Vereins-Kirche, Fredericksburg Texas
The original Vereins-Kirche (Society Church) was the first public building in Fredericksburg. It was used for church services by the different denominations in early Fredericksburg. “The Vereins-Kirche was also used as Fredericksburg’s first school, established under Leyendecker in 1847, and also as a town hall, a fortress, a sanctuary, and, in 1896, a pavilion for Fredericksburg’s fiftieth anniversary celebration. In 1897, however, having fallen into disuse and disrepair and regarded as an obstruction to traffic on Main Street, the Vereins-Kirche was torn down. When the Gillespie County Historical Society was formed in 1934, its first goal was the construction of a replica of the old Vereins-Kirche, with the assistance of the Civil Works Administration, to be completed in time for the Texas Centennial celebration in 1936, in Fredericksburg’s old market square. The replica used the original cornerstone and is designed like the old Vereins-Kirche, though its walls are stone instead of half-timbered Fachwerk, the artistic carpentry of the original church.” (Quoted from the Handbook of Texas Online)
Federal relief aid was requested in 1933 for the re-building of the Vereins-Kirche. The plan called for the city to furnish the materials, the public school would donate the land and the Civil Works Administration would donate the labor. The building was not re-built in the middle of Main Street where it originally sat; it was moved a short distance away from the street.
The new Vereins-Kirche would be used as the public library until 1955. Today it houses a small gift shop and historical museum.
Martin Donell Kohout, "VEREINS-KIRCHE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ccv01), accessed January 25, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/m1/420/ Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 96, July 1992 - April, 1993, Ron Tyler, editor, Journal/Magazine/Newsletter, 1993; digital images, (http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101215/ : accessed January 25, 2014), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, http://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association, Denton, Texas.
Project originally submitted by Elizabeth Hilburn on February 4, 2014.
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