Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites

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The monument to the fallen heroes of the Dawson Massacre and the Mier Expedition. Monument hill monument.jpg
The monument to the fallen heroes of the Dawson Massacre and the Mier Expedition.
Kreische, Henry L., Brewery and House
Kreische brewery remains.jpg
The ruins of the Kreische Brewery. Decks were added for the interpretive tours.
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Kreische, Henry L., Brewery and House
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Kreische, Henry L., Brewery and House
LocationS of La Grange off US 77 on Monument Hill,
La Grange, Texas
Coordinates 29°53′20″N96°52′18″W / 29.88889°N 96.87167°W / 29.88889; -96.87167 Coordinates: 29°53′20″N96°52′18″W / 29.88889°N 96.87167°W / 29.88889; -96.87167
Area7 acres (2.8 ha)
Built1836 (1836)
Built byHenry Ludwig Kreische
Architectural style German Colonial
NRHP reference # 75001974 [1]
TSAL # 8200000256
Significant dates
Added to NRHPApril 16, 1975
Designated TSHS1977
Designated TSALJune 28, 1983

Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites is a historic state park located at 29.888° -96.876°, just off U.S. Route 77, south of La Grange, Texas. The park sits on a sandstone bluff above the Colorado River. Monument Hill is a crypt and memorial to the men who died in the Dawson Massacre and in the Black Bean Episode of the ill-fated Mier Expedition.

State park protected area managed at the federated state level

State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the sub-national level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational potential. There are state parks under the administration of the government of each U.S. state, some of the Mexican states, and in Brazil. The term is also used in the Australian state of Victoria. The equivalent term used in Canada, Argentina, South Africa and Belgium, is provincial park. Similar systems of local government maintained parks exist in other countries, but the terminology varies.

U.S. Route 77 highway in the United States

U.S. Route 77 is a major north–south United States highway which extends for 1305 miles in the central United States. As of 2005, the highway's northern terminus is in Sioux City, Iowa, at an interchange with Interstate 29. Its southern terminus is in Brownsville, Texas, at Veteran's International Bridge on the U.S.-Mexico border, where it connects with both Mexican Federal Highway 101 and Mexican Federal Highway 180.

La Grange, Texas City in Texas, United States

La Grange is a city in Fayette County, Texas, United States, near the Colorado River. It is located between Houston and Austin on Texas State Highway 71. The population was 4,641 at the 2010 census, and in 2015 the estimated population was 4,712. La Grange is the county seat of Fayette County.


The Kreische Brewery site commemorates the contribution European immigrants made in Texas, specifically German immigrant, stonemason and brewer Heinrich Kreische, whose house and brewery ruins are in the park. The Kreische Brewery and house were listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 16, 1975. [2]

Texas U.S. state in the United States

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

Brewing production of beer

Brewing is the production of beer by steeping a starch source in water and fermenting the resulting sweet liquid with yeast. It may be done in a brewery by a commercial brewer, at home by a homebrewer, or by a variety of traditional methods such as communally by the indigenous peoples in Brazil when making cauim. Brewing has taken place since around the 6th millennium BC, and archaeological evidence suggests that emerging civilizations, including ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, brewed beer. Since the nineteenth century the brewing industry has been part of most western economies.

Depiction of the firing-squad execution of 17 Texan prisoners, 25 March 1843 in Mexico, three months after the Battle of Mier. Monument Hill execution painting.png
Depiction of the firing-squad execution of 17 Texan prisoners, 25 March 1843 in Mexico, three months after the Battle of Mier.


On September 18, 1848, the remains of Texans killed in the Dawson Massacre and the Black Bean Episode (death lottery), which had been retrieved from their original burial sites, were reinterred in a common tomb with a sandstone vault at the location now known as Monument Hill. Over 1,000 people came for the ceremony including U.S. Senator Sam Houston. [3]

Republic of Texas independent sovereign nation in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846

The Republic of Texas was a sovereign state in North America that existed from March 2, 1836, to February 19, 1846. It was bordered by Mexico to the west and southwest, the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast, the two U.S. states of Louisiana and Arkansas to the east and northeast, and United States territories encompassing parts of the current U.S. states of Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to the north and west. The citizens of the republic were known as Texians.

