Downtown La Grange during the 1950’s.
Yes, we are that La Grange, home to the famed Chicken Ranch, which was the inspiration for the hit play and film, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. And let’s not forget, ZZ Top’s classic rock song La Grange is about us too.
Surrounded by the Colorado River and luscious rolling hills, La Grange offers a diverse selection of museums, boutiques, and tasty treats but there was a time when we weren’t so well known.
In 1826, John Henry Moore built a twin blockhouse within what are now La Grange’s city limits; he named it Moore’s Fort. Area settlers sought shelter there from Indian attacks, and by 1831 a small community had developed around the fort. A town was platted in 1837, and when the Congress of the Republic of Texas established Fayette County that year, La Grange became its county seat.
The ethnic composition of La Grange began to change during the 1840s and 1850s, as increasing numbers of Germans and Czechs immigrated to Fayette County. Hence our love affair with kolaches!
Though the arrival of the railroad in La Grange helped to put Texas’ 3rd largest brewery, Kreische Brewery, out of business, by 1884, the City of La Grange included four churches, three schools, an opera house, an oil factory, and a bank.
Today, La Grange has a population of almost 6,000 and has managed to keep its good ol’ fashioned country charm and mystique. Most of our downtown businesses reside in historic structures dating back to the late 1800s and our museums encompass everything from our love affair with quilts to our Czech culture and traditions.