TE Photo, 2000
signs are stolen, so don't look for any. When you get close, you'll
see some for "Uptown Luckenbach," which we may address in the future.
For now, we'll talk about the historic and legendary Luckenbach. The
one that's beckoning down in the shady grove.
1999 was the town's Sesquicentennial Celebration and in 2000 they
had their Second 150th Anniversary Celebration.
The house you'll pass on the way in is the Engle place. The
sign showing a population of 3, is actually 2 now, due to a recent
death in the Engle family.
History in a Pecan Shell
The Reverend August Engel established the Post Office in 1886.
His sister Minnie (or Sophie depending on the source) was appointed
Postmistress and in a romantic gesture put the name of her fiancée
in the blank space for the requested name. That name was Albert Luckenbach.
Years later when Albert and wife moved to Martinsburg the post office
there was renamed Albert,
The romantic naming of Luckenbach started a tradition of unconventionality
that has become something of a lifestyle. We didn't say it was a romantic
lifestyle, we said it was a unconventional lifestyle.
The biggest contributor to this lifestyle would be, beyond a doubt,
Hondo Crouch. Crouch, champion swimmer, raconteur, and columnist
for The Comfort News, liked the shallow water of Grape Creek
so much he and a few others bought Luckenbach's 10 or so acres from
the Engel family in 1970.
Mr. Crouch used Luckenbach and its tranquility as a tongue-in-cheek
comparison to the nearby high-priced spread of LBJ's Stonewall
Ranch. Meanwhile, the celebration of life at Luckenbach continued,
with country music and with what the Germans have been
known to call "liquid bread."
Unless you spent 1976-77 in a coma, then you heard the song
that opened the floodgates. Ask someone. It was bitter irony that
Mr. Crouch died shortly after the town became famous.
While other parts of Texas have Fire Ant, Chigger and Mosquito Festivals,
Luckenbach celebrates Spring's arrival each year
by holding a contest to see who witnesses the arrival of the first
Mud Dauber Wasp. The choice of this non-aggressive and
home-oriented insect reflects Luckenbach's philosophy.
Luckenbach's unpretentiousness is as genuine as the portrait of FDR
that remains from when the building's primary function was Post
There's a bronze bust of Hondo Crouch in front of the store. Drop
in when you're in the neighborhood.
I just thought
I would let you know in case you hadn't heard, the cotton gin
in Luckenbach is no more. I was passing through a few weeks
ago. The great floods in the Hill Country last year (including Grape
Creek) swept the gin away. The lady working in the gift store told
me that the water level during the flood rose as high as the countertop
in the store. ... How unfortunate it is now gone. - Tom Rinard,
August 26, 2003
|The old cotton
gin in Luckenbach
TE photo, 2000
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