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Texas Independence Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

La Grange: Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Site


Photo by TPWD

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

How does a cemetery, established in 1848 to inter the remains of Texans who died in three different historic events, and ruins of one of the first commercial breweries in the state end up together in the same state historic site? Simple geography played a primary role. The site, a shady bluff with an outstanding view of the Colorado River below, seemed a likely and honorable spot to bury the remains of those who lost their lives during the raid on San Antonio de Bexar by Mexican General Adrian Woll, Texans who died during the Santa Fe and Mier expeditions, and the dead from the Dawson Massacre in which Captain Nicholas M. Dawson and all but nine of Dawson’s fifty three-man company perished under fire by the Mexican cavalry. The construction of a tomb and a burial ceremony accompanied by full military honors, including attendance by Sam Houston, completed the cemetery project.

 A year later, Saxony immigrant Heinrich L. Kreische purchased much of the land along the bluff, including the cemetery, and proceeded to build a home, smokehouse and, a decade later, a three story brewery. In an attempt to preserve the integrity of the tomb and its contents, Kreische donated a ten acre plot of his land that included the tomb to the Texas Monumental Committee with the condition that a monument would be erected. None materialized, thus the land reverted back to Kreische. His brewery, a thriving enterprise, suffered similar neglect after his death in 1882 and by the first decade of the 20th century both tomb and abandoned brewery were subject to collapse and vandalism. It would take another seven decades of private and public machinations, including a Texas Centennial-financed granite vault to enclose the original tomb, to preserve and join the two historic sites under one state agency – Texas Parks and Wildlife. Today, Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery Historic Site explores both unique tales in an interpretative center surrounded by hiking trails and picnic areas, making the site of an ideal public location for enjoying a beautiful view.


Location

  • 414 State Loop 92
  • La Grange, Texas
  • 78945

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • Open 7 days a week year-round., 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Free


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