Battle of Palo Duro Canyon Texas

 

If you have the opportunity of visiting the Texas Panhandle you’ll want to be certain to visit Palo Duro Canyon State Park. This stop make a great addition to your Texas vacation planner.

battle of palo duro canyon

Battle of Palo Duro Canyon Historic Marker

Palo Duro Canyon State Park is located about twenty-five miles southeast of Amarillo and about twelve miles east of Canyon Texas.

One of the things that make Palo Duro Canyon an amazing destination is it’s historical significance. Not only does Palo Duro Canyon tell the story of ancient geology, and in a quite beautiful way, but it also is the site of a very significant military campaign which for all intents and purposes ended the Indian Wars in the southern plains.

Visitors to Palo Duro Canyon today will see the exact location along with a Texas Historical Marker where one of the most, if not THE most, significant southern plains Indian Wars battle took place.

The exact site is along the state park’s loop drive. The Battle of Palo Duro Canyon was a decisive event. The year was 1874 and the main participants on both sides had a most interesting background and even a more interesting and surprising future. This interesting story is told below.

palo duro canyon state park

Scenic Palo Duro Canyon Texas

Comancheria

The growth of Texas meant the encroachment upon Comancheria, the land of the Comanche Indian. Comanche raiding upon white settlers in what is now the state of Texas was violent and went back to the Spanish era, the Mexican era, the Republic of Texas era and lasted for about a decade after the end of the Civil War.

During the Republic of Texas years the Comanches went as far as raiding all the way southeastward to the Gulf of Mexico and the port of Indianola. That demonstrates how intense the Comanche conflict was.

Quanah Parker, Ranald Mackenzie and Palo Duro Canyon

When the decades long conflict between Comanche and Texan came to an end, two names involved with this historic event stand out from all the others.

Quanah Parker, perhaps the fiercest and wisest of all Comanche leaders, and Colonel Ranald Mackenzie, the head of the Army’s Fourth Cavalry at Fort Concho Texas, were destined to meet in battle at Palo Duro Canyon on September 28, 1874.

palo duro canyon battle site

Palo Duro Canyon Battle site

Both men who met in battle came with unique backgrounds. Quanah Parker was the son of Cynthia Ann Parker, a child who was kidnapped from her Texas home and whose parents were killed during an 1830’s Indian raid. Cynthia Ann Parker would spend much of her life living among the Comanche who she grew to regard as family.

Colonel Ranald Slidell Mackenzie, a Civil War veteran who fought under Grant and leader of the Fourth Cavalry. Mackenzie had a high reputation within the army and has been recognized as being perhaps the most successful Indian fighter in the U.S. Army. Not a household name as George Armstrong Custer but arguably more successful.

The Red River War of 1874-1875

The Indian Wars in the West were essentially a series of wars that were settled for brief periods with treaties until hostilities began anew. Usually the cause of a flareup was a broken treaty and/or white settler encroachment. The geographic epicenter would vary from time to time but overall would continue on an east to west line.

palo duro canyon visitors center

Palo Duro Canyon Visitors Center

The military and the white settlers wanted land and they likewise wanted the Native Americans placed on reservations.

The Native Americans of Texas and all other regions of course desired to keep their historic lands and just as importantly their culture. Considering this reality conflict was inevitable.

Reservations historically were located on the least desirable land and the Indians were aware of this. The last big effort to place the remaining Comanche, Kiowa and Southern Cheyenne on reservation land was what the Red River War was all about. This was the conflict that eventually led to the historic Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, not far to the south and west of the then Indian Territory which is present day Oklahoma.

The Red River War ended with not just a single battle. It was an on again off again fight over nearly two years that eventually moved remaining Comanche, Southern Cheyenne and Kiowa inside Indian Territory.

The Battle of Palo Duro Canyon was decisive for the fact that after the skirmish Comanche leader Quanah Parker agreed to lead his people to the reservation and for the fact that this battle involved so many Native Americans.

palo duro canyon scenery

Canyon view from Visitors Center

During the battle the Fourth Cavalry, led by Col. Ranald Slidell Mackenzie, broke up a large encampment of Comanche, Kiowa, and Cheyenne in Palo Duro Canyon, killing only a few Indians but capturing and slaughtering about fourteen hundred horses.

At the time only Quanah Parker and a leader named Mow-way were still being sought. As a result of the battle and loss of horses Quanah Parker’s band came into Fort Sill on June 2, 1875, marking the end of the Red River War.

The Red River War represented the official end of decades upon decades of conflict in Texas between the Native Americans of white settlers.

