There is a Place Called Luckenbach

Luckenbach, TexasUnder the canopies of 500 year-old oaks, there is a place where everybody is somebody.

Under the skies of the Lone Star State, there is a place imagined by a dreamer and captured forever in the lines of song.

Under the lights of a dancehall and a full moon, there is a place of legend, a Texas backwoods Camelot.

There is a place called Luckenbach.

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Established in 1849 on the banks of Grape Creek, Luckenbach began as a trading post, post office, and beer joint. A German preacher and farmer, August Engel, founded the tiny hamlet in Texas, allowing his daughter Minna to name it. She chose “Luckenbach” as it was the last name of her fiancée, Albert.

Albert later went on to establish another town not too far away.

He named it “Albert.”

For over 100 years the town of Luckenbach remained in the Engel family. In 1970 Benno Engel retired as postmaster and put an advertisement in local newspapers, “Town for Sale—lock, stock, and dancehall.” A local dreamer and self-titled “Imagineer” Hondo Crouch went in with a few of his fellow characters and purchased the lock, stock, dancehall, and beer joint.

Hondo in LuckenbachThis town that was saved by Hondo and his crew is a place held together with memories, stories, and songs.

I, personally, have always been partial to big cities. Admittedly my eye is caught by a storied history, elegantly coiffed men and women, and glamorous settings. But, there was something about this place. It was the town in almost all of the country songs I grew up listening to; it was where I dreamed of when I went through my “Little House on the Prairie” phase.  It was a place from a story that starts, “Long ago and far away…”

This is the Luckenbach General Store and Beer Joint.

This is the Luckenbach General Store and Beer Joint.

Sometimes the smaller a place, the bigger it seems in our hearts. Luckenbach is small, probably the smallest town you’ll ever visit. But, its spirit is large.

If you are very lucky, it seeps a little inside of you when you are there standing under those old oaks or under those dance hall lights.  A little bit of its melody will still sing to you. So, no matter where the road takes you, no matter if you go on to stand under the palms of Florida beaches or the lights of the big city… a little bit of Hondo’s Texas Camelot will still be with you.

You can close your eyes and once again be under the spell of a place called Luckenbach.

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Luckenbach is full of life, music, and festivals. On our “Tour of Texas” we experienced Luckenbach’s MUD DAUBER CHILI COOK-OFF and FESTIVAL.  Where else is a festival named after an insect and you can get your picture taken while sitting on a real, live Longhorn? I suspect one of the few places is Luckenbach.

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