As some of y’all may know, I took the kidlets on a roadtrip to the town of Comfort, Texas. Comfort is a hidden gem in the west of Hill Country. It is famous for its architecture, as well as being the site of the only Union monument in Confederate territory. Treue der Union Monument is dedicated to the German abolitionists who chose to flee rather than be conscripted into the Confederate Army. This was a great opportunity to teach kids a bit about Texas and Civil War history, as well as 19th century architecture, while spending quality time together.
The drive was uneventful, with a couple of minor traffic jams, but we made pretty good time, arriving there around noon. The first thing we notice is the lack of signs letting us know where the historical district resides. No matter, I just figure we drive around and eventually hit it, by counting the numbered streets. Sure enough, we stumble upon the lovely High Street area. I park further down on 6th Street, since the parking is already full, and we proceed to walk towards High Street. As soon as we start to cross, we see the Comfort Bank.
Beautiful, isn’t it? Stonework and brickwork dating back to the mid 1800’s. And the majority of the street has similar architecture, including the old Saloon and the owner’s abode. But then things started getting weird.
As we walked along, we noticed that almost all of these businesses were antique stores. I love going antiquing, but even I thought this was ridiculous. How can so many dealers be successful in one area, right? Then we noticed the eating establishments. Of the five on the street, two opened only in the evenings, one for lunch only, but it was closing early because one of the burners wasn’t working, or something, one for breakfast and lunch, and the other was opening in mid-November, which was a pity, because it was screaming my friend Laura’s name:
So, we decided to go to the SOLE open restaurant. Now, we are in the Hill Country, and as far as I’m concerned, a town the size of Comfort would cater to guests with wholesome, hearty country food, right? WRONG!! The High’s Café catered to the hidden organic gourmets. If you ordered the chip and dip, you got Mediterranean Hummus with Pita Points. And I mean an itty bitty portion of hummus and THREE pita points. Son had an open faced Lump Crab Cake sandwich. The “cake” was about the size of a regular meatball. We finished the meager offerings at that café, and settled for some over-priced Blue Bell™ next door, because the dessert listing at the café had pumpkin truffle tart and bread pudding with brandy sauce but NO PIE OF ANY KIND. While I was paying for the ice cream, I asked the young lady where I could find the Treue Monument. She gave me a blank look, and said that she had never heard of it. Thinking I had mispronounced it, I described it. She still had no idea. I paid for the ice cream, and decided to ask some of the antique dealers for directions.
The first store was an aggregate of dealers under one roof, so I figured someone would know. Of the five in the store, four had no idea what I was talking about, and the fifth said there was a guy’s statue down by the park, but she didn’t know where it was. At the second store, the saleslady was dancing to music on the little transistor radio she had on the counter, and also wanted me to try a honey cream on my hands. I politely turned her down, since I’m not partial to the scent, but she really wanted me to try it. So much so that she said it would help with my wrinkles, even.
I decided not to ask her.
The third store had a nice lady selling antiques imported from France and Britain. I had never seen so much copper and Flow Blue™ in my life. But she did have some beautiful French skeleton keys, so the trip to that store wasn’t a total loss. The fourth store was a yarn and knitting store, and I couldn’t find the salesperson for help. There were ten women sitting around a table, knitting scarves and whatnots, and one turns to me, looks at my hands and smiles. “It’s never to late to learn,” she says, and pulls the chair out for me. All I could think about was having knitting needles sticking out of my neck while they knitted a death cocoon for me. I apologized for intruding, and made my way out. The final store had some of the most beautiful antique furniture I have ever
lusted after seen. The older lady was very kind when I asked about the monument, and gave me directions to the park. I returned to the Pathfinder, and told the kids someone finally knew where it was.
Off we went, driving down a couple of streets, to end up at the aforementioned park, where we see the bust statue of a man. AAAARRRGH!!! This is NOT the monument!! I drive a ways up the street, and take out my iPhone, which shows an “E”. Great…. still, I’ll try to see if I can find the address for the Monument. Finally, after waiting a bit for it to load, I get the physical address for the monument: on High Street, between 3rd and 4th Streets. We were literally three streets away the whole time! Off we go, and thankfully we get to our final destination:
It is poignant in its simplicity, and well worth the time and trouble to get there. Not many people in Texas are familiar with this bit of history, but in my humble opinion, it is a bit of history we need to remember.
You just have to go looking for it 🙂