Exploring Monument Hill State Historical Site

Exploring Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Site in La Grange, Texas is a treat for both the young and old. The site is considered hallowed ground and the remains of many soldiers and militia from the struggle for Texas’ independence are buried in a beautiful granite tomb on the top of the bluff overlooking the Colorado river. It is also the site of the Kreische home and brewery erected after the war by Heinrich Kreische, a german stone mason and brewer.

The Kreische Home – La Grange, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture (Av) priority using a Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 L II lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 29mm, f/16 for 1/40th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray warming polarizer. Post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

The brewery is open for guided tours on most weekends which are conducted by trained docents with a rich understanding of early Texas history. The hike down to the brewery and back is short but steep in several places and a walking stick is always a good idea. The temperature drops quickly as you descend down the hillside and enter the lower portions of the brewery itself. On a warm spring afternoon it’s easy to understand why the brewery became such a popular spot in the late 1870’s. The architecture, engineering and stone work in the Kreische home and brewery are truly amazing and both structures have withstood the past 150 years in excellent condition.

The park itself is somewhat small and the hiking trails are well marked and easy to follow. My favorite feature of the park is the bluff overlooking the lower Colorado river, the town of La Grange and the eastern most portion of the Texas Hill Country. There are several scenic lookouts in the park that are the favorite spots of many Texas landscape photographers, myself included. In the late fall, the trees turn a golden yellow and brown, offering some beautiful views and scenic photographic opportunities.

I would be remiss if I forgot to mention the wonderful staff at Monument Hill. Everyone that works there, from the TPWD Park Rangers to the docents are warm and friendly folks, always happy to answer questions and share a bit of Texas history. I’ve visited the park dozens of times in the past few years, and have always come away with some beautiful photographs and wonderful memories to treasure.

Monument Hill & Kreische Brewery State Historic Site is a short two hour drive from Houston and a great place to spend a half-day with family, friends or even by yourself. It’s a place rich in Texas history and scenic beauty and well worth the drive.