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GILLESPIE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

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ABOUT GILLESPIE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The first mention of forming a historical society in Fredericksburg was at a Fredericksburg Lions Club meeting in January 1932. Club members wanted to create a memorial to the pioneer founders of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County. The idea was for a historical society to work with the Lions Club to create a collection of items and a memorial to house and display the items in time for the centennial celebration of the founding of Fredericksburg in 1946.

 

On Thursday, January 3, 1934, the Board of Directors of the temporary Gillespie County Historical Society(GCHS) held a meeting for the purpose of formulating plans to complete the Pioneer Memorial project. The plan was to build a replica of the Vereins Kirche. The newly founded GCHS worked with both the Civil Works Administration and the Progress Works Administration to complete the building by May 1935.

MISSION MOMENT

Expanding the Range of Our Museum

Throughout the spring of 1935, the Society began collecting their first museum artifacts and archival materials to be displayed in the Vereins Kirche. Pieces collected during this time remain in the collection today, and some are displayed throughout Pioneer Museum and in the Vereins Kirche. In 1955, the Society purchased the Heinrich Kammlah Homestead, which included a home, smokehouse, and barn. Four generations of the Kammlah family occupied the property from 1847 until 1955. This was the first piece of what is now Pioneer Museum.

HISTORICAL RECORDS

From the first meeting of the temporary GCHS to today, the Society has collected materials that tell the story of Gillespie County.

The collection includes almost 70,000 individual items, including:

  • Over 45,000 images from both individual families and from the Radio Post newspaper

  • Bound copies of over forty years of the Radio Post

  • Justice of the Peace court records from the 1850s through the 1920s

  • 4,000 3-dimensional objects

Today, the Gillespie County Historical Society provides many services to the public. These services include selling copies of historic images in the collection and providing research materials for various projects.

CARETAKERS OF THE SCHANDUA HOUSE AND MARSCHALL-MEUSEBACH CEMETERY

THE SCHANDUA HOUSE

The Schandua House, located at 111 E Austin St, was donated to the GCHS in 1963. Built before 1880, the house has just two rooms — a stube — which served as a bedroom and living area, and a kitchen. The home has never been electrified, nor does it have running water or a bathroom.

The Schandua House is only open to the public on special occasions. 

MARSCHALL-MEUSEBACH CEMETERY 

Members of the families of two former German noblemen, related by marriage, are buried in this cemetery. John O. Meusebach (1812-1897), who came to the Republic of Texas in 1845 as leader of the German Emigration Company, established the town of Fredericksburg and authored the Meusebach-Comanche Treaty between the Penateka Comanche and the German settlers of Fredericksburg.

Wilhelm Marschall von Bieberstein (1822-1902) settled in this community in 1848. First burial here was that of Marschall’s sister-in-law, Mathilda Weiss in 1891.

The Meusebach and Marschall families were forever united by the marriage of three Meusebach daughters to Marschall sons.

This cemetary is not open to the public.

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