Thursday, September 5, 2013

Those Places Thursday: Pape Log Cabin, Fredericksburg, Texas

On our latest visit to Fredericksburg, Texas, to visit my parents for Labor Day weekend, we stayed at a different place than where we usually stay.  It was located on the south side of Main Street, so on my morning walk, I had an opportunity to explore some of the old neighborhoods there.

One historic site I've wanted to see for some time is the Pape Log Cabin (no relation that I know of), pictured above.  Here's what the historical marker (pictured at left) says:

"One of the oldest structures in Fredericksburg, built by communal effort for the family of Friedrich Pape (1813-94). Pape, his wife Katherine, and a daughter arrived in Galveston in Nov. 1845 from Germany. Three Pape children died on the trip. The family was among the first forty to settle in Fredericksburg, and soon after arriving in May 1846, this cabin was erected to shelter the ailing Mrs. Pape. The post oak logs were cut nearby, and the first roof was probably thatched grass."

Friederich, of Gnadenstadt, Hanover, Germany, his wife Catherine (nee Vogel), daughters Doretta and Caroline, and sons Johanne and young Friederich, sailed from Bremen, Germany, on August 25, 1845, on the Barq Herkules.  Doretta (Dorethea, born in 1840) was the only child to survive the trip.

Catherine (Catharina, 1810-1884) recovered, and Friedrich was one of the settlers who signed the petition to form Gillespie County in December 1847.  The family can be found in Gillespie County on the next four censuses.  In 1850, Friedrich is listed as a farmer in the Zodiac Mills and Live Oak Creek settlement, and the family has grown to include son Louis (born 1848) and daughter Matilda (born 1850). 

By 1860, Friedrich (now called Fritz), is a miller and farmer, and twin daughters, Augusta and Sophia, were born in 1855.  Also in 1855, Dorethea married Carl Hilmar Guenther (1826–1902), founder of San Antonio’s Pioneer Flour Mills.

By 1870, Fred and Catherine have moved into town and he is a merchant.  Only the twins are left at home.  In 1880, Fritz is listed on San Saba Street (today's Main Street) in a furniture store, and he and Catherine are empty-nesters.

Sometime between 1880 and 1884, the family (including the childrens' spouses) left Fredericksburg and wound up in San Antonio, where they are all buried (mostly in City Cemetery #1).

The Pape Log Cabin is located in the back yard of this house on W. Creek Street, which also has a historical marker:

The marker reads:

"Built in 1851 by the Rev. Gottlieb Burchard Dangers (1811-69), soon after his purchase of this town lot from Friedrich Pape. Dangers, who had emigrated from Germany in 1849, was the second Protestant minister in Fredericksburg. The two rooms in the rear and the cellar were added by Dangers about 1857. The house was constructed in the pioneer German style, with some walls of fachwerk (half-timbered) construction."

This might be my last post about Fredericksburg for a while.  This last visit was to help my parents prepare for an upcoming move to Austin, where three of my siblings live.  They will be leaving their custom-built home in Fredericksburg after almost exactly 20 years there.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.


  1. Great post. I'll look for the Pape graves on my next trip to Cemetery #1 taking gravestone photos.


    1. Thank you, Beverly. I notice you already have Dorethea - she married Carl Guenther and you have their graves pictured in this post on one of your blogs: