February, 2012. Bergheim, Texas. One Stop Shopping

Posted on February 16, 2012

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If you were to sum up Texas in one word, that word would be “big.”

If you were to sum up Texas in TWO words, those words would be “big” and “diverse.”

There’s the usual ethnic and economic mix in greater San Antonio that you find in large metropolitan areas everywhere. But the shopping experience is, or can be, especially diverse here.

We traveled into San Antonio yesterday to “do” the Riverwalk. On the way into the downtown area – some 30 miles from our rv park – we passed mall after mall after mall, and most were certainly Texas-sized.  Every retail store imaginable had a presence – sometimes more than once within a short distance.  A shopper’s dream, I guess…I’m not much of a shopper.

We took a water taxi along the Riverwalk, floating past an endless stream of restaurants, hotels, watering holes, and the huge River Center – three stories of shops and boutiques and I don’t know what all.

It was a beautiful trip, and we’ll do it again someday.

But our favorite shop to date?  We found it in Bergheim.

With less than 700 residents, according to the 2000 Federal census, Bergheim, located on State Highway 46 southeast of Boerne, has just the right number of shopping choices for me:  One.

The Bergheim General Store is an interesting mix of convenience store, clothing store, post office and museum. Open since 1903, some stuff on the shelves and walls may well have been there during the store’s grand opening.

Austrian emigrant Andreas Engle came to the area in 1900, and built a cotton gin around which an agricultural community soon developed.  When a post office was established, Engle was appointed postmaster and given the job of choosing a name for the town. He picked one that accurately reflected the location: Bergheim – German for “home in the hills”.

The inventory of the Bergheim General Store tends to lean toward the guy shopper – lots of denim, a stack of ten gallon hats, t-shirts, plenty of gloves. It’s heavy on hardware and the parts and pieces a modern-day cowboy – or cowgirl, for that matter – might need in a hurry.

Then there’s groceries, soap, shampoo and beer – everything needed to recover from a dusty day on the range.

No wonder the Bergheim General Store is still in business.

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Posted in: Travel - Texas