Monday, October 18, 2010


Washington House at Knittel Inn - Home was moved to the property and reconstructed
Knittel Inn

It would be a shot of the actual river, but it was a narrow bridge with no shoulder, sorry!

On Monday 10-18-10, breakfast at the Knittel Inn in Burton was great as was visiting with owners Carmen & Steve. This couple has made the property a showcase for design, hospitality & elegance. The original house was built by a Prussian immigrant (Knittel) who fought in the Confederate Army and became a successful merchant/politician after the Civil War. A number of German immigrants settled in this area and there exists, even today, stories about their lives. One example is about a German shoe cobbler who lived in Burton repairing shoes & leather tack. He worked 6 days a week. He earned the respect of the town because he never charged for repairing the shoes of children. There are so many small pieces of history being preserved in the area. Carmen said that shortly after they moved here, she heard a commotion outside and upon investigation, saw a parade with horses and all go past their house. The unique thing about the parade was that the participants were all African-American. When she sought an explanation, she learned that the local plantation owners did not immediately inform their slaves about the Emancipation Proclamation. They wanted to break the news after the slaves had harvested the cotton crop. The parade was to celebrate the local date of emancipation that is somewhat later than the rest of the country. Our ride today started in a dense fog until we reached the community of Roundtop, population 77. For such a tiny place there are a number of neat old historic buildings still in use as cafes and shops. We visited the worlds "smallest" Catholic Church, St. Michaels. Near LaGrange, we crossed the Colorado River where cattle drives from Texas to New Orleans would forge. We took Hwy 71 to Bastrop where we found a bike shop. Ann's bike had developed an annoying clicking sound we could not get resolved. It also stumped John, the bike mechanic. We were like 3 monkeys trying to figure out how to open a bottle of coke. We finally lucked upon a pedal adjustment and all is again smooth & quiet. The excitement of the day was a deer darting in front of Ann as she was tucked, zooming downhill. The best sign we saw read, "Fat people are harder to kidnap" All the more reason for us to eat this great Tex-Mex food we can't seem to resist.


chris.flouer said...

Ann and Norb, finally figured out this high tech communication thing (blog). Looks like you all are enjoying your stops, and making great time. We are all jealous, and wish you safe travels. Love the stories and pics. Thank you for letting us live through you. Chris

Anonymous said...

Bill and Julie are now avid followers of your big adventure. Smiles, smooth shoulders and tailwinds all the way. Great Blog!

Kelly said...

It sounds as if you guys have had an action packed couple of days. It looks like the some of the blogging issues have been corrected as comments seem to be increasing. I think people have been following, just struggling to post!

kidzwriter said...

Just north of this area is my stomping grounds. Remind me to show you my picture book called "Over on the River", Ann. It's about life on the Colorado in about 1912.
My gr-grandfather Kuehnel was one of the Germans that settled Texas.
Love seeing your pictures and following your route.

Norb and Ann said...

Louise, I do so envy the thorough knowledge you have of your ancestry and the way you weave it into your writings. I will look forward to seeing "Over on the River". Thanks to you and Nancy for keeping up with us.