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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Fredericksburg in Gillespie County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Sunday Houses

 
 
Sunday Houses Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 1, 2021
1. Sunday Houses Marker
Inscription.  

Small townhouse built by German settlers who lived in distant rural areas. Used over weekends by families while they traded or attended church. A typical early Sunday House had one room with a lean-to kitchen and a half story above, which was reached by outside stairway or ladder. Built during 1890s-1920s, most Sunday Houses were frame but some were rock. Homes found use during school sessions, periods of religious instruction or serious illness. Some of the larger ones made comfortable retirement homes for elderly German farmers.
 
Erected 1970 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 10119.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 30° 16.692′ N, 98° 52.659′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Texas, in Gillespie County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of West Main Street (U.S. 290) and South Milam Street. The marker and house are located on the grounds of the Pioneer Museum and are accessible through admission to the museum.
The front of the Weber Sunday House facing Milam Street. image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 1, 2021
2. The front of the Weber Sunday House facing Milam Street.
However, the marker can be seen from the road on Milam Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 West Main Street, Fredericksburg TX 78624, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Republic of Texas German Immigrant Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); First Methodist Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Kammlah House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Meckel - Hanus Building (about 400 feet away); Gun Cap Factory (about 500 feet away); St. Mary's Catholic Church (about 500 feet away); Old St. Mary's Church (Die Alte Kirche) (about 600 feet away); Hoerster Building (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
 
Regarding Sunday Houses. This one-room structure, measuring approximately 16 by 20 feet was the "Sunday House" for August and Alwine Weber and their two children. It was built by Mr. Weber in 1904 on a town lot near the corner of West San Antonio and Cherry Streets not far from this site.
Many people ask, "How could simple farmers afford to buy land in town and build these Sunday House?" The answer to that lies in the fact that most of the early Immigrants who came here from Germany received allotments of land, a town lot in Fredericksburg and a ten-acre out lot in the country. Families retained ownership of their town lots and many built these
A side view of the Weber Sunday House image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 1, 2021
3. A side view of the Weber Sunday House
small "Sunday" houses on them. What you see today is an architectural time capsule. Mr. and Mrs. Weber and their two children, Adelbert and Bertha, used this home as their town house when they traveled into Fredericksburg from their farm seven miles out on the Kerrville highway. This home is a good example of a pure Sunday house, in that the family never used it for overnight visit for extended stays. That is why a well was never dug on the property or electricity put in. The Weber family would either bring water from their farm or draw some from their neighbor's faucet next door. Only oil lamps and candles were available for light. The cot you see inside was often used for naps by Mrs. Weber, as she was in poor health in those years and needed a place to rest on the weekend visits. The piece of furniture you see on the far wall is the kitchen "schrank" or pie safe as many people would call it. Schrank is the German word for closed. Many of the other items you see in the room such as the family photo of the two children when they were young, table, chairs, and lamps were used by the Weber family in this structure.
In 1926, Adelbert Weber married Valeska Moellering, who would go on to be a school teacher in the surrounding county. Mrs. Weber taught school for over forty years, much of it in the simple one room schools that are scattered throughout Gillespie County. After the
Inside view of the Weber Sunday House image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, January 1, 2021
4. Inside view of the Weber Sunday House
death of Adelbert in 1969, Valeska Weber became the sole owner of the Sunday house. She donated the home and the furnishings you see today to the Historical Society in 1972. The Society is eternally grateful for her vision and effort to preserve this unique feature of Fredericksburg history.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 10, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 2, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 2, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 2, 2021