refrigeration. Kreische died in 1882 and the brewery shut down in 1884. His family continued to live in the house on the bluff for 70 more years until his daughter Julia died in 1952.

The brewery was really more of a ruin that you could see from an overlook down a walk away from the house.

It was an interesting place to visit and worth the trip to see it.

2023-12-2 Roundtop TX

 Saturday morning Teresa, Teri, and I head up the road to Round Top. Elaine and I passed through there on our way to Brenham earlier in the week but there was little activity so I thought we might do better on a Saturday. Now, many people in Texas and even much further away know all about the Antiques show in October. There are so many shops and barns all along this highway from Warrenton to Burton. And, you would be stuck in a lot of traffic then but it was a nice ride this day. Roundtop is actually a very small town.

There is a whole village of shops off the main highway with a fair amount of parking. We parked and started to walk through the area. This was all closed when Elaine and I came through a few days ago.

There are shops selling things from a to z. 

I know when I was here years ago at a rally in Carmine we came here to get some scones which were wonderful. No luck finding such a shop today. This coffee shop had pie from Royers but we weren't ready for that.

There some really nice garden areas around some of the buildings.

This was the Humble Donkey but I'm not sure what it was about.

We decided to have lunch at Royers Cafe which is pretty famous. They advertise comfort food and it is pretty low key looking but the food is pretty upscale in looks and price. It was good. I ordered homemade tomato bisque soup and a piece of pie that I took to go. Teresa has food allergies so her first choice wouldn't work but the waitress was very good about checking food and making sure they didn't add anything she couldn't eat. It was crowded but we arrived before most of the big crush of people.

The post above was actually a small church in the village area but I took Teri and Teresa by to see this one. It, however, is not a church but a library built in an old church building. I have been inside and it is quite unique.

Teri wanted us to see Junk Gypsy. She thought it was further north but after quite a few miles, we realized that it was not so we turned around and headed back through Round Top on our way back to La Grange. Guess what......we found it going south. Teri said it was quite a popular TV show but I have to admit I have never seen it. They are decorators.

Lots of unique things inside to see. I don't know if they still call it shabby chic or not.

Anyway, it was a fun day with good company. I like to see the sights when I am out RVing.

2023-12-1 Schulenburg Painted Churches

 On Friday morning we headed south to Schulenburg Texas. Schulenburg is known as a railroad town and halfway to everywhere between San Antonio and Houston. It is most famous for the painted churches in the area and that is what we were planning to tour. The famous Painted Churches are located in 6 very small communities around Schulenburg. Our guided tour started at the Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce.

The first thing one needs to understand is that a tour of the Painted Churches is not a religious tour. It is an architectural and historic tour.

The first tour was in Dubina at the St. Cyril & Methodious Catholic Church. Dubina was the first Czech settlement in Texas established in 1856. The first church was built in 1877 but it was destroyed by a hurricane in 1909. The present church was built in 1911.

The church interiors are wood and painted. They are amazingly beautiful with vaulted painted ceilings with handpainted stars and figures.

The next church was St John the Baptist in Ammansville Texas/

The architecture and beauty of each of these churches is amazing and unique to each church.

The statures are equally intricate and beautiful.

The stained glass windows are also beautiful

Visiting the first two churches and learning about the historical information took over two hour. Our next stop was The Garden Company which is actually a restuarant.

The food was delicious and the decorations unique. These were overhead lighting.

After a delicious lunch we headed out to St Mary Catholic Church in  High Hill Texas.

This church is brick and was built in 1869.

It has amazing stained glass windows.

The painted ceilings and walls are breathtaking.

Remember that these churches are all painted. This column may look like marble but it is painted. Marble was too expensive for the church.

This sculptured panel was on the front of the alter.

The final church was the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Praha.

The wooden boards of this ceiling can clearly be seen and are part of the charm. This differentiates this church from the others as they all looked smooth.

The stained glass windows are also very different.

I would highly recommend a tour of the Painted Churches for anyone interested in architecture or beauty. Regardless of your religion or lack of it, it is very interesting. You can take a guided group tour or get a brochure and tour on your own but you will enjoy it.