The little town of Fredericksburg, nestled into the Texas Hill country, has a delightful secret, Sunday Houses. These charming houses date back to the mid- 1800’s, fortunately for visitors several of them are now guesthouses. They were built by Fredericksburg’s first settlers; 125 German immigrants who arrived there in 1846 with deeds to ten acres of farm land and one in town house lot.
When Texas won its independence from Mexico the state needed settlers to fill its vast acreage. Texas land agents went to Germany recruiting people by promising them land.
Once in Fredericksburg the settler’s first priority was to start farms. Their farm land parcels were located twenty miles out, rutted roads made it difficult for them to get into town. The solution; they pitched tents on their in town lots, staying there on weekends so they could shop, visit with friends, and attend church.
As time went on many farmers built small houses on these lots with one main room downstairs and an outside staircase leading to a sleeping loft. All had gingerbread lace trimmed front porches for sitting and visiting with friends. After Sunday dinner they returned to their farms. Hence the name Sunday Houses.
To view one of the first Sunday Houses built, visit the Weber Sunday House on the grounds of the Pioneer Museum. It is an excellent example of settler life.
Many of the Sunday Houses are in the historic district, and are still lived in by family members of the original settlers. For a self guided walking tour, pick up a map at the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce on East Austin Street.
All of the following Sunday Houses can be rented, and are within walking distance of downtown Fredericksburg – there’s no Wifi for your computers, just simple amenities; kitchens, cable TV, telephone, heat and A/C.
The Metzger House built in 1898 is a pristine example of the original Sunday House style: one main room and a kitchen with outside steps leading to the sleeping loft.
Fredericksburg Texas Sunday Houses – Examiner.com; Frances Folsom 8/6/11