Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Schulenburg, Tx

The area around Schulenburg, Texas is famous for the painted churches in the rural area.

“The agricultural town of Schulenburg (meaning "school town" in German) was home to the Carnation milk company's first plant in 1929. Even today dairy products generate a major source of income for the area. Schulenburg is known as the "home of the painted churches" although the elaborately painted structures are actually in nearby small communities.

A group of historic churches in the countryside surrounding the town of Schulenburg are known as the Painted Churches of Texas. The churches, built by the Czech immigrants to the region, are recognized for their elaborately painted interiors and details such as faux marble columns, all reminders of the homeland they had left behind.

The church doors are usually open so it’s worth a stop to see if you might be able to take a peek at the beautiful interiors. The Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce offers guided group tours with prior arrangements and also offers maps to the locations. You’ll also find more details about these churches on the PBS documentary “The Painted Churches of Texas” and its accompanying website, www.klru.org/paintedchurches.”

St. Marys Church, High Hill, Tx


St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Ammannsville, Texas 1890


Sts. Cpril & Methodius Catholic Church, Dubina, Tx – Ext.1856

DUBINA, TEXAS. Dubina, the first Czech settlement in Texas, is five miles east of Schulenburg in southern Fayette County. In November 1856 a group of Czech settlers found shelter from a strong north wind and hail under a grove of large oak trees in what is now Dubina

In 1876 a Catholic church, the first in Dubina, was built on land donated by Joseph Peter. Later a school was built on land donated by Ignac Muzny. In 1900 the church served a parish of more than 600 families. In 1909 a hurricane destroyed the first church, and in 1912 the building was replaced. Dubina's social life revolved around the church, and a number of Catholic social organizations were established, including a Katoliká jednota texaská (Czech Catholic Union of Texas) lodge in 1887, a St. Ann's Society (1889), and a Cesko-rimská katolická podporující jednota zen texaskych (Czech-Roman Catholic Aid Union of Women in Texas) society (1900).

In 1873 the railroad bypassed Dubina, and in 1912 a fire caused extensive damage to the town; many settlers left the area. In the mid-1980s Dubina had a Catholic church, a community hall, a restaurant, several historical buildings, and many giant oak trees, one measuring twenty-six feet in circumference with a 110-foot spread. The population ranged from 160 to 500 in the late nineteenth century. The community was still listed in 1990. In 2000 the population was forty-four.


An old small town solo store (Closed for years) in Ammannsville.


St. Mary’s Church – Phaha, Tx

by the 1880s Praha had three stores, a restaurant, and a new frame church, which served as the mother parish for surrounding towns. A post office started service in 1884, and in 1896 a Czech Catholic school was established. In 1873, when the Southern Pacific Railroad was built a mile north of town, Flatonia, a new town founded near the tracks, began to draw business away from Praha. During the twentieth century the population of Praha never rose above 100, and in 1906 the post office closed. By 1968 the population had dropped to twenty-five, where it remained in 2000. In 1973 both the parochial and public schools closed. In the late l980s worshippers still attended masses at the parish church. Since 1855 the community has celebrated the Feast of the Assumption on August 15. The event now attracts more than 5,000 visitors, many of them Czechoslovakian. Mass is celebrated in the historic church, with its extraordinary interior painted by Godfrey Flury, Czech food is served, and Texas Czech bands entertain the crowd.


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