Folks who aren’t familiar with the Lone Star State may mistakenly think that everyone speaks “Cowboy Talk.” Sure, you’ll hear a Southern twang plenty of places, a lot of “Howdys,” plus even some Spanish mixed into the conversation now and then. But one of the interesting things about the history of Texas is that all sorts of cultures settled here, including a group of Germans, who developed their own “Texas German” dialect that can sometimes still be heard nearly 200 years later. One of the central places for this dialect is Fredericksburg, founded in the 1840s by German immigrants. Read on for 5 facts about this enchanting, German-influenced, hill country town.
It’s named after Prince Frederick of Prussia. The city became known as a welcoming place, whether someone planned to remain in the Texas Hill Country or was just passing through, perhaps on their way west. Today, the area’s spirit of hospitality continues and the 11,000 residents are happy to celebrate their German and their American heritage.
Fredericksburg has made several “top” lists over the years, including “Best Small Town,” “Best Small Town for Shopping,” “Most Arts Vibrant Small Communities” and “Prettiest Town in Texas,” a significant achievement bestowed by Architectural Digest in 2018.
The Texas Hill Country, including Fredericksburg, is considered a vital part of the state’s wine country and includes more than 60 wineries, tasting rooms and vineyards over three viticulture areas. Residents enjoy organizing and celebrating the annual Wine Festival, and several restaurants are known for pairing local wines with local cuisine, including Cabernet Grill.
One of the more famous individuals from Fredericksburg was Chester Nimitz, a Navy vice admiral and submarine commander who was Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet during World War II. His family long had ties to the area, including owning the Nimitz Hotel which was later turned into the National Museum of the Pacific War. Visitors can visit three museums on the 6-acre complex that tells the story of World War II in the Pacific.
Ties to Lyndon B Johnson. The town also had a boost in publicity in the 1960s when fellow Texan Lyndon B. Johnson became Vice President. Johnson and Admiral Nimitz also arranged a gala reception here in 1961 for the first Chancellor of West Germany. When Johnson became president, he visited the area often, and his “Texas White House” was nearby.