The Gillespie County Historical Society will sponsor a brief wreath-laying observance on Monday, May 8 at 9:30 AM at Marktplatz in honor of John O. Meusebach and the founding families of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County.
This will commemorate the 171st anniversary of the day 120 settlers arrived here as the last leg of their long journey from Germany in 1845-46. They rode ox carts or walked from New Braunfels, where they had been biding time until Meusebach could arrange for their settlement here. Hundreds of other German immigrants came in the preceding years to join the effort to build a sustaining community.
The famous Meusebach-Comanche Nation Treaty was signed by both parties in a ceremony a year later at the Vereins Kirche, which at the time was in the middle of Main Street. This treaty remains unbroken and still in effect after 170 years.
The Pioneer Museum will celebrate Founders Day by offering free admission all day next Monday. “We’re hoping locals who haven’t gotten around to visit us will take the opportunity to do so on Founders Day,” said Jeryl Hoover, Executive Director of the Society and Pioneer Museum. “And being a workday, we’re offering free lunch to those who come between 11 AM and 2PM.” Complimentary barbecue and cold water will be available during those hours.
The renovation of the Sanctuary/Social Hall complex is completed and available for viewing as well as all the historic structures on the museum grounds. A new 12-minute video entitled “Finding Fredericksburg” runs every 15 minutes. It outlines the reasons 19th century Germans came to this part of Texas and the struggles they faced during those first years. “We invite all to learn the facts and pay tribute to those who risked everything to lay the groundwork for what we all enjoy today,” continued Hoover. “We’ve all benefitted from the price they paid.”