Western Trips

Western Trips

Friday, May 11, 2018

Kerrville, Texas / History and Arts in the Hill Country

Kerrville is a scenic and vibrant community located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country and along the beautiful Guadalupe River. What is now Kerrville in Kerr County was first referred to as "Brownsborough," but after the area was formally platted in 1856 by James Kerr, a major in the Texas Revolution, the settlement was formally changed to "Kerrville" .

historic kerrville texas
Kerrville's significance dates from a series of events starting in 1857. This is when German master miller Christian Dietert and millwright Balthasar Lich started a large grist and saw mill on the bluff. Their mill, with a non stop source of power from the river and protection from floods, became the most extensive operation of its kind in the Texas Hill Country west of New Braunfels and San Antonio. 

Mercantile and freighting businesses was the main endeavor of the Charles A. Schreiner family empire. These included retail, wholesale, banking, ranching, marketing, and brokering operations-which during the next fifty years became the economic engine of Kerrville and the Hill Country. 

Today, Kerrville Texas is known for their excellent museums, theaters, art galleries, shopping options, and healthcare facilities. Kerrville Texas features diverse musical and theater arts groups. In addition to this, the Guadalupe River is lined with gorgeous parks. 

Below are just some of the activities and festivals that take place annually in Kerrville along with some historical structures.

Annual Memorial Day Weekend Art Show / Kerrville Festival of the Arts

Annual Memorial Day weekend art show held in the historic downtown Kerrville area, featuring about 100 artists and fine craftsmen. Admission and parking is free and food vendors are on site

Kerrville Folk Festival

Founded by Rod Kennedy, the Kerrville Folk Festival has run annually since 1972. This festival is the longest continuously running music festival of its kind in North America. The Kerrville Folk Festival is a music festival held for 18 consecutive days in the late spring/early summer at the
Quiet Valley Ranch, about nine miles south of town.

The event draws around 30,000 people per year. There is a yearly competition to discover promising new singer-songwriters called the New Folk Competition. Thirty-two finalists are selected from a field of 800 entries to share two of their original songs in an afternoon appearance on the stage of the Threadgill Theater. Over the course of the 18 days and nights, activities are provided for all ages with a focus on nurturing and developing artistic expression, especially the art of songwriting, in a loving family-friendly environment.

Some of the events held at the Kerrville Folk Festival include a Songwriters’ School.  Held in the Kennedy Outdoor Theater which provides plenty of room for break-out sessions. The Songwriters School has been been in existence for thirty five years. Also, a Guitar workshop for all skill levels, harmonica workshops and a lot more.

Detailed information about this year's event can be found at www.kerrvillefolkfestival.org

Kerrville Fall Music Festival

Celebrate wine and music during Labor Day weekend at the annual Kerrville Fall Music Festival in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. 

schreiner house kerrville texas
Schreiner House

The Schreiner House 

After serving in the Confederate Army in the Civil War for several years, Captain Charles Schreiner returned to his family ranch on Turtle Creek. A few years later, the Schreiner family moved to town. 

The original Schreiner home was a frame building where the mansion now sits. In 1879, Capt. Schreiner commissioned San Antonino architect Alfred Giles, to design his new home. The mansion was constructed in three phases and was completed in 1897. 

The original six- bedroom, two-story home, constructed by expert German masons, was the first limestone home in Kerrville. It was also the first home in Kerrville to have electric lights. The light fixtures that began as candles and kerosene were later converted to gas which was pumped form the basement, and then to electric fixtures.

Although the mansion has changed ownership through the years, the Schreiners were the only family that ever lived there. After Charles Schreiner's death on February 9, 1927, his heirs transferred ownership to the Kerrville Masonic-Lodge. In 1972 Mrs. Roland Walters of Camp Verde, Texas, purchased the structure and sold it to the Hill Country Preservation Society, Inc. in 1975. The Preservation Society made many repairs to the home. Visitors today will see features including several original gas fixtures, mantles, and parquet flooring on the first floor.

Kerr Arts and Cultural Center

Kerrville is widely renowned as the Texas Hill Country Arts destination, and its large array of artists and craftsmen is a point of pride in the community.

kerrville arts and cultural center
Kerr Arts & Cultural Center
KACC was founded in 1995 by a group of community artists with the goal of providing a show place for local artists, and furthering the arts and culture education of the entire community. The KACC organization began its early years moving from one location to another, hosting art shows and art education.

With the help of James Avery and Bank of The Hills, KACC bought the Kerrville Post Office in July of 1999, and held the first show in March 2000. Many years spent revovating transformed the building’ interior into a beautiful art gallery complete with adapt educational facilities.

The mission of the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center is to be a catalyst for enriching the cultural life of the community and supporting artists of the Hill Country through exhibitions, instruction in the arts and fine crafts, and educational programs for adults and young people. More information can be found at....www.kacckerville.com

Additional Western Trips articles about Texas Hill Country travel include....

