Learn about the history of Fredericksburg, Texas, with the help of a free Self-Guided Historic Walking Tour of the town’s National Historic District. Founded by German immigrants in 1846, the National Register of Historic Places lists over 80 points of historic interest and significance. The tour highlights the German settlers’ daily lives were like, as well as examples of Fredericksburg’s historic architecture, including Sunday Houses and fachwerk construction.
Since early settlers received both land for farming away from town and a town lot, some who lived on their rural farms built Sunday Houses on their town lots. Families used these small houses on weekends when they came to town to attend church and purchase supplies. Another consequence was that some lots in the earliest residential areas of Fredericksburg had no buildings for many years. “As a result, one city block in Fredericksburg may have a log cabin from the early days of settlement, a rock home from the late 1880s, a craftsmen 1930s cottage and a “Hill Country- style” home built in the early 2000s.”(Fredericksburg CVB Website).
Self-Guided Walking Tour of Historic District
The historic walking tour begins and ends at the Fredericksburg Visitor Information Center (302 East Austin Street), about seven blocks, or a 20 minute walk from Wine Country Cottages. The walking tour brochure highlights 30 different historic buildings, including some private homes as well as commercial buildings, civic structures and churches. Many of the native limestone commercial buildings you see on Main Street were constructed during a post-Civil War building boom. The description of each building on the tour indicates the date of construction, location, notable characteristics, modifications that have been made, and changes in function (home to retail, bed and breakfast, etc.).
You will see three examples of the famous Fredericksburg Sunday Houses on the walking tour. The Vogel Sunday House, built in the late 1880s, is a private home. About 1900, the home was doubled in size and covered with pressed tin to give the appearance of stone. The Weber Sunday House (1904), now located on the grounds of the Pioneer Museum, remains much as the Weber family used it a century ago. The Metzger Sunday House (1898) has been owned by the same family for over a century and is currently used as a guesthouse.
Another unique construction method used by the earliest settlers was fachwerk, a classic form of half-timbered architecture brought from Germany. Examples of this style of construction include the Walter Home built in 1846, and the Kammlah House built in 1849. The Kuenemann House reflects the evolution of architectural styles in Fredericksburg. Its lower story was built in 1847 using the classic German fachwerk method; the second story, built about 1880, added Victorian gingerbread details.
The historic walking tour brochure also includes information about the history of Fredericksburg, information about Gillespie County, and historic sites and museums in the area. You can download the free walking tour map of the Fredericksburg National Historic District on the Fredericksburg Visitor Website. If you wish to learn more about these historic buildings and the evolution of architectural styles and construction methods in Fredericksburg, a helpful resource is A Guide to the Historic Buildings of Fredericksburg by Kenneth Hafertepe (2015).
Wine Country Cottages on Main: 4 Historic Cottages with Modern Luxury Amenities
Wine Country Cottages on Main Street are located within the Fredericksburg National Historic District near the Marktplatz, within easy walking distance of shopping, restaurants, and winery tasting rooms. Our bed and breakfast features both modern and historical cottages, each with its own unique feel and style. We especially invite you to take the Walking Tour of the Historic District when you reserve one of our unique historic cottages for your vacation or weekend getaway to the Texas Hill Country.
- The Loeffler-Weber Cabin is one of our most unique cottages. Originally built as a Sunday House in 1846, this historic cottage offers a unique glimpse into the rich history of Fredericksburg plus modern amenities from down comforters and luxury linens to a spa-like bathroom and gourmet wet bar.
- The Tank House cottage originally was built not as a residence, but rather to store water for use in homes and gardens. In earlier times, a windmill pumped water from a well up to the tank above for storage. Our Tank House has been adaptively restored with stone masonry and features all the modern amenities you expect in a luxury bed and breakfast.
- The Manor, built in 1902, once stood on the farm of an early settler. It combines the rustic charm of historic German architecture and limestone masonry with modern luxury amenities.
- The Original Estate was created from another part of the 1902 farmhouse. Like all our cottages, it offers luxurious amenities including a fireplace, hot tub, and rocking chairs facing our large fire pit.
The names of the other nine cottages highlight the location of these romantic accommodations in the heart of Texas Wine Country. Whether you want to step back in history while enjoying modern luxury, or choose one of our more modern cottages, we promise you a one-of-a-kind Fredericksburg experience. Please give us a call at 830-213-2570, or go online to reserve your favorite cottage today!