Fredericksburg, Texas

Fredericksburg has been on my radar for quite some time and with a curiosity gnawing at me, I put a trip to this quaint Hill Country town high on my must see list before bidding Texas farewell.

Sauer-Beckmann Living History FarmFredericksburg is a small town in the heart of the Texas Hill Country with a population just under 11,000 and sporting a strong German heritage. The native German language, which was brought to the Texas Hill Country in the mid 1800’s, can still be heard and seen around town to this day.

As Al and I explore Fredericksburg, we notice how unusually wide the roads are including Main Street and many side streets.  From an RVer’s point of view this is pretty awesome as there’s no such thing as too much room or a road that’s too wide.  Turns out, the streets were designed to be wide enough to accommodate oxen carts that needed to be turned around.  So looks like there’s plenty of room for oxen or F250’s to haul their carts around town.

There’s lots to see and do in Fredericksburg….. more than Al and I imagined.  We barely scratched the surface during our one day excursion.

Living History FarmIt’s mid-afternoon with lunch behind us and a morning that flew by, we decide to head in the direction of the LBJ National Historical Park.   This was a stop hubby would have been quite content passing up.  Al, a former Naval Officer during the Vietnam War era, isn’t exactly a Lyndon B. Johnson fan.  That said, I insist we stop, and guess what…. of course we stop 🙂LBJ Ranch

There’s no charge for a self-guided auto tour but stopping at the visitor center is required.  We’re given a tour route map and suggestions as to the various stops along the way.  The ranger recommends we start at the Sauer-Beckmann farm.

LBJ Ranch

Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm

Next to the LBJ Ranch is the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm; our first stop.  This farm serves as an example of day-to-day life as it was in 1918.  The Sauer’s settled this land in 1869 and eventually had 10 children, one of whom served as midwife at the birth of President Johnson.LBJ State Park

Today the Sauer-Beckmann Farm continues on as an active farm by the help of volunteers and employees.  Inside the home were 3 ladies who help work the farm.  The cows need to be milked every morning, chicken’s fed, eggs retrieved, garden grown, and hogs slaughtered.  Yep, one of these handsome hog’s days were numbered as he was on the schedule to provide everyone with some bacon.  And we were invited by the ladies to come back for the event…. no thanks!Hogs BaconBye little fellow.  Hope you had a good life…..

LBJ RanchThe ladies are dressed in similar attire to that of the early 1900’s and are cooking stew, making cheese, and knitting.  They also tend to the garden, help care for the animals, and assist in the curing of meats.

FYI…. they use workampers around here and no you won’t see me volunteering.  This gal likes her conveniences!

LBJ state park ranchchicken coopBut that didn’t stop me from hanging around a couple of turkey’s or checking the chicken coop for eggs….well, Al did the checking – something he used to do when he was a little boy growing up in Illinois farm country.

I was fascinated by the barn structure, but the tools inside the barn and shed grabbed Al’s attention.  Do I hear a Tim Allen grunt?

Al and I literally had to tear ourselves away from the Sauer-Beckmann Farm. We literally felt like we stepped back in time.  We could’ve spent another hour just wandering around, but alas, we moved on to tour the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch.

The drive took a lot longer than Al and I anticipated but we thoroughly enjoyed it.  The variety of animals on the ranch as well as the overall size of the ranch surprised both of us.

Here’s an excerpt from the brochure;
President Johnson drew strength and solace from his ranch.  His desire to leave a legacy of his accomplishments and to demonstrate the cultural conservation practices associated with ranching prompted President and Mrs. Johnson to donate a portion of the LBJ Ranch to the National Park Service in 1972.  Johnson stipulated that the LBJ Ranch remain a working ranch.LBJ State ParkLBJ State Park Ranch

The National Park Service maintains a herd of Hereford cattle descended from the President’s registered herd and manages the ranch lands as a living demonstration of ranching the LBJ way.

We would definitely recommend a visit to the LBJ State Park and Al is glad I insisted we stop.  The ranch is huge with a lot of things to see.  With the day getting late we weren’t able to stop at the various sites such as the school house, cemetery, or  Texas White House. We know we’ll return on a future visit and plan to spend a lot more time; possibly an entire day exploring at our leisure. Our tour was rushed as we had one more stop for the day planned and we were already running late.

Our last stop of the day;  Garrison Brothers Distillery.  Al and I aren’t bourbon drinkers, but a blog reader said it’s a must see.  After checking out their website and detecting the humorous undertone, I was really looking forward to the experience.  So off we headed into the back country in search of the distillery.  We were hoping to catch their last tour of the day.Texas BourbonUnfortunately, we were a tad too late for the distillery tour, but vowed to return another day.  Such is life…..so much to see, so little time.  Our stay in Texas has come to an end….a temporary end!

