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LOYAL VALLEY, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Mason County, Texas Hill Country

Highway 87
16 miles SE of Mason
26 miles NW of Fredericksburg
Population: 50 (estimate since 1990)

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Fredericksburg Hotels
Church in Loyal Valley, Texas
The church
Photo courtesy Erik Whetstone, August 2005
History in a Pecan Shell

Settled by German immigrants from the Fredericksburg area about 1858, the name was either given to honor the loyalty and cooperation of the settlers, or to proclaim German loyalty to the Union. It is one of the oldest communities in Mason County.

During the 1870s outlying communities sought shelter in Loyal Valley from hostile Indians. It was also a stage stop between San Antonio and Fort Concho. A post office was in operation from 1868 to 1919.

The first school opened in 1870 and a later stone building was built by Phillip Buchmeyer. In the early part of the Twentieth Century, the town was thriving. Brush arbor meetings were held and cotton and livestock fueled the economy. Loyal Valley became a popular hunting destination.

From an estimated population of 194 in 1904, it shrank to a mere 25 in the 1930s. But it reached 1000 just before WWII and as late as the 1970s, the town still had a population of 150.

Meusebach's Nursery in Loyal Valley
by Michael Barr


"... But the most remarkable feature of Loyal Valley was Meusebach's nursery. Among his many talents, Meusebach was an amateur horticulturalist.... While most places in Texas could only grow native varieties, Meusebach was able to grow 14 varieties of grapes from all over the world. A good argument can be made that the roots of the Hill County Wine industry are in Meusebach's nursery and his horticulture experiments.

The nursery was a garden in the wilderness. There were 60 varieties of peach trees, 14 varieties of plums, and 32 varieties of pears in the same enclosure. Meusebach also grew apples, cherries, figs, apricots and pomegranates.

His crape myrtles were legendary. Flowers, too many to count, bloomed in wonderful profusion. Of roses alone there were 215 varieties.

And certain trees, like pines and spruces, that didn't always grow well in West Texas, thrived in Loyal Valley... more


Loyal Valley ruins, Texas
A ruin in Loyal Valley
Photo courtesy Erik Whetstone, August 2005
Loyal Valley  cemetery, Texas
Loyal Valley Cemetery
Photo courtesy Erik Whetstone, August 2005
Photographer's Note:
The church and cemetery are about 40 yards from each other and are divided by a dirt road. - Erik Whetstone
Loyal Valley  cemetery, Texas
Another view of the Loyal Valley Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, 2004
More Texas Cemeteries | Texas Towns

People
The Savage Life of Herman Lehmann

or Ich bin ein Apache

(Hermann Lehmann died in 1932 and is buried in the Loyal Valley cemetery. - See Historical Marker)

Loyal Valley TX Mason Co 1882 Postmark
Loyal Valley TX Mason Co 1882 Postmark
Postcard cancelled with Loyal Valley TX 1882 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

Mason County Texas 1907 Postal map
Mason County 1907 Postal map showing Loyal Valley
near Gillespie County line

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Loyal Valley, Texas Area Towns:
See
Mason County | Texas Hill Country
Mason | Fredericksburg
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