Scenic Luckenbach is a tiny unincorporated community about 10 miles southeast of homes in Fredericksburg. Picture the relaxing surrounds between Snail Creek and South Grape Creek, a tributary of the Pedernales River--perfect for echoing the mellow sounds of weekend musicians. Visitors to Luckenbach include bikers, hikers, RV campers, and guitarists and people who relax along the caliche hills and bottomlands.
On Sundays, the music starts up under the trees with folks strumming for each other and enjoying outdoor games. Local and regional celebrities join in. In August 2009, an astounding 1,868 musicians converged in melody to set a Guinness World Record.
Thousands of people also come to Luckenbach in Hill Country for the creative festivals such as the annual Mud Daubers' Day, annual Hug-In, Luckenbach Great World's Fair, chili cook-off, and Non-Buy Centennial Celebration.
Many of the events got started when in 1970 Hondo Crouch purchased the ghost town--pop. 3. Some revived from the 1800s. Once upon a time in about 1850, settlers forged new beginnings in the pleasant setting. Over the next half century, the trading post donned a store, saloon, post office, cotton gin, blacksmith shop, school, and a dance hall. Population peaked at 492 at the turn of the century and declined. One family opened the dance hall again in the 1930s, adding a maple dance floor; they served fresh pie to the patrons.
After Crouch purchased the property near his favorite swimming hole on Grape Creek, he employed a series of kooky and creative ideas to welcome people back to the town. He governed the dance hall and maintained Luckenbach's western musical background. After all, his community offered an unpretentious version of the same authentic western lifestyle offered in Stonewall, which is down the Pedernales River at the Texas White House on the LBJ Ranch.
By 1973, Jerry Jeff Walker recorded a live album in the dance hall, an outlaw country classic. Later Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson wrote a hit called, "Luckenbach Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)."
The community is a recreational gathering point where people enjoy the sounds along with their "liquid wheat" as the Germans scientifically called it, particularly cool, dark Shiner Bock, a local favorite from Germany. With stories about a schoolteacher designing an airplane before the famed Wright Brothers and an enduring Comanche Peace Treaty, the Texas Monthly listed the town in the "Top 25 Unusual Treasures of Texas" in 2002. Fredericksburg schools serve the area.
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