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Come One, Come All to Founder’s Day in Castroville

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On Saturday, September 14, 2019, the city of Castroville will be celebrating its 175th Anniversary. In advance of that and in commemoration of this wonderful milestone, the city council will be holding a ceremonial meeting on September 12 to recognize the actual anniversary date when the original settlers signed a charter to found a government. A proclamation will be presented to the city by a representative of the Texas Office of the Governor, recognizing this extraordinary historic date, after which Founder’s Day activities will take place.

With 175 years under your belt, you would think that called for a huge celebration. And you’d be right! Castroville will mark this momentous occasion on September 14 with a series of presentations around the history of this Hill Country town’s establishment and how it has developed into a thriving community. Featuring a variety of family and community-oriented games and activities taking place from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m., Founder’s Day is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face, along with a fair share of tremendous Texas pride.

Come One, Come All to Founder’s Day in Castroville

Photo: September Square

Opening ceremonies will take place at the September Square in Castroville, where the first settlers crossed the Medina River, and the “new home” for the original settlers from the Alsace Region of France received its blessing from the Catholic Bishop of San Antonio in 1844. These ceremonies, beginning at 9:30 a.m., will include the commemoration of that original gathering with a reading of the names of those historic Alsatian figures by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. In addition, a Castroville Boy Scout troop will conduct a flag ceremony in tribute to the city’s founding families. Area youth are invited to participate in a “passport” element to these events. The youths will obtain stamps at each of the sites (seven in total) on the day’s agenda and city tour. Throughout the day, each of the four elementary, two middle schools, and one high school of the Medina Valley ISD will present a pageant on Henri Castro, the empresario who originally acquired this parcel of Hill Country land and brought the immigrants to their new home.

In no particular order, events and tours recognizing the 175th anniversary of Castroville will be taking place at a variety of sites. Steinbach Haus Visitor Center is located in the original Alsatian house donated by the citizens of Alsace to Castroville. The house was constructed in Wahlbach, Alsace between 1618 and 1648, and it will be one location you’ll want to visit on the anniversary. The house was gifted to the citizens of Castroville in 1997, with Alsatians coming to Texas over the course of three summers to reconstruct it. Held together by wood pegs, it presently serves as the Castroville visitor center.

Come One, Come All to Founder’s Day in Castroville
Photo: Landmark Inn

Over the years, the Landmark Inn State Historic Site, owned by the State of Texas, Texas Historical Commission, has served as a boarding hotel, mercantile store, grist mill, stagecoach stop, and much more. For Founder’s Day, live demonstrations will be presented here by locals, the U.S. Army Medical Department Museum, and staff of the Institute of Texan Cultures.

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