Freeway Free in Texas: A Stop-Over in LaGrange – a GEM!
W and I decided to spend some time in LaGrange primarily because it is conveniently about halfway between Houston and Austin. We found a lot more to like than we had expected.
LaGrange boasts a real town square, with a Victorian-vintage courthouse which includes an interior courtyard with a fountain and a beautiful carved oak staircase. Surrounding the courthouse are a number of 1910-20’s vintage buildings , and some charming shops tucked inside those vintage buildings.
If you are hungry, Bistro 108 just off the main square offers some excellent eats. On our visit the soup of the day was a corn chowder so good I wanted to lick the bowl, while the special of fried catfish was the best I have eaten of that species since I left Texas behind as a girl.
After lunch, a stroll around the square will bring you to the Texas Quilt Museum, a riot of color and pattern, usually with a special exhibit, and staffed by friendly, well-informed volunteers. Their gift shop includes some great cards for sewers as well as wonderful textile crafts and some delectable antique quilts for sale.
The above quilts were part of a display from an International Quilt Exhibit – the leftward one is from Japan, the rightward from the US – I was fascinated by the complementary spiral motifs and colors from such disparate locations and cultures.
If you need some fresh air after the museum, Monument Hill/ Kreische Brewery State Historic Site is just a short drive out of town, and commands a spectacular view of the town of LaGrange and the entire Colorado River Valley. The monument in question commemorates a squadron of LaGrange citizens who went off to fight the Mexicans during the Texas War for Independence, and were ambushed and either killed or imprisoned.
We missed the Texas History Museum which would have told us more about the ambush, but we did find a plaque honoring one of the town founders. The plaque concluded its biography of the founder with “John Henry Moore died at he age of 80 on December 12, 1880…. The local newspaper carried a lengthy obituary extolling his many accomplishments and virtues. One week later a rebuttal was printed refuting these claims.”
Once in a while, you get to love Texas history.