UPDATE:  We are currently sitting in Phoenix AZ.  I unfortunately contracted that nasty flu virus and have been incredibly ill.  I’m finally on the mends but it’ll take me a while to regain my strength.  This thing knocked the wind out of my sails pretty darn bad.  Please note, I’m keeping up with all your blog posts even though I may not be commenting.  Once I’m feeling better, I’ll bring y’all up to date.
T
hanks for stopping by 🙂

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83 thoughts on “Fredericksburg, Texas

  1. We go Fredericksburg a few times a year. I enjoyed visiting LBJ park and Texas White House, the driving was pleasant. I appreciate Mrs. Johnson’s effort of preserving North America’s native plants and promoting wildflowers. Wonderful post, Ingrid!
    I don’t mean to impose it to you… I did a post about Mrs. Johnson if you have a moment.

  2. It certainly looks like you have been enjoying life. I saw this and told myself, I’d read and respond and then life happened, it always does. I hope you have gotten a chance to explore some more. I clicked on your home and it looks like you have been away from your writing – I hope all is well and you are still enjoying the warmer climates. Here, in the Midwest – as you probably already know – it is still unseasonably cold, but SPRING is on the way. you can feel the shift in sunshine. take care and keep bringing those posts about your adventures,

    • Yeah, my dad in Bartlett has been pretty much house bound most of the winter. Thank goodness my sister is nearby.You guys have really been getting hit hard.
      I’m finally recovering from the flu but slowly. Thank you for your kind comment, and I should be back to posting regularly soon…..still working on that brain fog 🙂

  3. we went a couple of years ago to Fredericksburg, and what we saw we love. but didn’t give it enough time. your post has rekindled a wish to go back. hope the AZ sun is making you feel better.

    • I can’t complain about the beautiful weather in Phoenix this time of year. Our stop in Fredericksburg was way too short and we hope to revisit next year for a much longer stay and hopefully take in the wildflowers as well 🙂

  4. Get well soon. It’s no fun to be sick. We love Fredericksburg. We’ve been there many times and every time we visit we see something different. However, I must admit that we haven’t seen some of those things in the pictures you posted. We’re heading back that way again so who knows what will be there this time.

    • And there was so much more on my list to see and do. When we do return we’ll want to stay at least a week or two…..hopefully when the flowers are in bloom. Thank you for the well wishes 🙂

  5. Really sounds like a great place to add to the must see list. We loved the living history farm at Land Between The Lakes, KY. Man I was no fan of that LBJ looser either, but his farm would have been kind of cool to see.
    FYI, I FINALLY got the Millenicom Hot Spot (today, excited to be connected again), The Yagi and Wilson Cradle really do a great job here in boosting the signal.

    • Land Between the Lakes is someplace Al has wanted to visit. Is that a place you would recommend?
      We’ve been using Millenicom since last July and very happy but we still need to get a boost.

      • Highly recommend it. Barkley / Kentucky Lake area is AWESOME. I can’t say enough about the set up. for Data all you need to get the Verizon really humming is the 75ohm Yagi antenna and a few cables & connectors. If you want to boost both Cellular and data the option is to add the Wilson Sleek Cradle. Works very well.

  6. Poor, little hogs! Love your photos of the farm! I too would be naming them and trying to take them all home with me! Hope this post finds you feeling much better! Enjoy the AZ sunshine and warmth!

  7. Looks like a place to put on our list as we cross TX next year, sorry you got so sick but glad you made it to Phoenix safely. Rest and get better, hope to see you around somewhere next fall or winter.

    • Texas has a lot to offer and it’s going to be a struggle to decide between the desert or the Gulf Coast. Perhaps we’ll just need to figure out how to do both 🙂

  8. Oh, that Flue is a viscous one. I hadn’t been sick in years and this one got me…knocked me off my fee and took nearly three weeks to finally get to a day of normal! On the bright side, a boring day will feel fantastic when you hit that day of normal.

    I’m with you on the working farm stuff. I like to see the workings but not too much of the “real” work please. My sister is a Mennonite and she does all that raising and butchering stuff. Me, I haven’t got the stomach for it…I’d make them all pets and would never kill them.

    • I’m with you…..I was already naming the farm animals and that was within the first hour.
      Sorry you suffered from this flu bug as well. You’re right, it’s a viscous one and will take a while to bounce back from. Certainly was not in my master plan of things….grrrr!

  9. So sorry that you fell ill. Bummer. Rest up.
    In your photos I took note of the bacon and by way of some of the photos of you, I also took note of some ham 😉

  10. We really enjoyed the hill country and thanks to you I got to see some new things. I’ll look forward to next time. Hope you recover soon.

    • Gosh, and there’s so much more to see and do. I’m glad we were able to touch on a bunch of things and can now plan a longer visit in the future. Thanks Larry 🙂

  11. OMG, that sounds like a nasty bug you had. Hopefully you are now back to your spunky little self! We too visited the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm and I had to laugh as I recognized both of those women in the photos. Enjoy your time in Phoenix. 🙂

  12. Fredericksburg has been on my list for awhile, Thanks for giving me a personal tour. Its still on my list, especially after seeing it through your eyes. An interesting place.

    Sorry to hear you’ve not been well. I hope the worst is over.

