The locals call it “GREEN” just like the color --
Arriving in Texas in the mid 1840s, German farmers became the first settlers of what is now known as Gruene, Texas. Ernst Gruene, a German immigrant, and his bride Antoinette, had reached the newly established city of New Braunfels in 1845, but acreage was scarce. So Ernst and his two sons purchased land just down river and settled in!
What is left now is a charming little town full of shops, eateries and a perfect place to wander on a pleasantly warm evening in late February... while back home in North Carolina, folks were freezing and fighting winter storms.
How did I luck out to have missed the worst winter that the Southeast had seen in years? Something must be right somewhere because Irene and I had a great time in Gruene!
Historical markers…I have to stop and read these!
Homes along the street are turned into shops for browsing!
One antique place, full of English antiques – yes--- from England, no less ((In GRUENE, Texas?!)) had a large collection of old old family bibles, and I was quite surprised when I opened up this one to find the family history still inside:
It’s all my maiden name: WILKINSON!
Were these long distant relatives many times removed?
Who knows. It didn’t list a town ---and it’s not an uncommon name in England, but it still tickles me when I come across someone with the same surname as me. This bible was selling for $295. But the photos were free!
As evening fell, we walked up the street past a popular biker destination.
And the Gruene General Store!
Old time counters full of candy, jams and fudge!
Hahahaha! We found the sign for next year’s mystery!
BACON Mustache anyone? LOL
Blue Bell ice cream is THE BEST EVER!
We were making a beeline for our dinner destination –the Gristmill on the river. On our way we passed the Gruene Dance Hall – the first dance hall built in Texas!
Gruene Hall, built in 1878, is Texas’ oldest continually operating and most famous dance hall. By design, not much has physically changed since the Hall was first built.
The 6,000 square foot dance hall with a high pitched tin roof still has the original layout with side flaps for open air dancing, a bar in the front, a small lighted stage in the back and a huge outdoor garden. Advertisement signs from the 1930s and 40s still hang in the old hall and around the stage. Big name artists have played and continue to play here –it’s always a good time in Gruene!
Yes, I stopped to read another marker sign!
Dinner at the Gristmill!
Situated on the banks of the Guadalupe River in New Braunfels between Austin and San Antonio, the Gruene cotton gin processed crops raised by area farmers until the wooden structure burned to the ground in 1922. All that remains of the water-powered mill today is the three story brick boiler room – now the Gristmill River Restaurant.
Exposed brick walls and rooms with no ceilings at all provide an interesting setting for a really great meal! There is more open seating out doors on the many-leveled decks overlooking the beautiful Guadalupe river.
It was the perfect evening for dining outside!
This lady was watching me take photos..LOL
This was our view from our table on the deck!
By the time we left, it was getting too dark to take photos..and the lights on the famous Gruene water tower were on as darkness began to fall!
Things are open late in Gruene, so there was plenty of time to browse the antique mall ---I’ll get to that in another post, there are too many photos to put down here!
If you have a chance to find yourself in the hill country of Texas, DO make a stop in Gruene – it’s a very unique place and not to be missed!
It’s a chilly morning up at the cabin ---24 out when I took Sadie for her morning walk. As soon as I get the computer work completed, this girl is spending the day at the sewing machine – I can’t WAIT!
Have a great Friday, everyone!