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Issue 06 – Corpus Christi 2021

Brass Rubbings

October Turkey

On Saint Mary’s church in Fredericksburg, Texas.


The first thing a visitor notices upon arriving in Fredericksburg, Texas, is the width of Main Street. The road is wide enough to hold four lanes of traffic comfortably, with a left-turn lane and pull-in parking spaces on either side. This is not a newly widened road to accommodate the tourists who visit the shops lining Main Street in limestone storefronts and buildings erected in the frontier past. It was planned that way, when the German immigrants who settled Fredericksburg in 1846 made the street wide enough for their ox carts to make a U-turn.

On one side of this Hauptstrasse, as the street was known until well after World War I, the Germans built a town courthouse. Opposite the courthouse, they laid out a Marktplatz. (The town square still retains its German name). Between the courthouse and the square, in the middle of the broad road, sat the Vereinskirche. This was a Carolingian octagon, like those found in Germany, modeled on Charlemagne’s famous eight-sided Palatine Chapel in Aachen. The original was torn down in 1897 so the road was no longer obstructed, but a replica from 1934 now stands in the Marktplatz. Both the original Catholic and Lutheran settlers worshipped in the Vereinskirche—men and boys on the right, and women, girls, and infants on the left.

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About the author

Jake Neu

Jake Neu is a patent attorney in Nashville, Tennessee.