Today we have a special guest here to share the history and charm behind her Texas town setting!
*Psst...Giveaway at the end of the post too!
Old storefronts line Main Street with diagonal parking in front instead of parallel. The most prominent building in the city is the courthouse built in 1890. Behind the courthouse, is the First Baptist Church of Bandera. My father-in-law pastored the church in the 90’s, then was interim there until a few months before he passed away.
|Bandera First Baptist|
The town has a rich history. First populated by Indians, then the Spanish in the early eighteenth century. Bandera is the Spanish word for flag. Legend has several explanations of how Bandera got its name. One says that a Spanish general named Bandera led an expedition in the area against the Apaches after the Indians raided their fort. Another relates that after pursuing the Indians to Bandera the Spanish left a flag or flags to warn against future raids. And a third legend claims that in 1752 (or 1732) a council was held between Spanish and Indian leaders, during which the Spanish pledged never to go north of the pass if the Indians agreed to cease their raids in the south, and a red flag was placed on the pass as a symbol of the treaty.
It’s safe to say, no one knows for certain. But the name was in use by 1842, when a group of Texas Rangers defeated Comanches at Bandera Pass. In 1853, the town was established with the purpose of setting up a sawmill town on the Medina River to cut the huge cypress trees that grew there for shingles. By the fall of the same year, there was a horse-powered sawmill and a commissary store.
|Cedar and Cypress Table|
|Cypress along Medina River|
Cypress still grows along the Medina River, which flows across the back of the Vannatter ranch. A few years ago when we visited, my husband spotted a dead, fallen cypress. He brought the stump home and built this end table for our den. It fits our rustic decor in that room and has special meaning to us.
Hollywood even discovered Bandera. It was featured in the reality show a few years ago and a 1975 horror film. I never saw either one. To us, it’s just part of home away from home.