Texas Independence Trail Region

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



Danish settlers first began arriving in Texas in the late 19th century, encouraged by the Danish Folkesamfund, the Danish Folk Society of America, an organization that often was charged with finding potential settlement locations for newly arriving Danes. In 1894, the first settlers to call what would soon be Danevang arrived in the area, buying land at approximately nine dollars per acre. The soil, however, was less than ideal for the kinds of crops the settlers were accustomed to planting but and eventually the Danish farmers settled on cotton. The Danevang settlers established their first permanent church in 1908, Ansgar Evangelical Lutheran, named for St. Ansgar, the patron saint of Denmark. In 1945, a Category 4 hurricane struck the Texas coastline south of Danevang, bringing with it peak gusts measured at 135 mph, destroying the church and moving the Danevang Community Center building twenty feet from its foundation. Today, the church survives in its post-hurricane iteration – an army Chapel from Camp Hulen in nearby Palacious. Located within walking distance of the church, the Danish Heritage Museum of Texas contains 6,000 square feet of exhibitions about Danevang’s Danish roots. A restored pioneer home, built in 1898, has been relocated to the museum grounds for viewing as well.