I’m writing today from San Antonio, Texas, where I’m attending the Romance Writers of America national meeting. My route here took me through the Texas Hill Country with a stop over in Bandera, Texas, the official Cowboy Capital of the World.
There are no Holiday, Hampton, or Comfort Inns here, but we found a quaint little motel with a quirky décor.
This is only a part of the room’s wall mural.
Main Street is pretty small.
And there are the usual tourist shops like the General Store with its old-fashioned ice cream bar where I had an amazing root beer float.
And bars, like the basement level Silver Dollar, the “oldest, continuously operating honky-tonk in Texas” where I had an amazingly thirst-quenching Lone Star!
The town was settled by sixteen Polish families who came to work in the cypress mills. They established a parish, St. Stanislaus, and built a log church in 1858, rebuilt in stone in 1876.
A drive around the few residential blocks revealed another quirky aspect of this town.
Many of the homes have residential deer grazing their front and back lawns.
The town’s Frontier Times Museum is another stone structure, packed to the rafters with interesting artifacts.
A collection of nineteenth century patented barbed wire,
The saddles of champion riders,
An old-fashioned hair-curling machine,
And a very interesting Venetian birthing chair, from the collection of Louisa Gordon, the widow of a British naval commander who retired to the Hill Country.
Tourism is the major industry in Bandera, but it hasn’t been “yuppified” yet. If you’re in the Hill Country, check it out!