Friday, Feb. 3, we left the desert and traveled east and north to Texas Hill Country. After getting acquainted with Medina Lake TT campground, we made our weekend plans. We decided that on Saturday we would drive the truck to Boerne (Burnee) to look around and stock up on groceries at Walmart, and then to drive west for a visit to the small town of Bandera. At Saturday breakfast at the Activity Center, Duane found information about a little museum in Boerne. It mentioned the magic word “blacksmith”, so away we went east on TX 16 under cloudy skies.
Boerne is a large city located 15 minutes north of San Antonio at the conjunction of TX 16 and I10. It was founded in 1849 by 250 liberal abolitionist German immigrants to be a utopia where everyone was welcome. In 2015 the population had swelled to 13, 674. Although overcast, the day was warm and people were out and about enjoying the river park.
Weaving our way through heavy traffic we eventually found our little museum. It wasn’t much to look at. Inside this pole barn
is the main collection, a hodge-podge of artifacts casually arranged in small displays.
Like this nice little display of old saddles, everything needed cleaning and some kind of displays to protect them from the elements.
There were four of these info boards chronicling the early settlers and the skills and creativity they used to make their little village grow.
This modern reconstruction of a log house was interesting for its wide front and back porches along the width of the house.
The inside was modernized and used for classes and meetings, but did have a nice display of keys,
an old cast iron wood-burning cook stove,
and a very nice stone hearth.
Outside were several areas displaying farm equipment,
including this thresher,
and this iron-wheeled tractor.
The other building of interest housed the blacksmith shop. Unfortunately, there was no blacksmith manning the coal forge and hammering iron. This was the day for the bladesmiths who used a propane forge and a grinding wheel. We enjoyed ourselves anyway. Duane has played around with making folded-metal knife blades and had no problem carrying on a lively conversation with the guys working in the shop. I enjoyed wandering around the rest of the place, enjoying the sunshine that appeared in the afternoon, and adding to my growing store of historical information.
We left the museum, found a place for lunch, got our groceries, then went west on TX16 to our next stop.
Bandera was established in 1890 by 372 Polish Roman Catholic immigrants. The 2015 population is listed at 877, most of them direct descendants of the original settlers.
We mainly wanted to see St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, which was built by the original settlers. It is very beautiful and still in use today.
We ended our day driving home in the dusk.
Next, we uncage the Eagle again.
Louise and Duane
PS When I was looking up info about Boerne, I consulted our Good Sam’s 2014-2015 Atlas. I couldn’t find Boerne on the map. I consulted the alphabetical list of Texas cities in the back and it wasn’t listed! Who know that a town that old and that big would be missed?