Quanah Parker and Ranald Mackenzie…The Years After Palo Duro Canyon

Quanah Parker after relocating to Indian Territory eventually accepted the white man’s culture and was known to even dress accordingly. Parker went on to befriend noted ranchers as Samuel Burk Burnett and Daniel Waggoner as well as Theodore Roosevelt in later years.

Quanah Parker was also instrumental in urging his people to adapt to the white man’s culture much as possible. He is also credited with helping to establish the Native American Church. Quanah Parker died in 1911 at the age of fifty-nine in Oklahoma.

ranald mackenzie

Ranald Slidell Mackenzie

Ranald Slidell Mackenzie

Ranald Mackenzie was appointed brigadier general and assigned to the Department of Texas in 1882.

After buying a ranch in Texas and becoming engaged he started to have medical problems. Mackenzie had injured his head in a prior wagon accident at Fort Sill.  He eventually began experiencing mental difficulties and the accident he had was thought to be the cause.

The marriage never occurred and after showing more signs of mental instability he retired from the army in 1884. Ranald Mackenzie moved to his sister’s home on Staten Island New York and died in 1889 at her home at the age of forty-nine. He is buried at West Point.

Links to articles from our Western Trips site you’ll enjoy include:

The Battle of Slim Buttes

Exploring the Red River Valley Museum

Wagon Train Ruts from the Santa Fe Trail

Western Frontier Generals / Crook and Miles

 

hiking trails palo duro canyon

Palo Duro Canyon hiking trail

Visiting Palo Duro Canyon

Palo Duro Canyon State Park is located a short drive south of Amarillo Texas and is easy to reach via the Interstate Highways. The park was opened in 1934 by the efforts of the Conservation Corp and contains over 29,000 scenic acres.

Upon entering the park you’ll want to stop at the Visitors Center and see the exhibits and artifacts that tell the story of how the canyon came into being. After the Visitors Center  you’ll want to make the loop drive where you’ll be able to explore some excellent hiking trails, see the site of the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon and view some amazing scenery. The park contains both day camping and overnight camping facilities.

Palo Duro Canyon is also well known for the musical TEXASThis outdoor musical drama and the official play of the state of Texas runs Tuesdays through Saturdays during the summer season in the Pioneer Amphitheater within the park. For more information regarding the musical see website www.palodurocanyon.com

Two good books about the Red River War, Quanah Parker and Ranald Mackenzie include Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History by author S.C. Gwynne.

Also, Bad Hand: A Biography of General Ranald S. Mackenzie by author Charles M. Robinson III.

(Palo Duro photos are from author’s private collection. Ranald Mackenzie photo from the public domain))

Natural Bridge Caverns

You see the signs on the Texas Interstates advertising Natural Bridge Caverns. Actually I’ve seen them for years and never explored there until recently. I will have to say I was pleasantly surprised. I should have visited there sooner. It was an amazing visit. After driving to San Antonio and snapping pictures of the now urbanized Alamo I made a short trip north to Natural Bridge Caverns.

The Caverns in the Texas Hill Country

natural bridge cavernsThe caverns are located in the beautiful Texas hill country about 15 miles north of San Antonio. By their very nature the caverns are underground and when you drive to the main building you really don’t have any idea where the caverns are. The tours are led by a well informed guide. What you end up doing is walking on a passageway that takes you 180 feet below the surface. That’s almost 18 floors underground. Passageways have railings and the walk is not difficult at all. The photo of stalagmites above are courtesy of the National Park Service.

What you will see are huge caverns or you could call them underground rooms that in some cases are up to 300 feet long and ceilings of perhaps 40 to 50 feet. They are filled with stalagmites and stalagtites that are of all sizes and colors. Many are back lit which gives them a dramatic effect.

If you have never toured a cavern before, you will truly be amazed that something as large and beautiful could be 180 feet below the Texas hill country. When you visit these caverns you really feel that you’re seeing one of the unique wonders of the world. People have been mining for years. Digging deep holes in the earth is nothing new. When you look inside a man made coal mine you might not be at awe. The same applies to a gold or silver mine.

texas caverns

Natural Bridge Caverns entrance, Courtesy James Sumner Creative Commons 3.0

When you see the natural beauty of colorful underground caverns with their stalagmites and stalactites you realize that there’s a whole beautiful world beneath the often hectic surface of 21st century civilization.

The environment underground remains constant. Temperatures stay at about 70 degrees during all seasons.

