Pflugerville offers authentic German heritage
Nov. 11, 2009 at 5:11 a.m.
Heritage Park in Pflugerville offers visitors an adventure into early Texas German history, architecture, agriculture and ingenuity.
As early as 1849, immigrants from Deutschland came through the Port of Indianola into Texas. They brought with them a love of hunting, farming, family, religion and always heart-warming music that brightened their lives.
Heritage Park offers visitors a tour through an original German home, the Bohl's House, which overlooks rolling hills and farmland between Pflugerville and Hutto. Contour farming, planting cover crops, building stock tanks, rotating crops, and planting new seed varieties reduced wind and water erosion and kept the soil intact during periods of drought.
Original outbuildings included a barn, two homes for farmhands, a smokehouse, an outhouse and carriage garage. The original rain harvesting system, including a 4,000 gallon brick and concrete underground cistern and a 2,000 gallon galvanized tin cistern above the ground was the home's only source of drinking water until 1975. Behind the home today sits an old piece of rusty farm machinery and a bright Green/Red Barn exemplifying the old meeting the new, as it is lighted by electricity generated from solar panels and wind turbines (hence the name "Green" in its name). The original Germans surely would approve of using nature's sources for power.
The Pflugers, Bohls and Timmermans were among many early Germans who settled this area of our state. One of our Texas Tracers, Ruth Speckels, is a descendant of the Pflugers. Her cousin, Vernagene Mott, also a Pfluger descendant, guided us through the home recently and explained the history of the Heritage House and Pflugerville. Once the home's water was carried from the back porch cistern, an icebox sat in the kitchen; there were no plumbing facilities and kerosene lamps lighted the home. Modern renovations made the home livable and, until 1985, Bohl's descendants lived there and continued to operate the farm. The house is now the Pflugerville Heritage Museum and houses exhibits representative of Pflugerville's early history.
Our family recently celebrated a wonderful occasion at the Pflugerville Heritage Park when our son, David, and his lovely bride, Sophia, were wed in the gazebo adjacent to the Bohl's House. David's Uncle Norman officiated at the ceremony followed by a reception in the huge Green/Red Barn whose doorway was flanked with welcoming hay bales topped with gold and bronze autumn flowers. David and Sophia planned their informal wedding as one where guests could enjoy comfort and relaxation. The wedding day was blessed with cool and beautiful sunny weather, followed 12 hours later by a full day of welcomed rain.
As I reflect on the wedding, I imagine the many joyous occasions celebrated by the early German Pflugerville families, those industrious and prosperous pioneers who first settled this land. In my heart I know they are smiling on this young couple beginning their life together in Pflugerville, just as they did those many years ago.
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