You may not find the community of Grapetown on a map of Texas. As mysterious as this sounds there are many such small places throughout Texas villages which were centers of activity once, but have all but disappeared into the landscape as the sons and daughters of ranchers moved to the cities and left the fields and rock-walled houses and weathered barns behind.
The area still boasts and maintains a community school where the 10-15 children of the area attended grades first through fifth. A small wood stove sits in the center of the school room, keeping the students warm during the cold winter days. There was no school in the heat of the summer. So the children ran barefoot helping their parents with vegetable gardens, tending the cattle, sheep, goats and hens and making the occasional foray down to the bat cave to cool off under the railroad bridge.
A small cottage stands beside the school house, the teacherage where the single teacher lived year-round.
As one drives down Old San Antonio or Old Number Nine as it is sometimes called, one is not aware that there is a very rich history to the remote countryside. One does not realize that a thriving quarry once existed just a mile off the lane that winds away to the right. The quarry provided limestone to the area from the 1860’s until late into the 20th century. And down that same lane one can stay the night at a bed and breakfast and be served a breakfast in the morning that would compete with any spread one might get from the buffet at the downtown hotel. Homemade pastries crown the meal! The charming landlords will share their knowledge of the area and make you feel like family as they greet you upon your arrival or over breakfast the next day.
If a juicy hamburger served on a jalapeño bun with a cold bottle of Bud Light is more your style, then travel just a few miles down Old San Antonio Road and look for the Alamo Café. Country fries and hamburgers is about all there is on the menu; and, that is all you need. Their hamburgers were recognized as the number one hamburger in Texas. You will have to wait for your food to be prepared individually, but it is worth the wait. You can eat outside on picnic tables, inside where the air conditioner is lumbers along wheezing like an old man, or on the porch where a breeze will cool things down a little. After all this is Texas and it is hot here, eight months out of year.
A Barn at the Quarry is one of the bed and breakfasts which overlooks the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country. It features five charming, unique suites. The two-story barn contains three separate suites: one on the upper level of the barn, and two on the patio level. This combination of accommodations is popular for group reunions. It brings everyone together under one roof and provides meeting space for sharing conversation and meals on the patio.
For a more private, secluded atmosphere a separate cabin is available with a separate porch where one can enjoy the sunrise with morning coffee or the sunset with a chilled glass of wine. Comfy Adirondack chairs beckon you to sit and relax for an hour or the whole day reading, writing or watching the scenery.
Celebrity longhorns graze on the property and Cowboy Ron is often on hand to greet you and introduce you to his pets if you are so inclined. He might even let you take your picture atop the back of Tumbleweed if you meet him in Luckenbach later in the day. The famous little town of Luckenbach is only six miles away. In addition to meeting Cowboy Ron there, you can sit around the post office and listen to pickers and singers plying old guitars.