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Hill Country Portal
A Powerful Information Database & Gateway Service for the Texas Hill Country
City Profile For:
"Everybody's somebody in Luckenbach"Population (2006): 3COL Index (2008):
Elevation: 1,564 ftArea: 10 acCounty: Gillespie
Zip Code: 78624Area Code: 830-997Time Zone: CST
Coordinates: 30° 10' 53.47" N, 98° 45' 25.96"
Location: 33 mi SE of Fredericksburg, 25 mi SW of Johnson City, 4 mi S of US 290 via FM-1376
Creeks: S Grape CreekRivers: NoneLakes: None
CHAMBER, TOURISM & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: None other than by the private businesses listed below.
NEIGHBORING TOWNS: 15 mi W of Albert, 9 mi NE of Alamo Springs, 23 mi NW of Blanco, 15 mi SW of Hye, 30 mi NW of Kendalia, 16 mi N of Sisterdale, 9 mi SW of Stonewall
PRINCIPAL BUSINESS: Ranching, entertainment, tourism
MAJOR ATTRACTIONS: See full details in Directory below.
- Lukenbach Texas Entertainment Venue: 830-997-3224; www.luckenbachtexas.com. Includes dance hall, historic post office and general store, outdoor music venue and cowboy bar, the Feed Lot (food stands), camping areas and more. This web site tells the history of Luckenbach along with events that are happening and their favorite pickers, including Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and many more. "Everybody's somebody in Luckenbach". Meet the cool cat Miz Kitty, the "boss" of the General Store. Ride Shotgun, a real longhorn cow.
Some of the very nearby attractions include:
- Albert: Albert Texas Ice House & Dance Hall; Historic School House
- Blanco: Historic Town Square & Courthouse; Real Ale Brewing Co
- Fredericksburg: Fort; Butterfly Ranch; Herb Farm; Theater; Trade Days; Museums; Dulcimers; Historic German Downtown; Jewelry Workshop; Rockbox; Wildseed Farm; Cowboy Ranch
- Hye: Garrison Whisky Distillery; Historic Post Office; Wineries
- Johnson City: Exotic Zoo Resort; Texas Hills Winery; Whittington's Jerky; Historic Courthouse & Jail; Lavender Farms; Wildflower Capital; Bamberger Ranch; LBJ Boyhood Home
- Stonewall: Peaches; Wineries/Vineyards; Lavender; Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm; LBJ State & National Parks (Texas White House)
- Blanco: Blanco State Park
- Fredericksburg: Admiral Nimitz State Historic Site & National Museum Of The Pacific War; Enchanted Rock State Natural Area; Lady Bird Municipal Park
- Johnson City: Pedernales Falls State Park; LCRA Pedernales River Nature Park; LBJ National Park
- Stonewall: LBJ State & National Historical Parks
- Mar: Mud Dauber Fest
- May: Hill Country Run; Motorcycle Rally
- Jun: Waylon's Birthday Bash
WEATHER: Local Weather; Hill Country-wide Weather
MEDIA COVERAGE: See full details in Directory below. MAPS: Local Google; Hill Country Special Maps
HISTORY: Handbook of Texas Online: "Luckenbach is a scenic community in southeastern Gillespie County with strong musical associations. The site was settled in the late 1840s and early 1850s by German farmers, among them the brothers Jacob Luckenbach and August Luckenbach. Jacob was a veteran of the Texas Revolution. The pleasant setting is a mixture of caliche hills and bottomlands on Grape Creek, a tributary of the Pedernales River.
The first post office opened in 1854 under the name of South Grape Creek. Mrs. Albert Luckenbach, nee Minnie Engel, established a store and saloon. A dance hall, a cotton gin, and a blacksmith shop were in existence by the late 1800s. A number of family cemeteries and a Catholic cemetery were also established. The growing population supported a primary school and a Methodist church. Residents in addition to Methodists included in roughly equal numbers Lutherans and Catholics. One local schoolmaster, Jacob F. Brodbeck, designed and tested an airplane in this community, but a major demonstration flight in 1865 terminated in a crash.
Sometime in the later 1800s the post office closed. When it reopened in 1886, August Engel served as postmaster and renamed the town Luckenbach. William Engel became the next postmaster and opened the general store, which remains today in its original building. In 1896 the population was 150. It increased to a high of 492 in 1904 but declined dramatically in the first half of the twentieth century. From the 1920s to the 1950s Luckenbach had a population of twenty.
The dance hall was rebuilt by the early 1930s, and the new structure included a maple dance floor. During dances, William's wife, Anna Schupp Engel, often served homemade dishes on her own china plates. When William died in 1935, his sons assumed control of the family businesses, including the saloon and dance hall. One son, Benno Engel, served as the new postmaster. The town's population was sixty in 1960 but shrank during the following decades to twenty-five. By 1967 the seven-grade school was consolidated with the Fredericksburg schools.
In 1971 Benno Engel sold Luckenbach to John Russell (Hondo) Crouch, from nearby Comfort. Kathy Morgan and Guich Koock also bought into the town as Crouch's partners. Styling himself the "mayor" and "Clown Prince of Luckenbach," Crouch, a former swimming champion, actor, and columnist, declared Luckenbach "a free state...of mind" and successfully turned the small community into a foil of the nearby "Texas White House" - Lyndon Johnson's place down the Pedernales at the LBJ Ranch. In 1973 singer-songwriter Jerry Jeff Walker recorded his best-selling album Viva Terlingua in Luckenbach. Frequent festivals-including an annual Mud Daubers' Day, an annual Hug-In, a women's chili cook-off, the Luckenbach Great World's Fair, and the Non-Buy Centennial Celebration (a take-off from the Republic of Texas Bicentennial in 1986), to which the Prince of Wales and Elizabeth Taylor were invited-brought tens of thousands of people to the pastoral setting.