Burial Ritual act of placing a dead person into the ground

Burial or interment is a method of final disposition wherein a dead person or animal is placed into the ground, sometimes with objects. This is usually accomplished by excavating a pit or trench, placing the deceased and objects in it, and covering it over. A funeral is a ceremony that accompanies the final disposition. Humans have been burying their dead since shortly after the origin of the species. Burial is often seen as indicating respect for the dead. It has been used to prevent the odor of decay, to give family members closure and prevent them from witnessing the decomposition of their loved ones, and in many cultures it has been seen as a necessary step for the deceased to enter the afterlife or to give back to the cycle of life.

Tomb burial place

A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes. Placing a corpse into a tomb can be called immurement, and is a method of final disposition, as an alternative to for example cremation or burial.

On January 17, 1849, Heinrich Ludwig Kreische, a recent German immigrant, purchased 172 acres (70 ha) of land, which included the tomb. He built a three-story house and, in 1860, began building a brewery. By 1879, it was the third largest brewing operation in Texas, with its flagship product being "Kreische's Bluff Beer." Kreische maintained the tomb for the rest of his life, but the tomb and Kreische Brewery began to deteriorate after his death in 1882. The brewery closed in 1884. [4]

Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe, who share a common German ancestry, culture and history. German is the shared mother tongue of a substantial majority of ethnic Germans.

The Kreische family made several requests to have the tomb removed from their property, as it was frequently vandalized. On April 15, 1905, a new law passed by the Texas Legislature authorized acquisition, by purchase or condemnation, of 0.36 acres (0.15 ha) of land that the grave was on. The state acquired the land by condemnation on June 24, 1907. In 1933, the State Highway Commission fenced the 0.36 acres (1,500 m2) and agreed to maintain it as a state park. In the same year, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas purchased a new granite vault for the tomb. For the 1936 Texas Centennial, the Texas Centennial Commission erected a 48-foot (15 m) shellstone monument with an art deco mural to prominently mark the mass grave.

Vandalism Deliberate damage or defacement of an object or structure

Vandalism is the action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property.

Law System of rules and guidelines, generally backed by governmental authority

Law is a system of rules that are created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior. It has been defined both as "the Science of Justice" and "the Art of Justice". Law is a system that regulates and ensures that individuals or a community adhere to the will of the state. State-enforced laws can be made by a collective legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes, by the executive through decrees and regulations, or established by judges through precedent, normally in common law jurisdictions. Private individuals can create legally binding contracts, including arbitration agreements that may elect to accept alternative arbitration to the normal court process. The formation of laws themselves may be influenced by a constitution, written or tacit, and the rights encoded therein. The law shapes politics, economics, history and society in various ways and serves as a mediator of relations between people.

Texas Legislature State legislature of the US state of Texas

The Texas Legislature is the state legislature of the US state of Texas. It is a bicameral body composed of a 31-member Senate and a 150-member House of Representatives. The state legislature meets at the Capitol in Austin. It is a powerful arm of the Texas government not only because of its power of the purse to control and direct the activities of state government and the strong constitutional connections between it and the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, but also due to Texas's plural executive.

Authority for the site was transferred to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1949. In 1956, The citizens of Fayette County purchased 3.54 acres (1.43 ha) around Monument Hill and deeded the land to the state for parkland. Another 36 acres (15 ha), including the Kreische Brewery and the Kreische Home were added in 1977. The complete site opened to the public in 1983, after archaeological studies were completed.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) is a Texas state agency that oversees and protects wildlife and their habitats. In addition, the agency is responsible for managing the state's parks and historical areas. Its mission is to manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Fayette County, Texas County in the United States

Fayette County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,554. Its county seat is La Grange. The county was created in 1837 and organized the next year.

Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities. In North America archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology, while in Europe it is often viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines.

Natural history

The bluff at Monument Hill is the northern limit of the Oakville Escarpment of Miocene era bearing sandstone. This escarpment or "cuesta" marks the boundary between the Upland Post Oak Woodlands and the Fayette Prairie environments. The erosion of this sandstone cap has created pockets of alkaline soil. This alkaline soil is favored by several species of plants and animals normally found in, or even endemic to the Texas Hill Country, 70 miles northwest. These species were transported to Monument Hill by the Colorado River, creating an isolated colony of western species that coexist with eastern woodland and prairie communities. [5]

See also

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Mier expedition American military operation

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  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  2. "Kreische, Henry L., Brewery and House". Texas Historic Sites Atlas . Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  3. Abolafia-Rosenzweig, Mark (April 1991). Monument Hill State Historical Park: The Dawson and Mier Expeditions and Their Place in Texas History. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. pp. 24–25.
  4. "IMMIGRATION AND PROSPERITY" (PDF). Interpretive Guide to Monument Hill and Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  5. "Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.