    • We really enjoyed it in spite of the cold blustery weather and look forward to a return visit when the wildflowers are in bloom. I would definitely put it on your list. Thanks for the well wishes 🙂

  13. Bad news about the flu.. but good news you’re on the mend… this was a fascinating post, having just read a book about the German community in America during the out break of the second world war… also LBJ s Vietnam war story which I read a book on not long back… was Al a fighter pilot in Vietnam? this must be a definite “return to” place on your travel list… no birds but still an interesting place…

    • Yes, I’m actually out of bed which is a good thing…..can finally hold my head up.
      Al was a P3 pilot during the Vietnam era so hence an eversion to anything LBJ.
      Yep, I’m missing those birds along the Texas Gulf shore and already looking forward to get back down there 🙂

  14. Cool! Farming, a dayin the farm would be such a cool thing to do for a bit. I’m got curious about the wide road. And Al, poor Al, when did he ever win when you insist. 😆

    • Thanks. It’s never fun being sick but even worse when I’m staring at the trails out my rear window and know I don’t have the strength to even walk to the trailhead let alone hike the trail….frustrating!

  15. Oh, Ingrid, I was so sorry to read that you had the flu. So glad that you are on the mend. This sounds like a very dangerous flu. Please rest, relax, and recover fully:) Thinking of you!

    What a wonderful tour! I just love Living History Museums. This sounds like a spot both John and I would enjoy. Thanks for the great details:)

    • Thanks Pam. I think you guys would enjoy Texas. As former Midwesterners, we felt at home in Texas. It just felt familiar some how.
      Lots to see and do. So I’d say, put Texas on your list 🙂

  16. Oh Ingrid, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been so sick! Definitely take lots of time to rest and to regain your strength. The sunshine and warmth should help a lot. I’m amazed you were able to write such a wonderful and interesting post while not feeling well. The Sauer-Beckman farm looks fabulous — we definitely will go there, thanks to you. Your photos are wonderful! Take good care.

    • Thank you and warm and sunny AZ is helping me on my recovery. The Sauer-Beckman Farm was seriously like stepping back in time…..it was really a lot of fun especially when one of the turkeys started following me. I’m sure he was hoping I had some treat for him. Thanks again for the well wishes 🙂

  17. Homeopathy Oscilliium…best flu cure ever. Hope you are on the mend…some distillery carry out maybe 🙂 Hill Country looks so inviting…so much to see.

  18. Went to the LBJ Ranch as a kid and was in awe then. There are definitely many things to do in that area. Being somewhat familiar with the Hill Country, it’s interesting to read about it from some other’s perspective.
    Get better soon!

  19. Ingrid, I am SO sorry you are sick!! I know exactly how you feel! It took me probably about two weeks to be fully recovered. I was so weak. Don’t push too hard and you will be back on the road in no time!

  20. Glad you stopped at the LBJ Ranch…Next time do the Texas White House..and the cemetery he is buried in…Sure hope you feel better soon…so far we have escaped the flu bug…and the weather here at Canyon Lake, Crane’s Mill, is warm and sunny…Startzville has a great VFW open to the public…and we so like being close to the HEB in Bulverde, and the laundry in Startzville…Ya just gotta get back!..PS…didn’t find your buried wine. Considered digging up site 17, but the big motorhome peeps would object…next time!

    • We just loved Crane’s Mill and our lake view. That spot probably falls into our top ten list and thus I know we’ll return. Bet those MH people took your wine LOL.
      I tell ya, this virus is a bad one and it’ll take me a while to regain my strength. I’m just glad I didn’t end up in the hospital.
      Enjoy that gorgeous site, view, and weather 🙂

  21. I see Al is no longer shy, or haven’t you told him he’s a poster boy on your blog? And you were wearing earmuffs? I was going to say I’ll bet you’re glad you’re in sunny AZ but not if that’s where you picked up that nasty bug. I hope you get your strength back soon. Waiting to hear from you!

  22. Oh my you got the bug! It sounds nasty and hope you are now feeling much much better.
    Thanks for the farm tour, I am sure we will be there. Nancy that we met at Cave Creek last year did recommend Fredericksburg and glad that you made it and took great pictures for us.

    Take it easy now and take more rest than usual.

    • And what a nasty bug it was. I can tell it’ll be a slow recovery. I’m just glad I didn’t end up in the hospital like many. I think you and Steve would find a lot to enjoy and explore in Texas. 🙂

  23. Oh dear…you two must get back to that area. There is so very much to see and do.

    The Texas White House is wonderful. It is such a throw back. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing many items that my mom and dad had in their house. The kitchen is a hoot.

    I caught that bug yesterday. Glad mine was just a 24 hour thing. I hope you feel much better tomorrow and get your strength back very soon.

    • Our friends had the bug in Rockport and we thought we averted catching it. I guess it just took a few weeks to manifest in me. I just hope Al doesn’t get it.
      You are so right…..there is soooo much to see in the area I know we’ll go back…..we HAVE to especially when the flowers are in bloom. Glad you didn’t catch this flu strain….nasty!

    • Much larger than we anticipated. Al’s glad he went even though I really had to insist. I think it’s obvious why you guys wouldn’t be fans. Our favorite part though was the Sauer-Beckman Farm.

    • Thanks Jet, I think it’s going to take me awhile to recover from this virus. I’m grateful I didn’t end up in the hospital like many have. Sure has put a damper on fun 😉

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