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GOD & TEXAS: Kreuzburg Mountain in Fredericksburg

(Picture: Ron and Donna Rose Davis on Cross Mountain Fredericksburg, Texas)

Fredericksburg, Texas, is known for its wineries, quaint shops, bluebonnets and the National Museum of the Pacific War. But, thousands of years before the Jumanos, Tonkawas, Apaches, Comanches, and Anglo settlers came to Texas, the “seat of Gillespie County” was home to Paleo-Americans, who left a treasure trove of artifacts and relics. An intriguing hill known as Cross Hill is located on the north side of Fredericksburg, just off of North Milam Street. Archaeologists digging in the 120 foot high mound have unearthed ancient arrowheads and spear points reminding us that it has been revered for many generations. In a conversation with my paternal cousin, Donna Rose Davis, she reminded me that on her maternal side of the family, there is a unique connection to Cross Hill. I asked her to share her memories for our readers to enjoy: “I have long been aware of my German heritage which is rooted in deep devotion to God and America, but in recent years I learned of a very special cross located in my mother’s birthplace, Fredericksburg, Texas. My maternal grandfather was also born in Fredericksburg so it has always held a special place in my heart, but I did not visit until I was an adult. It was easy to fall in love with the simplicity of the city which is rich in German history. "My great great grandfather, John Christian Durst, arrived from Germany in 1847. He was deeded a town lot and 10 acres of land which included a hill. While developing the land he found the remains of a wooden cross. I’ve read that he erected the cross to honor the land God provided his family. He was known to value his faith, family and friends. Knowing that this land is not only historical, but also rooted in God’s message makes it even more special. "History says that the cross was used by Native Americans to signal the approach of intruders. In later years Spanish missionaries conducted religious services for the Native Americans. The mountain was appropriately named Kreuzburg Mountain, or in English, Cross Mountain. "Although the original cross has been replaced, it thrills my heart to know that such a spiritual place is part of my family history. I love telling my friends that if they are visiting the area, a stop at my family cross is a must. "When I visit, I stand atop the hill overlooking the beautiful Texas hill country and remember the Native Americans, the Spanish missionaries, Easter Sunrise services, and my Durst ancestors who loved and worshipped God on this special spot where daytime or nighttime the lighted cross shines over the city of Fredericksburg like a sentinel. I am proud to say I am a descendant of John Christian Durst, the founder of Cross Mountain.” May we treasure our past, and honor God in the present, that we may have a better future. As it says in Deuteronomy 32:7 (MSG), “Read up on what happened before you were born; dig into the past, understand your roots. Ask your parents what it was like before you were born; ask the old-ones, they’ll tell you a thing or two.”


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