Humans for centuries upon centuries have used caverns for protection against the bitter cold of winter. Underground caverns have and are still being used for storage by governments. Caves and caverns are a product of geologic processes that involve rainwater, chemicals and acids. Rainwater seeps through faults and cracks in the rock and over millions of years they can form underwater rivers and or lakes. Many of the largest caves are formed in limestone. There are primary caves which mean they were formed at the same time as the rocks were. Lava caves were formed by lava flows and there are sea caves which are found along the world’s coasts. There are also fracture caves and glacier caves.

plutos anteroom at natural bridge caverns

Plutos Anteroom, Courtesy James Sumner, Creative Commons 3.0

As you can see there are many geologic processes that result in underground caverns. It’s absolutely amazing what our earth’s elements and geology can create.

Pictures are allowed at Natural Bridge Caverns giving you a great photo op. The tour I was on lasted about 80-90 minutes and it was well worth it. I would recommend a visit there anytime you might be in the San Antonio or AustinTexas area. It makes a fun family weekend trip and it’s quite educational and historic as well. With fuel prices what they are, I think most people want to keep their vacations within a budget. I believe Natural Bridge Caverns fits any vacation budget fairly well.

Also, see our Trips Into History articles on The Alamo in San Antonio and a Tour of the Pioneer Museum in the Texas Hill Country town of Fredericksburg.

Other Caverns to Explore in the Western U.S.

If your road trip takes you into southern New Mexico be sure to add Carlsbad Caverns to your trip planner. Carlsbad Caverns National Park is located just twenty miles southwest of Carlsbad New Mexico. This National Park has two historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places—the Cavern Historic District and the Rattlesnake Springs Historic District.

oregon caves

Formation at Oregon Caves, courtesy of the NPS

In Arizona you’ll want to check out Kartchner Caverns State Park. This “live” cave, discovered in 1974, features a wide variety of unique minerals and formations. Events and cave tours are offered year round. The guided tour lasts about 1 1/2 hours. Kartchner Caverns is located nine miles south of Benson Arizona on Highway 90.

In California there is California Cavern State Historic Landmark which has had visitors since 1850. This makes this cavern very special. The cave was discovered by a Captain Joseph Taylor. Taylor was target practicing and noticed a breeze that appeared to emanate from the rocks. When he investigated just where this breeze was coming from he discovered a cave entrance. He named this cave Mammoth Cave. He shortly thereafter opened the cave for public viewing. The cave’s early visitors included people such as John Muir and Mark Twain. California Cavern State Historic Landmark is located at 9565 Cave City Road, Mountain Ranch, CA. Mountain Ranch is located about 80 miles southeast of Sacramento California in the Sierra Nevada foothills. A visit to this site is a great companion trip while visiting the California gold country.

In Oregon check out Oregon Caves National Monument. This cavern is located deep inside the Siskiyou Mountains. The site is located just north of the California / Oregon border in Cave Junction Oregon. This is about a 147 mile drive due west of Klamath Falls Oregon toward the Pacific coast. It’s an excellent stop to add to your trip planner while traveling along the scenic Pacific coast on US Hwy 101.

(Unless otherwise noted, photos are in the public domain. Creative Commons 3.0)

 

 


Alamo in San Antonio

The Alamo in San Antonio Texas has been and is the most popular tourist attraction in San Antonio Texas. The Alamo, then with the Mexican name of Mission San Antonio de Valero, represented ground zero in Texas’ fight for independence from Mexico during the 1830’s. The site of the Alamo is both a popular stop in San Antonio for historians as well as those which look upon it as a type of shrine.

alamo in san antonio

The Alamo

If you haven’t visited the Alamo in San Antonio TX  I would highly recommend that you add it to your Texas vacation planner. San Antonio has a wealth of historic sites in addition to popular modern day attractions such as Sea World, the famous River Walk and Fiesta Texas. San Antonio literally has something to offer everyone and it’s a top Texas family vacation destination.