Nimitz Museum Fredericksburg, TX

Historic Llano, TX

The Museum of Western Art 

kerrville western art museum
The Museum of Western Art
 The Museum of Western Art opened on April 23rd, 1983, and was first known as the Cowboy Artists of America Museum. Since the museum's opening, thousands of visitors have walked the Museum galleries and have seen the West brought to life through the unique artwork on view.

The stories the museum presents is comprehensive. The hardworking cowboys, Native Americans, women of the West, settlers, mountain men and others are featured through various themed exhibits. Through other exhibitions, the history of famous ranches as well as other diverse aspects of our Western heritage are shared with ever increasing audiences. In addition, educators, students, writers, and the public make use of the museum’s 6000 volume Western art and history research library, the Griff Carnes Research Center.  

As you can see from the above, there are plenty of fun and educational events throughout the year in Kerrville, Texas and this is just a small sample. The fact that all this is available in the scenic Texas Hill Country makes your trip there that much more fun.  

For more detailed information on events and festivals and exact dates including hotel and dining choices, see the information at the Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau at.....www.kerrvilletexascvb.com 

(Photos copyright Western Trips)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Visit St. Charles, Missouri / Historic Attractions

Historic St. Charles is the third oldest city in Missouri with a very rich past. Once named the "Williamsburg of the West" by Southern Living Magazine, St. Charles' Main Street is Missouri's first and largest historic district.

missouri attractionsLocated along the banks of the Missouri River and just about a thirty minute drive west of downtown St. Louis, historic St. Charles has been welcoming visitors since 1769 and was Missouri's first state capital.

Today, the city is much as it was many years ago and continues to welcome tourists who enjoy early American history.

Lewis & Clark 

The famous Lewis & Clark Expedition set out from St. Charles up the Missouri River and eventually reached the Pacific Ocean near today's Astoria, Oregon. This expedition which covered the period 1804-1806 is credited with opening the American West.

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 3,700 miles long, extending from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon, following the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The trail connects 11 states (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon) and many Tribal lands. The trail was established by Congress in 1978 as part of the national trails system (NTS) as one of four original national historic trails. One site for more information about traveling along the trail is....www.lewisandclarkcountry.org

Here's some of the great attractions in St. Charles...

lewis & clark center st charles
Lewis & Clark Boat House and Nature Center 

The Lewis & Clark Boat House and Nature Center is the Discovery Expedition's permanent home. Situated beside the Missouri River at Bishop's Landing in charming historic St. Charles, Missouri, the museum and educational facility features exhibits relating to the Lewis and Clark expedition, historic St. Charles, and the Missouri River ecosystem. When not on the river, the Discovery Expedition's hand-crafted replica boats will be on display on the building's lower level.These are full-size replicas of the keelboat and pirogues used by Lewis and Clark. Some interesting information about the original Lewis & Clark keelboat was that it was constructed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had a cannon purchased in St. Louis mounted on it's bow...was 55 feet long and 8 feet wide,T usually carried 27 men. he Lewis & Clark Boat House and Nature Center is a must stop and great fun for the entire family.

St. Charles Main Street 

Filled with unique shops, specialty shops, restaurants and historic structures, Main Street is St. Charles centerpiece.

st charles main street
St Charles Main Street
St. Charles Main Street National Historic District is the site of the first permanent European settlement on the Missouri River.With brick-lined streets, historic buildings and a heritage that spans two centuries, this charming Missouri River village has attracted travelers since the early 19th century.

St. Charles Main Street was a main shopping area for explorers and fur traders during the nineteenth century. Today, visitors to St. Charles, Missouri shop on the same street and in many of the same structures that were there in the early days. The items you will see for sale include teas; tobacco; books; artwork; fashion accessories; furniture; antiques; clothing; home decor; wine; hand-blown glass; fine jewelry; and stained glass as well as more items.

st charles historic buildings
First State Capital
Missouri's First State Capital Building 

The First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site shown in this article is a state-owned property in St. Charles, Missouri that preserves the building that served as Missouri's capitol from 1821 to 1826. St. Louis had serves as the territorial capital. St. Charles was the first state capital until a capital in Jefferson City was built.

The meeting place for the state legislators was provided on the second floor of the brick building, owned by merchants, Charles and Ruluff Peck, and a craftsman named Chauncey Shepard. The floor was divided and used as Senate and House chambers, an office for the governor, and a small committee room.

More Western Trips articles you may enjoy are found on the links below...

Drive Kansas Route 66

Attractions in Independence, Missouri

lewis & clark statue

Lewis & Clark Sculpture

The 15-foot bronze monument features Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and Clark's Newfoundland dog, Seaman. The sculpture was dedicated on May 18, 2003 and marks the rendezvous site for Lewis and Clark before setting out from the last "civilized" stop of St. Charles to follow the Missouri River westward. The Lewis & Clark monument sits along the Missouri riverfront in Frontier Park.

Annual Attractions 

A few of the annual events put on in St. Charles, MO include the Lewis & Clark Rendezvous in May...the Blue Grass Festival and Civil War Reenactment in September and the St. Charles Christmas Traditions on Main Street in December.  For more information on annual festivals and events see...www.discoverstcharles.com/events/festivals/

(Article and photos copyright Western Trips)