TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
 
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Gillespie County TX
Gillespie County


Fredericksburg Hotels


GRAPETOWN, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Gillespie County, Texas Hill Country

30 8' 51" N, 98 46' 6" W 30.1475, -98.768333
On the old Pinta Trail
10 miles S of Fredericksburg
Approx. 4 miles SW of Luckenbach
Population: 71

Book Hotel Here > Fredericksburg Hotels
Grapetown, Texas ghost town
The Grapetown Schoolhouse to the right and
the back of the teacher's house to the left.

Photo courtesy Shannan Yarbrough, June 2005
History in a Pecan Shell

The town dates from 1848 when one John Hemphill settled alongside the Fredericksburg-San Antonio road. Six years later he was joined by eight other settlers. This loosely-knit community took its first step toward becoming a town when Friedrich Wilhelm Doebbler opened his Doebbler's Inn hostelry in 1860.

Around this time Grapetown's economy was based on cattle. Grapetown remained loyal to the Union during the Civil War and at least two local men played cat and mouse with Confederate patrols in the area. (See Bandera Tradgedy Tree).
Grapetown school teacher's house, Texas stone schoolhouse
School Teacher's House
Photo courtesy Shannan Yarbrough, June 2005
Friedrich Doebbler hosted the town's first school in his home in 1859. About 1870 a nine-to-ten-month school was opened with teachers paid by subscription. A stone school was built in 1880, and from 1885 to 1888 a post office operated within the walls of Doebbler's Inn.
Grapetown, Texas stone structure
Photos courtesy Shannan Yarbrough, June 2005
In 1887 a singing club and a shooting club merged (allowing members to sing while shooting) and as if that wasn't enough, Grapetown then started the first annual Gillespie County Schuetzenfest (shooting festival). The Handbook of Texas allows that during this festival, 140 kegs of beer were consumed in four days - but gives no information on the accuracy of the marksmen.

The Fredericksburg and Northern Railway arrived in 1913. Otto Cowan, grandson of Friedrich Doebbler, had the sad duty of closing Doebbler's Inn in 1915.

When Highway 87 was rerouted through Comfort in 1932, Grapetown's economy predicably declined.

In 1944 Grapetown's school consolidated with Rocky Hill. The schoolhouse was purchased by the community and is in use as community center.

From 145 people in 1900 (estimated) Grapetown was down to just 70 by the mid 60s.

See Grapetown Schoolhouse



Photographer's Note:
"There's really not a whole lot left of this town beyond the cemetery, the original sign in German, the school house, and two other buildings." - Shannan Yarbrough , June 2005
Grapetown Cemetery, Texas
Grapetown Cemetery
Photo courtesy Shannan Yarbrough, June 2005

Grapetown, Texas Forum

Subject: Correction to Grapetown School Photos
Shannan Yarbrough did a really nice job taking pictures of the Grapetown School and School Teachers House. However, all of the photos on Grapetown-Schoolhouse-Texas.htm are of the School Teacher's House and not the school. The school is adjacent and does not have a full length porch as does the teacher's house.

I am involved in the community club activities which are held in the school house and live about 1 mile west near Walter Doebbler's homestead. The top picture on [this page] shows the school house to the right and the back of the teacher's house to the left. Thanks for listening! - Jim Thompson, A Barn at the Quarry, June 16, 2006

Take a road trip

Grapetown, Texas Nearby Towns:
Fredericksburg | Luckenbach
See Gillespie County | Texas Hill Country
Texas Ghost Town

Book Hotel Here:
Fredericksburg Hotels | More Hotels
Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.


Texas Towns A - Z Texas Regions:
Gulf Texas Gulf Coast East East Texas North Central Texas North Central Woutn Central Texas South Panhandle Texas Panhandle
South South Texas Hill Texas Hill Country West West Texas Ghost Texas Ghost Towns counties Texas Counties

Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Go to Home Page »
TEXAS TOWNS & COUNTIES TEXAS LANDMARKS & IMAGES TEXAS HISTORY & CULTURE TEXAS OUTDOORS MORE
Texas Counties
Texas Towns A-Z
Texas Ghost Towns

TEXAS REGIONS:
Central Texas North
Central Texas South
Texas Gulf Coast
Texas Panhandle
Texas Hill Country
East Texas
South Texas
West Texas

Courthouses
Jails
Churches
Schoolhouses
Bridges
Theaters
Depots
Rooms with a Past
Monuments
Statues

Gas Stations
Post Offices
Museums
Water Towers
Grain Elevators
Lodges
Stores
Banks

Vintage Photos
Historic Trees
Cemeteries
Old Neon
Ghost Signs
Signs
Murals
Gargoyles
Pitted Dates
Cornerstones
Then & Now

Columns: History/Opinion
Texas History
Small Town Sagas
Black History
WWII
Texas Centennial
Ghosts
People
Animals
Food
Music
Art

Books
Texas Railroads

Texas Trips
Texas Drives
Texas State Parks
Texas Rivers
Texas Lakes
Texas Forts
Texas Trails
Texas Maps
USA
MEXICO
HOTELS

Site Map
About Us
Privacy Statement
Disclaimer
Contributors
Staff
Contact Us

 
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved