Thank you to Oscar who did an excellent job planning the tasting at Driftwood Vineyards and setting up dinner for everyone. We will have to go back a second time to spend more time at Mandola’s Winery. I hope everyone had a good time.
Linda will be leading her first ride for the Austin Scooter Club next Sunday, June 7th. Here’s the itinerary for the and Linda’s write up for the event.
Scootin’ for Sausage!
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
This ride will be about 75 miles long on faster roads. Helmets are required, 125cc+, and arrive with a full tank.
9:00 a.m. Meet at Thunderbird at the corner of Woodrow and Koenig.
9:40 a.m. Pre-ride discussion.
10:00 a.m. Stands up!
Mile 32 — Stretch/pit/Riff Raff culture stop in Coupland.
Mile 44 — Lunch at Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse in Elgin.
Mile 60 — Gas stop in Manor.
We’ll pass by several historical points of interest, so bring your camera! In case anyone is interested, the following is a little information about what we’ll be seeing.
This will be a fun and easygoing ride that will take us northeast of Austin through the blackland prairies of New Sweden, Coupland and Elgin. Cotton is still the leading cash crop in this area because it will grow with less water than any other crop; and, in fact, Texas produces more cotton than any other state.
We’ll pass by the New Sweden Evangelical Lutheran Church, which was completed in 1879. It’s a beautiful, well known Central Texas landmark surrounded by farmland, and the 104-foot copper spire can be seen for miles. The community of New Sweden took its name from the church. In 1900, the population reached its peak with only 104 residents. Today, all that’s left of the community is a cemetery.
Coupland was originally settled by colonist on land they got from Stephen F. Austin. Later, homesteaders from Germany and Switzerland moved here by the hundreds. In the late 1800s, the railroad ran through and Coupland was born. Today, it’s a burgeoning artist community, and the artists outnumber the regular businesses in town.
We’ll make a brief stop to walk around the grounds of the Huntington Sculpture Garden and drive by the Coupland Inn and Dancehall, the “eatinest, drinkinest, dancinest place in Texas!”
Elgin is another town created by railroads in the late 1800s. By 1900, there were five cotton gins and a cotton oil mill. Growth continued through the 1920’s when most of the downtown brick buildings were built. Elgin is famous for two products since 1882: bricks and sausage. Three brick companies are still operating today and three companies produce millions of pounds of sausage annually.
We will eat lunch at Meyer’s Elgin Smokehouse. Since 1949, four generations of Meyers have carried on the family tradition of making great sausage.
After lunch, we’ll head home through Manor, another town built up by the railroad and cotton in the late 1800s. Manor was the center of cotton production in Travis County, but by 1930, the population declined rapidly after two devastating fires destroyed the business district and the arrival of the boll weevil. We’ll see Manor’s old, unused water tower, made famous in the movie “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.”
Hope to see you there!