The Culture & Kindness of Texas Hill Country
When you speak of Hill Country, you speak of a region that commonly includes all or part of twenty-five counties in the grand state of Texas. This area is truly stunning; it can offer up the feeling of isolation and peace; providing land to explore that’s made up of plateaus, escarpments, rolling plains, and prairies. Every elevation is available no matter what your mood calls for.
But when it comes to the deep-seeded culture this area provides, the stories, legends, and true events never seem to come to an end. This was the actual meeting ground of cultures that came together as both allies and enemies. Here, in the Hill Country, is where battles were fought, raids were raged, and Texas Rangers roamed to defend the homeland. Native Americans, Spaniards, Mexicans, and even Northern Europeans were hosted by the Hill Country at one time. And, although the Spanish tried to stay and thrive in the area, it was actually the Anglos and the Germans who accomplished their settlements and became the ultimate settlers of the Hill Country.
Migration to parts of the Hill Country grew with the Germans, mainly Hill Hessians, coming to the land in the 1800’s. Fredericksburg, Comfort, Boerne, and Mason remain complete with the German culture and to this day many of the older generations who still speak German. From the religious views to the planting of crops and the choices of farming, Germans settled the river valleys and brought with them varied backgrounds. Like night and day, the German settlers would transform the area they settled into a community that differed from their own German neighbors. Many subcultures came forth; from the Pedernales valley in Gillespie County that was ripe with dance halls and ethnic clubs; to the Llano valley in Mason settled by German Methodists, who avoided dancing, drinking, and gambling completely.
The Hill Country will always be home to German settlements, because it became the ultimate destination for the immigrants who came to the shores of America looking for a ‘dream’ that only America can provide. And despite great obstacles, the Germans flourished, blending their heritage with the well-known and one-of-a-kind hospitality that only Texas can provide.