The Alamo in San Antonio Then and Now

The Alamo in San Antonio, built about a quarter mile east of the village settlement,  was the first Spanish mission built in San Antonio. There four other missions built to the south along the San Antonio River. The Spaniards built missions in California, New Mexico and Texas for the purpose of Christianizing the Native population and by doing so also creating new subjects for the King of Spain and helping to solidify Spanish rule in North America. All of the Spanish missions including the Alamo served as a symbol of Spanish rule. While being separate, the mission system worked alongside the Spanish military quite effectively. There was no other colonial power of the time where the church and state worked so much in unison.

alamo walls

Walls and convent rooms along Alamo perimeter

The Texas Republic

What has happened several times when American settlers flooded into certain regions, an urge to form their own government takes over. This happened in Texas and later to a degree with the Bear Flag Revolt in California in the 1840’s. In Texas it didn’t take long for American settlers to struggle against Mexican rule and this was only about a decade after the Mexicans themselves had ejected the Spanish from North America. Americans in Mexican controlled Texas wanted their independence. At the same time, General Antonio  Lopez de Santa Anna, dictator of Mexico in 1836, and self styled “Napolean of the West“, aimed to keep Texas under strict Mexican rule. The battle at the Alamo couldn’t be avoided.

What the Alamo Meant

It was widely felt that taking control of the Alamo Mission was the key to wresting away Texas from Mexico. The settlement, then named Bexar, was also a site of Mexican garrisons. The Alamo itself was a mission, not a fort. The perimeter walls were easily scaled by ladders. The chapel was the only relatively secure building due to it’s twenty foot high walls. The Texas defenders had thought they could hold out long enough for reinforcements to arrive. In the meantime, there had been other victories won by the Mexicans and many a Texan settler, fearing that all was lost, dashed for the U.S. border. The feeling was that if Mexico did indeed prevail, perceived traitors would be surely executed.

spirit of sacrifice memorial in san antonio tx

Spirit of Sacrifice Monument, San Antonio Texas

Back at the Battle of the Alamo, after two unsuccessful assaults on the Alamo mission grounds by troops under General Santa Anna, the third assault, using all the reserve troops under his command were able to scale the walls. Messages were dispatched from the Alamo by the Texan defenders calling for reinforcements but as history chronicles they never did arrive.

Mexican troops poured over the northern wall and after severe hand to hand combat, the Texas defenders fell back to die in the Alamo convent barracks and chapel building. Among those who lost their lives were Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and Colonel William B. Travis. It is widely believed that Davy Crockett was among the defenders captured alive but shortly thereafter executed with the other prisoners by direct orders of Santa Anna.

What the Defeat at the Alamo Unleashed

It has been said that Santa Anna, while still losing some six hundred of his troops, considered the Alamo battle of little consequence. As it turned out he was dead wrong. The Alamo defeat stood as a symbol and battle cry that would galvanize the Texas forces in such a way that just some six weeks later Santa Anna was defeated further east by forces under the command of Sam Houston at Battle of San Jacinto and Texas won it’s independence. It was at this decisive battle at San Jacinto that the Texas volunteers charged the Mexican troops with the famous battle cry, “Remember the Alamo“.

alamo in 1860s

Alamo Plaza, 1860

Santa Anna Makes a Strategic Blunder

Historians contend that Santa Anna had made a terrible blunder while marching east. Instead of pursuing Sam Houston and his troops, Santa Anna decided to attack the settlement of Harrisburg where supposedly Texas government officials were. The town however was empty and Santa Anna’s diversion allowed Houston’s troops to fall in behind him. At this point, Houston had some 800 Texas troops. They would have about equal strength as the Mexicans. After sneaking up on the Mexicans through tall grass the Texas troops engaged the Mexicans in what would be a decisive defeat for Santa Anna and victory for Texas in it’s war for independence.

General Santa Anna’s Fate

Santa Anna facts include the following. Santa Anna was captured at the Battle of San Jacinto. After signing papers acknowledging Texas independence, Santa Anna was assured his safe return to Veracruz Mexico. The situation back in Mexico was a bit more complicated. A new government was formed in Mexico and it declared that Santa Anna was no longer president and that the treaty with Texas was null and void. As it turned out, the Mexican General spent some time in exile in the U.S. and while there actually went to Washington to meet President Andrew Jackson.

mexican general santa anna

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Mexican Dictator and General, circa 1853

Santa Anna eventually did make it back to Mexico and at one time regained power just to lose it again. Among the countries he lived in exile at included Cuba, Colombia, Jamaica, St. Thomas and the U.S. In 1869, the old Mexican general was actually living in exile on Staten Island in New York.

Santa Anna returned to Mexico under an amnesty given to him in 1874 and was largely ignored. He died in Mexico City in 1876.

An excellent book to learn more of the details on the life of the “Napolean of the West” is Santa Anna of Mexico by author Will Fowler.

You’ll also enjoy our Western Trips photo articles about the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in San Antonio and the historic Guenther House and Pioneer Flour Mill just south of the Alamo. Also, on our Trips Into History site the story of the de Anza Expedition and the founding of San Francisco and Exploring Western Art in San Antonio Texas.

