Fredericksburg is the county seat of Gillespie County and is 70 miles west of Austin in the county’s central part. The city got its name from Prince Frederick of Prussia. The area’s history began as the destination of German immigrants sent to Texas in August 1845. The first wagon train of 120 settlers arrived in Fredericksburg on May 8, 1846. More immigrant trains came throughout the summer, and within two years Fredericksburg had grown into a thriving town of almost 1,000.
Religion played an important part in the lives of the German settlers, and devout farmers drove as much as 20 miles into town for religious services and built Fredericksburg's characteristic Sunday houses for use on weekends and religious holidays. The Germans tried to maintain their independence by steadfastly refusing to learn or use English. Not until after 1900 were the first purely English-speaking teachers employed in the town’s public schools.
As the town grew in size and importance, however, and with the railroad coming to town in 1913, Fredericksburg’s self-imposed isolation began to break down. Visitors were welcomed with open arms, and have been welcomed and indeed anticipated and expected ever since. In 2004 the community had 10,087 inhabitants and 910 businesses.