Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spoetzl Brewery and San Jacinto Battleground

We left San Antonio and headed towards Houston, with a stop along the way in Shiner, TX.

Shiner, TX, is the home of Spoetzl Brewery, maker of Shiner Bock beer.

The brewery was started in 1909 by an association of local German and Czechs who wanted beer like that from the old country. They later hired Kosmos Spoetzl to be their brewmaster and he eventually bought the brewery. It was kept in the Spoetzl family until 1966, being run by his daughter following Kosmos' death in 1950. It was purchased in 1989 by Mr. Alvarez.

San Jacinto Battleground was the location for one of the major battles between Santa Anna and the Texas pioneers in 1836. They say the defeat of Santa Anna here and freedom of Texas from Mexico, ultimately led to the acquisition by the U.S. the states of Texas, NM, AZ, CA, UT, NV, parts of CO, WY, KS and OK, almost 25% of the U.S. The monument is 570 feet tall, 15 ft taller than the Washington Monument and is the tallest column in the world.

We spotted this beautiful red-winged blackbird in the marshes around the monument.

The Battleship Texas. The only surviving battleship to have served in both WWI and WWII.

I spotted this animal and made Max stop so I could get a picture. I'm not sure if it is a river otter or some sort of muskrat. It was in the marsh alongside the road in Buffalo Bayou, Houston.

We were on our way to Lynchburg Ferry. Nathanial Lynch began his ferry service in 1822. Harris County took over the service in 1888 and has provided free ferry service since 1890. We were the last vehicle to get on this ferry for the short ride across the bay.

We made a loop back around so we could drive through Washburn Tunnel, which connects Pasadena and Galena Park. It is a 2900 foot tunnel under the Houston Ship Channel, completed in 1950. It is the largest and first toll free vehicle tunnel in the southern U.S.

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