Friday, February 3, 2012

LBJ History in Johnson City and Stonewall, TX

Thursday we started the day with a hearty breakfast at a local eatery:

It looked a bit like a dive from the outside, but inside was very clean and the food was DE-lish!  The place was run by what looked like a Mexican couple and it was the hot spot for all the locals to meet and chat.

Then it was on to Johnson City to see the first of the LBJ historical parks.

Johnson City has only a population of about 1700, but the tourist trade must be huge because it looked much bigger from the businesses in town.

It also had some very unusual art and buildings.
That's a metal armadillo, folks!

Decorated building - anything metal, apparently

We toured LBJ's boyhood home, which was just a typical farmhouse of the era,

with, of course, "modern" (for the times) facilities:

Then we hiked over to where LBJ's grandfather had originally settled in an area called (big surprise) Johnson's Settlement.

They are reintroducing the cattle that his granddad made and lost his fortune on., thus the warning sign.

The original "dog trot" house has been restored very nicely and the settlement included some barns of other families that lived there.

And we got to have a very nice conversation with a longhorn.

Then it was back in the car to travel to Stonewall for the second part of the Historical Park.  We traveled down a scenic road along the Pendernales River.  When we got to the visitor's center, we learned that there was the  Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm on site as well.  The park interpreters wear period clothes and make lye soap, take care of animals, can, cook and garden as if it were 1918.  It's totally self-contained.  A few pictures:

The link between this family and LBJ was that Augusta Sauer Lindig was the midwife that delivered Lyndon Johnson.

Then we were off to do a driving tour of the  LBJ ranch and the Texas White House complex.  The ranch is on the other side of the river and, according to the wishes of LBJ, is a working ranch, running cattle that are descended from the original herd.  The ranch includes the school where LBJ learned to read, the house in which he was born and the family cemetery where generations of Johnsons are buried, including LBJ and Lady Bird.  In looking through my pictures, I realized I only took two of the ranch - the drive way up to and the cemetery!  Don't know why I didn't take others!

Once we drove around the whole ranch, we decided not to go into the Texas White House complex.  The brochure said you could only see the presidential office.  We later found out that a total of 5 rooms have been restored to LBJ's presidential time era and are available for viewing.  So I guess we'll have to go again some day!

Between Stonewall and Fredericksburg, in Hye, Texas, there is the Garrison Brothers Distillery, home of the first legal bourbon distillery in Texas.  At the visitor center, they told me that locals sign up in advance of a batch to get some of the bourbon because it sells out completely.  And that we could get a tour and taste.  So we detoured down this really narrow, bumpy road and reached the distillery.  Unfortunately, it didn't give tours on the day we were there, but I got some pictures of the front.

Obviously, these guys have a healthy sense of humor :) !

The final destination for the day was Luckenbach, TX.   I had been warned that it wasn't much, but since we were already in the area, it seemed destined.  Well, the warnings were accurate, but I can now say I've been to Luckenbach.
Luckenbach school

General store

Post Office

We got back to camp with some daylight left, so the boys went swimming in the lake.

Worn out again, it's off to bed. 

Next, New Braunfels, TX.

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