San Antonio Texas is located 275 miles southwest of Dallas TX and 199 miles west of Houston TX.

(Photos from author’s private collection. Photos of the Alamo in 1860 and Santa Anna from the public domain)

Susanna Dickinson / The Alamo Story

The story of the Alamo and Santa Anna’s victory at the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 is probably the most publicized story of Texas’ fight for independence. The Alamo story is also the story of a woman by the name of Susanna Dickinson who survived this epic battle. Susanna Dickinson was among the women inside the Alamo mission during this March 1836 battle and it is from her memoirs that the world learned of just how this battle unfolded. In fact, Susanna Dickinson had the distinction of being one of only two survivors among the Alamo’s Texan defenders.

Susanna Dickinson, public domain photo

Susanna Dickinson was present at the Alamo with her husband, Captain Almaron Dickinson. The Dickinson’s had relocated to Texas from Tennessee in 1831. Captain Dickinson was among many Texans who felt war with Mexico was inevitable. After their expulsion of the Spaniards from the North American continent during the early 1820’s, the Mexican rulers were trying to consolidate their possessions into a central government. This decision from Mexico City made war with the Anglo Texans a matter of not if but when.

After the Alamo defenders were defeated, Susanna Dickinson was personally interviewed by Santa Anna. In an effort to send a warning to the Texians to the east, Susanna Dickinson was allowed to go home to Gonzales to tell the story of what occurred at the Alamo. Santa Anna wanted Dickinson to tell her fellow Texians that Santa Anna’s army was too big to fight against.

Susanna Dickinson Home and Museum

The result of allowing Susanna Dickinson to go free did indeed initially work in Santa Anna’s favor. Sam Houston ordered Texian settlers and his 400 man force to further east to avoid the Mexican army. The retreat of course was only the beginning of what would become the legendary war for Texas independence which would end at the Battle of San Jacinto and the defeat and capture of Santa Anna himself. Santa Anna’s ploy probably did more than anything to galvanize the resistance against Mexican rule and fostered the creation of the famed battle cry, “Remember the Alamo“.

The story of Susanna Dickinson is significant in the fact that this woman was able to survive the Battle of the Alamo to relate it’s details for posterity. Because Susanna Dickinson survived and was allowed to return home, we have detailed knowledge today of what took place in San Antonio during early March of 1836.

During her life after the Alamo and the Texas War of Independence, Susanna Dickinson married several times before her last marriage to a merchant named J.W. Hannig. She was married to Hannig until her death in 1883 and is buried in Austin Texas. It is the house built for her by Hannig that sits today in Austin Texas as the Susanna Dickinson Museum. Susanna Dickinson’s historical significance was a simple product of fate. She essentially was used as a messenger for Santa Anna and this splendid museum in Austin Texas is dedicated to telling her story. The museum has many programs for both adults and children and features a library of over 500 books.

Susanna Dickinson Home on Fifth Street in the heart of Austin Texas

The Susanna Dickinson home and museum is next door to another Austin Texas historic tourist attraction, the O Henry Museum. This museum of course tells of the somewhat strange life of O Henry who at one time resided in Austin.

Today’s Austin Texas tourist will find the Susanna Dickinson Museum right in the heart, as you can see from the photos, of Austin Texas at 411 East Fifth Street.

There are two other very good Austin Texas stops to put on your trip planner, also in the downtown area of Austin. These are the Driskill Hotel which is an 1800’s architectural and historic masterpiece as well as one of Austin’s most popular hotels. The other is the Texas state capital building, just a few blocks north of the Driskill, which was built in the 1880’s with revenue received from selling over 3 million Texas Panhandle acres for what would become the famed XIT Ranch.

You may also enjoy our trips Into History article…The Resting Place of the Alamo Defenders

(Article copyright Trips Into History. Photos of Susanna Dickinson Museum are from author’s private collection. Photo of Susanna Dickinson is from the public domain)

A Tour of The Pioneer Museum in Fredericksburg Texas

Fredericksburg Texas, in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, was a major settlement for German immigrants. Located in Gillespie County Texas, Fredericksburg presents an excellent example of early German migration to the state. In fact, there are many towns in the Texas Hill Country with German names such as New Braunfels, Gruene, Boerne and others. The Bavarian government largely discouraged emigration in the 1880’s but nevertheless there was a lot of publicity in Germany regarding Texas. Those who did publicize Texas told about the available land, the topography of the Hill Country and the abundance of wild game. Many Texas Germans arrived in in the state during the German Revolutions of 1848. One thing that is quite remarkable is that the early German settlers developed a good relationship with the Indians. It’s remarkable in the sense that trouble with the Native Comanches is so much a part of Texas history. A few other interesting facts about the Texas Germans was that they actively participated in politics, and by 1846 a German language version of Texas law was in place. Also, Fredericksburg stood out as a bastion of Union support during the American Civil War. Most of the immigrant population was adverse to slavery.

