Monument Hill/Kreische Brewery State Historic Sites

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update: 22 Oct: Lunch first

The route to the state park is at the following link: Monument Hill (https://trips.furkot.com/ts/FhMcJL). A possible return route is at the following link: Monument Hill Return (https://trips.furkot.com/ts/BWH18d). Also, there is no cost to visit the state park. Lunch will be at "The Back Porch BBQ" in La Grange. This place has like 4.8 stars on urbanspoon.com. You can check out their menu and the following link: http://www.thebackporchbbq.com. The park provides detailed maps and it's great just to wonder around and read the signs. They also show a 14 minute video in the office building which explains the history of the park. Also, there is a guided tour of the brewery and the original house at 2 pm for those interested. Be advised that the brewery tour is a steep hike and not for the weak of heart. The house tour should be much less rigorous. If you wish to see both, there are also tours at 3 pm. We should show up at the BBQ place around 12:15 and hit the park about 1:15 - 1:30 pm; depending on how long lunch takes. Monument Hill is in honor of the 17 executed Texans in 1842. In the winter of 1842, Texans set out to avenge the brutal Dawson Massacre. Over 300 soldiers ignored official orders, marched south down the Rio Grande and attacked the border town of Ciudad Mier. In spite of many Mexican casualties, 250 Texans were captured and marched toward Mexico City. Within six weeks of their captivity 181 escaped, but harsh desert conditions forced 176 of them to surrender within days. Outraged by such defiance, Santa Anna order the execution of all escapees, but urgent diplomatic efforts from the U.S. and Great Britain led to the Mexican government's compromise that came to be known as the Black Bean Death Lottery. The captured escapees drew beans from a pot containing 159 white beans and 17 black beans. Those who drew black beans were executed. Texas Ranger and white bean survivor Lt. John Dusenberry returned to the area of execution in 1847 and exhumed the remains of the Black Bean victims and returned them to Texas. La Grange was chosen as their final resting place on Texas soil. In 1849 German immigrant Heinrich Kerische purchased 172 acres on the bluff including the Dawson/Mier tomb. For the rest of his life, Kreische maintained the Dawson/Mier tomb that became known as Monument Hill. In 1860 Kreische began building a brewery in the ravine below his house so that he could utilize the spring water.