Pioneer House from 1898
On the way down to Matagorda for a beachy Thanksgiving, we passed through Danevang. We didn't have time to stop in at the Danish Heritage Museum on the way down, but we visited it on the way back home to get a little history of a little Danish in Texas.
Seventy families of immigrating Danes, after a stopover in the American Midwest, established Danevang (an alternate name for Denmark) in 1894. The initial going was rough, in large part because the Danes brought midwestern crops with them. After a few years, a number of famlilies left for California where they established Solvang. Nonetheless, Danevang persisted, especially after the locals discovered cotton. The locals spoke Danish in church and club meetings until 1971. The locals have been proud citizen-science participants (cooperative observers) in the National Weather Service since 1896.
The cemetery is marked with gravestones in Danish with born-in locations proudly chiseled into the stone. The yard is also unique in that the architect of the museum is also buried there under a traditional Viking mark: one large stone perched atop three smaller stones.
Fastelavn, which is hitting the cat out of the barrel, similar to a pinata (candy, not cats!) although historically there was a cat in the barrel.