Today, Fredericksburg Texas is a fun Hill Country tourist destination with a lot to see and do. There are many things to do in Fredericksburg and one of these is to explore the towns early days of Texas German immigration.

One very historical attraction which goes a long way in explaining and showcasing Fredericksburg’s founding is the Pioneer Museum and village located in the heart of Fredericksburg Texas. The Pioneer Museum which includes many outdoor exhibits is located on three acres of shaded grounds and included many plants that are native to the Texas Hill Country.

Pioneer Museum, Fredericksburg Texas

The early Texas Hill Country was very active with people who emigrated to the area from the German region of Europe. Many towns in this part of Texas have German names.such as Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Luckenbach, Bergheim, Boerne,and Gruene. The history of these settlements tell the story of the Germanic influence on the early settlement in this part of Texas. The Pioneer Museum does a great job in showcasing all of this early history.

The Dambach-Besier House stood at 515 E. Main Street for 135 years and was moved to 325 West Main Street where it has been reconstructed to form the entrance to the Pioneer Museum and the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau Welcome Center. The house was originally built in 1869. According to the museum, In 2005, the owners at that time, Kenneth and JoAnn Kothe, donated the house which was disassembled, moved, and reconstructed with funding from donors to the Gillespie County Historical Society.

Klammah House

The Pioneer Museum also exhibits the Kammlah House. This is another very interesting and historic structure. Originally built in 1849 as a one room structure, it grew considerably in later years to include three kitchens, bedrooms, living areas and a stone patio.  When the Historical Society bought the Kammlah property in 1955, amazingly, four generations of Kammlahs had lived in the house. A barn and smokehouse are part of the original property owned and run by the Kammlah family. A general store was operated on this property between the years 1870 and 1924.

 

Sunday House

While touring the museum grounds you’ll see a small structure called the “Weber Sunday House”. Lots of history here. The Sunday House was utilized as a place to eat and rest when the Weber family made the seven mile trip to town for shopping and church. This type of structure is unique to the Fredericksburg TX area. The Sunday Houses stopped being essential when the roadways in the area improved. Interestingly enough, during World War Two when gas rationing was in effect, Sunday Houses had a kind of rebirth of usefulness. It cut down a lot of driving for people who had access to one.

 

 

Watson Log Cabin

There is a 1880’s log cabin on the museum grounds that was the family home of John and Nancy Walton and their three children. After her husbands death, Nancy married John Smith and they added to the house. When this home was rediscovered in the 1980s, the original cabin had been totally encased by additions to the house. According to the Pioneer Museum, in 1985, it was moved and rebuilt at the Museum by Cox Restoration in memory of Jay Cox.

Fredericksburg is about 80 miles west of Austin and about 70 miles northwest of San Antonio Texas. Founded in 1846 and named after Prince Frederick of Prussia, Fredericksburg is a popular tourist destination in Texas and is well known for it’s unique B & B’s. Fredericksburg Texas lodging choices ar many.

A very well known son of Fredericksburg TX was Admiral Chester Nimitz who commanded Pacific Naval forces during the Second World War. Today, many people travel to the Nimitz Museum of the Pacific War which is in downtown Fredericksburg. The museum has absolutely excellent displays of just about everything related to the war in the Pacific. If you have the opportunity to travel to Fredericksburg, the Nimitz Museum is a must stop.

.Another noted resident from Fredericksburg was Carl Hilmar Guenther, an immigrant from Wiessenfels Germany. Guenther served at one time as Justice of the Peace and established flour mills in Fredericksburg. Eventually and because of a severe drought, he moved his flour mills to San Antonio Texas and they still stand today. The Pioneer Flour Mills grounds in San Antonio are a very popular tourist attraction, a museum and also features an excellent restaurant and bakery. It’s definitely a stop to add to your south Texas vacation planner.

You should find this article link about the Pioneer Flour Mills and Carl Guenther interesting. Good pictures of the Guenther house and grounds.

If you have a chance to visit the town during the holiday season, Fredericksburg is well known for their lights and displays. Some of the best holiday displays in the entire state of Texas.