After land speculator Johann von Racknitztraveled through Texas and Mexico in 1829, he obsessed about starting a German colony. He crafted an ambitious plan to settle large numbers of German and Swiss immigrants on the Colorado River at present-day Bastrop and in 1833sailed from France with several colonists.
The settlement would end in disaster, however. First, cholera hit on the ship ride over. Then, yellow fever. Racknitzrode to the town of Bexar (San Antonio) for help, but by the time he returned, all of the settlers had either died or dispersed among the other colonies.
Still, many Germans settled in Bastrop. Today, the town has several commercial buildings and homes with historical markers that point to that heritage, and museum exhibits tell of settlement life.
Bastrop Museum and Visitor Center