Please note, some walking will be required.
Eric Rogers, Tour Guide
This tour will take participants about fifty miles south of Fredericksburg to the little town of Bandera on the banks of the Medina River. You will see the rugged Texas countryside where the Wightites settled more than one hundred and seventy years ago. Just north of town, we will stop at the Tragedy Tree, where a Confederate patrol lynched or shot a group of eight Williamson County men one at a time, and we’ll discuss Civil War-era Texas. From the Tragedy Tree, we will travel to the Bandera County Convention & Visitors Bureau, where we will learn more about the history of the Bandera and witness a western gunfight. We’ll then move on to the Frontier Times Museum featuring a variety of artifacts and presentations. With an active Community of Christ (CofC) congregation continuing to worship in Bandera today, we’ll talk about the history of the CofC in the area. During the drive to and from Bandera, we will watch video presentations on the area’s first Wightite settlement (Medina Reservoir) and the Mormon Mill and Wightite cemetery near Marble Falls (locations on the other tour).
Mormon Mills Tour
Melvin Johnson, Tour Guide
Participants will travel about fifty-five miles north of Fredericksburg to the little towns Marble Falls (on the Falls of the Colorado River of Texas) and Burnet. You will tour the Falls of the Colorado Museum in Marble Falls and learn of the village’s Mormon history. Tourists will be shuttled in two groups up into the hills to the Wightite limestone cemetery of Mormon Mills, resting on a bluff above Hamilton Creek. The uneven, at times craggy, rural scenery witnesses the location where Lyman Wight and his followers built a mill colony in 1851. Much of their mill output and industry was for Fort Croghan in nearby Burnet. They will then travel to Fort Crogan, much of it still extant more than 170 years later, and its museum in Burnet. They will learn about the interaction of the Fort, Burnet, and Mormon Mills history. Tourists can walk the interior of the Fort’s promenade, peering into the homes and schoolhouse and officer mess and blacksmith shop etc. They can see a portion of a Wightite millstone buried into a flower garden and a desk turned out by the Wight woodworking ship in 1852. On the bus drives, we will watch video presentations on the area’s later Wightite settlements at Mormon Mountain on Medina Reservoir and Bandera (locations on the other tour) in conjunction with the Mormon Mill and Wightite cemetery and Fort Croghan.