Popularized in regional culture as the place where "Everybody is Somebody," Luckenbach achieved legendary proportions in 1977, the year after Hondo's death, when the Waylon Jennings hit song "Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love)" became a national favorite. The town attracted both professional and amateur musicians who enjoyed the laid-back, historic atmosphere. State historical markers for the Luckenbach school and town of Luckenbach were erected in 1982 and 1986, respectively. At the beginning of the new millennium the Texas Almanac gave the population of Luckenbach as twenty-five, even though the marker for tourists at the entrance to "old" Luckenbach gave the population as three. A Luckenbach Club continued to meet seasonally at the old school to maintain the grounds and to support what remained of a sense of community.
Luckenbach was the site of Willie Nelson's Fourth of July Picnic from 1995 through 1999. In December 2002 Texas Monthly listed the town in the "Top 25 Unusual Treasures of Texas." The dance hall continued to be a popular gathering place for area and visiting musicians. Although most road signs directing travelers to Luckenbach have been stolen as souvenirs, the determined visitor still can find the historic hamlet just a few miles east of Fredericksburg, on Farm Road 1376 south of U.S. 290."
Area settled in 1840's. The community was named for Mrs. Albert Luckenbach, who established a post office here.
Humorist Hondo Crouch bought Luckenback in 1971 after seeing it advertised in a newspaper.
PRIOR CITY NAMES: South Grape Creek (until 1886)
- Luckenbach School: See details below
- Luckenbach Cemetery: See details below
OTHER PROFILES: City Data (not available); ePodunk; Texas Escapes; Travel Texas; Wikipedia
We welcome inquiries, comments and submission of updates, additions, corrections & digital photos,
without compensation. Send to Editor at:
BUSINESS & ORGANIZATION DIRECTORY
LUCKENBACH TEXAS DANCE HALL: 830-997-3224; 1-888-311-8990; 412 Luckenbach Town Loop, Luckenbach/Stonewall (Gillespie), TX 78624. www.luckenbachtexas.com. Live music almost every day, dance band most Fri & Sat nights, from 9a-close. Light food, beer and wine available.
(Police, Fire, EMS/Medical)
CRIME STOPPERS-REPORT ANONYMOUSLY-CASH REWARD: 830-997-8477; or text keyword "TIP 830 and your tip" to 274637; or click: Stoppers
EMERGENCY SERVICES: Provided by City of Fredericksburg, TX: www.fbgtx.org
LOCAL COUNTY GOVERNMENT: See: Gillespie County Government Offices
STATE & FEDERAL GOVERNMENT: For offices that represent the Hill Country,
see: Texas & Federal Government Offices
Note, the Luckenbach "Post Office" is not an active USPS facility. This building is the historic but non-active post office building. It is open for viewing and now contains a retail western goods retail store.
CRISIS HOTLINES: click Hotlines-Emergencies
DAY & SEASON HUNTING OPPORTUNITIES:
See full list of leases for this town at: Hunting & Fishing.
(THE) FULL MOON INN: 800-997-1124; 830-997-2205; 3234 Luickenbach Rd, Luckenbach, TX 78624. B&B. Breakfast. Cabins, cottages, rooms. One-stop, turn-key wedding service, 400 people wedding capacity, rural setting. Co-located with Willie's Steakhouse and entertainment venue. Half miles from Luchkenbach Dance Hall. Capt. Matthew Carinhas, Owner-Innkeeper. www.fullmooninn.com
BEHRENDS FEED AND FERTILIZER: 830-997-3410; 3599 RR 1376, Luckenbach, TX 78624
LUCKENBACH TEXAS: 830-997-3224; 1-888-311-8990; 412 Luckenbach Town Loop, Stonewall/Luckenbach, TX 78624. www.luckenbachtexas.com
LUCKENBACH PRESERVATION CLUB: Luckenbach, TX 78624. Meets regularly at School below. Ann Knopp: 830-997-2472
RISING DOVE RESCUE: 832-477-2147; POB 2685, Luckenbach, TX 78624. http://risingdoverescue.com. A non-profit who's mission is to help rescue and place shelter pets nationwide.
WILLIE'S BBQ & STEAKHOUSE: 830-997-0444; 412 Luckenbach Town Loop, Stonewall/Luckenbach, TX 78624. williesbbqandsteakhouse.com
(HISTORIC) LUCKENBACH SCHOOL: 3566 Luckenbach Rd, Luckenbach, TX 78624. Rural school built in 1881. Consolidated with Fredericksburg in 1964. The Luckenbach Community Club was organized and currently meets monthly. The building is also a site for precinct voting for state and federal elections. In 1982, a Texas Historical Commission marker was dedicated. Rental Contact: Ora Ann Knopp, 830-997-2474. See Friends Profile including town and school history and pictures.
HILL COUNTRY-WIDE UTILITY PROVIDERS:
For Hill Country area utility service providers (electric, gas, water, sewer, trash),
telecom providers (land lines, cellular service, TV, internet), and related services (package delivery, newspaper, etc.), click: Utilities & Telecom
SANDY ROAD GUEST HAUS:
Upscale Western-style Guest House Lodging
in a Beautiful Ranch Setting in the Gorgeous Texas Hill Country
Reservations & Information: 281-300-7177
9242 RR 1320 (Sandy Road), Johnson City, TX 78636
Web: www.SandyRoadGuestHaus.com Email: info@SandyRoadGuestHaus.com
Come Relax & Enjoy!