Latitude / Longitude:
30° 10′ 53.47″ N, 98° 45′ 25.96″ W
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Luckenbach (/’lu”k”nb”k/ LOO-kin-bock) is an unincorporated community thirteen miles (19 km) from Fredericksburg in southeastern Gillespie County, Texas, United States, part of the Texas Hill Country. Luckenbach is known as a venue for country music.
It consists of 9.142 acres (37,000 m2) between South Grape Creek (a tributary of the Pedernales River) and Snail Creek, just south of U.S. Highway 290 on the south side of Ranch to Market Road 1376. This location is roughly 50 miles (80 km) north of San Antonio and 69 miles (111 km) west of Austin. The Luckenbach website lists “412 Luckenbach Town Loop, Fredericksburg, TX 78624” as the physical address for GPS navigation.
Today Luckenbach maintains a ghost-town feel with its small population and strong western aesthetic. One of its two main buildings houses the remnants of a post office, a working saloon, and a general store. The other is the dance hall. The post office was closed on April 30, 1971 and its zip code (78647) was retired. The general store remains active as a souvenir shop where visitors can purchase a variety of items, including merchandise featuring the town’s motto “Everybody’s Somebody in Luckenbach”. include postcards, T-shirts, sarcastic and humorous signs, and the local newspaper, the 8-page monthly Luckenbach Moon.
Its oldest building is a combination general store and saloon reputedly opened in 1849 (1886 is more likely, based on land improvement records of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission) by Minna Engel, whose father was an itinerant minister from Germany. The community, first named Grape Creek (or more likely a poor transliteration in the records of ‘Gap Creek’, as Luckenbach comes from German ‘lucken’ = gap & ‘bach’ = stream), was later named after Engel’s husband, Carl Albert Luckenbach, who was then her fiancé. They would later move to another town which became Albert, Texas. Luckenbach was first established as a community trading post, one of a few that never broke a peace treaty with the Comanche Indians, with whom they traded.