Wimberley, Texas: The Town with the Big Boots

 

If you like the sights I showed you of Gruene, Texas, you may want to drive over to another small town called Wimberley. This town was started as a trading post settlement in 1848 near Cypress Creek. William C. Winters built a gristmill on the site and the settlement was called Winters Mill. In 1874 Pleasant Wimberley bought the mill and over the years it produced lumber, shingles, flour, molasses and cotton.

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Winters-Wimberley House–Wikipedia.com

The first thing we saw as we headed into town was a large colorful boot next to a shop. As we located a place to park we saw several more. In fact there are 50 boots all over this little town

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birdboot

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Need some bling?

If you want to see all the shops open (in winter) you should come Thursday-Sunday. We went to town on Wednesday and we missed out on a few interesting ones.

Here are a few of the shops:

  • Papa Hoo’s Popcorn—gourmet-popping corn.
  • Wimberley Café
  • Kiss the Cook—any kitchen utensil you will ever need
  • The Art Gallery
  • Billie Lorraine Jewelry store
  • Aunt Jenny’s Attic
  • 4 Sister Shop
  • Pitzer’s Fine Arts—these sculptures will make you smile
  • Under One Roof
  • The Old Mill Store—beautiful woodworking
  • The Wild West Store, home of the “boot whisperer”
  • The Farmloft
  • Wall Street Western—the coolest shop ever!

The Chickadee shop was full of all sorts of vintage items, including a doll I remember from my younger years. When you flip up her apron, you read the story.

 

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There are plenty of antique stores in these little towns, some may be familiar, but I’m sure you won’t find as many used-in-good-condition cowboy boots as you can in Texas!

We had a fine lunch out on the patio in front of the Wimberley Café. The lunch special for $6.99 was 2 slender pork chops with wild rice and copper penny carrots, along with plain iced tea. This was served along with Southern hospitality!

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I want to share a few photos of the shops I enjoyed the most:

The Old Mill Store

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Pitzer’s Fine Art

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My favorite shop–saving the best for last…Wall Street Western

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The outfit hanging on the left was custom-made for Marty Robbins. See the boots to the right.

 

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This jacket was made for me!
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Also made for me! The leather was so soft…

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All items are well displayed and guarded by 4 Persian cats.
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This fine display of old hats greets you when you come in the door.
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And the boots!

 

 

One thing we have discovered–in Texas you can’t find an ice cream stand that sells hard or soft ice cream in a cone…or dish. What you find are popsicles, and other things on a stick, in the grocery store. You can also find (what used to be ½ gallons) of ice cream there. Why is this, I ask? Because it’s too hot in summer?

We settled for DQ and had blizzards…not quite the same, but it was a hot day in winter.

 

Next time…The Alamo

 

 

 

 

 

Dripping Springs and Gruene, Texas!

 

The 2nd of January, we drove to Hamilton Pool Park in Dripping Springs and hiked ½ mile to a large natural pool and waterfall area. It was sunny and beautiful, and I wished I had worn shorts instead of jeans.

With the Grands we climbed over rocks, took a walk under the falls and headed towards another trail, which led us to the Pedermales River. When we arrived at the river all hot and thirsty, we wished we had brought the water bottles from the car.

May I suggest—don’t leave the water bottles in the car thinking you are taking just a short hike. You may change plans in the middle of all that beauty.

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A ready Boy Scout.
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Turtles in the sun.

The spontaneity of our son-in-law then led us up the highway, and the next thing we knew we were on our way to downtown Austin. After an exit or two and down a few blocks, we parked in front of a real Italian Pizzeria. Because sometimes you need good pizza.

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Gruene, Texas

Before we arrived in Texas, we heard about this great little town of Gruene. Our biggest goal was to see the oldest Dance Hall in Texas.
Here’s a bit of history:

German born Ernst Gruene, (pronounced–Green) came to New Braunfels in the 1840’s, but found acreage scarce there and settled down the river a bit farther. There he bought 9,000 acres and built his home with early fachwerk framing. He and his two sons planted cotton. Later, his son Henry D. built several homes, including a Victorian house, a brick mercantile, a cotton gin, gristmill, and the dance hall on the Guadalupe River.

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Google image

In later years after Henry D, died, the town fell into decline. The cotton gin burned down and was replaced by a newer modern electric one. The blight of the boll weevil and the Depression were too much for the small community and they all went under except for the Dance Hall.

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In the 1970’s, an architect student named Kaufman discovered the town and it’s buildings and made inventory. He contacted a group of real-estate investors and the whole town was nominated for the historical registry. Soon the town was bought up and many shops appeared.

These famous country singers have appeared at the dance hall: Willie Nelson, the Highway Men, George Strait, Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, and Lyle Lovett, and many more.

Here is a list of some of the shops in Gruene:

  • Gruene Coffee Haus
  • Fickle Pickle
  • Tipsy Gypsy
  • Cotton Eyed Joes
  • Dancing Bear
  • The Grapevine
  • Gruene General Store
  • Gristmill Restaurant
  • Gruene Outfitters—top of the line outdoor wear, fly tackle
  • Gruene with Envy—women’s wear
  • Hunter Junction
  • Natural Selections—jewelry, rocks, fossils
  • Simply Detailed Boutique—women’s wear
  • Smiling Eyes Photo Gallery—old time photos
  • The Barn Pottery
  • The Great Texas Pecan Candy Company

We were in town by 9 am at the Coffee Haus and enjoyed our coffee and hot chocolate outdoors while being serenaded by a mocking-bird. I believe they open at 7, but all other shops open at 10 am.

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If you plan a trip, be sure to take your time. The folks in Gruene are very friendly and don’t mind asking how far you traveled to get there.

We had lunch outdoors at the Gristmill Restaurant, overlooking the Guadalupe River and had the best beef sandwich and fries. What is surprising to me is that they serve plain tea and not just sweet tea.

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Large cities are full of great things to see, but don’t miss out on small towns if you plan a trip to Texas. There are delightful folks in the unique specialty shops.

 

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Interesting antiques.

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The Grapevine, an old lumber building.

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Just covering over old holes in the floor.
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Any kind of bacon you want!
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You can find just about anything in the general store.

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Next time…Wimberley