When Prussian immigrant Fritz Zedler arrived near Luling in 1880 with his wife Louise and eleven children in tow he had already tried his hand at a number of jobs including U.S. mail carrier and cattle drover. Identifying a potential money-maker in the local grist and sawmill complex built along Luling’s stretch of the San Marcos River, Zedler acquired a partnership with mill owners and began making improvements, adding services to the complex including cotton ginning. Within eight years, Zedler bought out his partners, owning the complex outright and naming his eldest son as partner. Coincidentally, that same year the mill complex burned, allowing Zedler to completely rebuild and upgrade the facilities. The new complex helped Zedler expand his services, first selling water to the city then following with hydroelectric power.
Today, the mill complex, known as Zedler Mill Museum and Park, serves as both archive of the Zedler legacy where visitors have an opportunity to learn about this early Luling industry and a community park where natural areas and river access provide a peaceful river setting for Luling citizens. Across from the mill complex, the Zedler Guest House and Event Center, housed in Zedler’s restored home built in 1900, is available for weekend and event rentals. Nearby, the take-out point for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Zedler Mill Paddling Trail provides kayakers and canoe enthusiasts a place to rest after paddling six miles of the tranquil San Marcos River.
Zedler Mill Museum and Park