In 1849, German immigrant Heinrich Ludwig Kreische purchased 172 acres of land including the Dawson/Mier tomb, now known as Monument Hill. The monument marks the tomb of the men that died during the Dawson Massacre of September 1842 and the ill-fated Mier expedition of November 1842, also known as the “black bean” incident. Nearby citizens reinterred their remains here in a common tomb so that they can be honored for their sacrifice.
Master stonemason Kreische built a three-story house for his family, a smokehouse and, in the 1860s, utilized the spring water from the ravine below his house and started one of the first commercial breweries in Texas.
In an attempt to preserve the integrity of the tomb and its contents, Kreische donated a ten acre plot of his land that included the tomb to the Texas Monumental Committee with the condition that a monument would be erected. None materialized, thus the land reverted back to Kreische. His brewery, a thriving enterprise, suffered similar neglect after his death in 1882 and by the first decade of the 20th century both tomb and abandoned brewery were subject to collapse and vandalism.
Today the tomb has been preserved and is marked by a 1936 Centennial monument. Kreische Brewery State Historic Site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and explores unique tales in a visitor center surrounded by hiking trails through the ruins and picnic areas, making the site of an ideal public location for enjoying a beautiful view.
Watch our German Texan Culture video to learn more about German Texan cultural heritage in Texas. This video was produced for inclusion in our German Texans mobile tour found in our Texas Time Travel Tours mobile app. Download the app for more videos and travel information: