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Friday, June 4, 2010

Moonlight Desperado Setting Near Castroville, Texas, and the Medina River

I thought you'd like to see some photos of the area of Texas where my novella, Moonlight Desperado, takes place.

One of the homes of my Texas ancestors became the inspiration for the house where my story unfolds. Built in Castroville, Texas in 1867, the Gerhart Ihnken home is shown below. The house faces west. The backyard is part of several acres of pastureland which slope down to the Medina River. This house reflects the architectural style of many of the Alsatian homes constructed in Castroville.

The builders of these homes were the families who came from Alsace Lorraine and settled Castroville in 1844. They traveled from France by ship. My family came in the L'Ebro. Most of the original settlers came from towns in Alsace Lorraine. Many of their homes show the same architecture and are recorded on the Historic Heritage list for Texas.

Some of the homes still have the giant old pecan trees growing in the yard.

Southwest of the Gerhart Ihnken home, the Medina River bends west before flowing south again. The photo below shows the trees growing in the Medina River along the bend. I couldn't resist describing the river and those moss covered trees, after I saw them late one day on a trip to Castroville for research about my family. Shadows beneath the trees and moss created the most mysterious and foreboding feeling.
Perfect for the beginning of Moonlight Desperado.

Scenes like the one with the trees in the Medina River are fantastic inspiration and give flight to a writer's imagination. And my werewolf writer's muse was no exception.

Have you been to Castroville, Texas? I hope you've enjoyed this quick trip to the country with me. When you're in the area, be sure to take in the atmosphere and dining in the old Alsatian town just west of San Antonio. Many thanks to the web site of Castroville for the photos. http://www.castroville.com/
Jeanmarie Hamilton


Susan Macatee said...

Beautiful photos, Jeanmarie! I've never been to Texas or anywhere out west.

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Thanks! Central Texas is so different from West Texas. Around San Antonio the land receives lots more rain than west Texas. So they have tall trees and green grass. It's a beautiful area, and I love to go there in the spring. Most of the homes in Castroville are constructed like the houses in the photos. Very different from the houses built in Fredericksburg, Texas, where the first families to live in that area built their homes of stone. Hope you can visit Castroville in the spring sometime and see the wild flowers. Bluebonnets are beautiful.

Kathleen Bittner Roth said...

Yes, been to Castroville. I used to hold retreats in that big enclave that was once a school/convent. There is an old stone house on the property and I was holding a class in the living room when several students looked up and said, "Who's that?" A gentleman dressed in dated finery stood on the stairs looking into the room. Suddenly he was gone. Non one felt frightened, only awed. There used to be a super restaurant in one of those old houses. I wonder if it is still there? You could dine outside and the fireflies were thick certain times of the year. Lovely photos. Thanks for the post.

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

Hi Jeanmarie,

Your photos are wonderful. I especially like the one of the trees in the water. A writer's inspiration comes from anything and everything. I can see your werewolves prowling around those trees.


Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

That's so interesting that you gave classes and held retreats there at the school/convent. It's still there. There's a picture of it on the Castroville website. My grandmother stayed there for a while when she was little. Yes, there's still wonderful dining in Castroville. They have festivals there at different times of the year. I included the fireflies in my story. :-)
Thanks for your comments!

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Hey, Jane!
Yes, aren't those trees wonderful for inspiration? A great place for werewolves to gather at night.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Jeanmarie, this is one of my favorite parts of Texas. I just love the Medina River and the Frio. What a lovely blog. Thank you for sharing!

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Thank you for coming by and saying hi. Yes, it's a beautiful part of Texas.

Looking forward to your blog here soon. :-)

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