FREDERICKSBURG, Texas (KXAN) — In a Hill Country town filled with wineries, museums and an abundance of history, one Fredericksburg mom created a way to bring the history to life for younger visitors and kids who call the city home.
In “Main Street Mockingbirds,” a family of nine birds tells Fredericksburg’s history along Main Street. Each bird is connected with the architecture of one building where a small bronze sculpture is located.
Amy Beicker, the book’s author, said her family loved doing scavenger hunts in other cities, but noticed Fredericksburg didn’t have one of its own. While the city is family-friendly, kids don’t have many activities along the city’s Main Street, she said.
Beicker spent four years writing and publishing the book. She met with a Pioneer Museum archivist to learn Fredericksburg’s history. At the same time, Beicker’s daughter was learning history at school.
“We looked through pictures. She shared stories, looked through books with me so we could get it just right on placing everybody and getting the story right,” she said.
The city of Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 by German settlers from New Braunfels, according to the Texas State Historical Association. It was named after Prince Frederick of Prussia.
“That’s really what has always made Fredericksburg special. It’s kind of holding on to that German heritage,” she said.
Beicker, who works as a physician assistant and dietician, said scavenger hunt-goers have shared photos and stories of their family hunts. She said it’s a way for some grandparents to connect with younger generations and “experience history right in front of them.”
“If you can make that history real to them, it just becomes so much more relevant and kind of piques their interest in learning more,” she said.
The sculpture scavenger hunt brings kids to “enriching” places like museums, the library and the art gallery where the local sculptor, John Bennett, displays his other work.
Families can do the hunt at any time, like in the mornings and evenings, since the nine mockingbirds are visible without going into businesses or buildings.
Book proceeds support reordering books, maintaining the sculptures and funding a scholarship with the Gillespie County Children’s Foundation, Beicker said. The book can be bought on Amazon or at local retailers.
This story is part of a KXAN series highlighting Central Texas activities — you can see our full list on our “Central Texas Things to Do” page. Do you have an idea of something we should profile? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.